Bangladesh prosper before the rain
Northamptonshire 149 for 5 (Shafayat 76, Hossain 3-67) v Bangladesh
After their two-and-a-half-day debacle against Sussex earlier in the week, Bangladesh enjoyed a much improved day in the field at Wantage Road, albeit against a significantly weaker opposition, as Northamptonshire were limited to 149 for 5 by the time the rains rolled in midway through the afternoon session.
Bangladesh's star performer was their seamer, Anwar Hossain Monir, who picked up 3 for 67 on his first outing of the tour. His efforts ensured that Northants would not be able to gallop away with the game in quite the same manner that Sussex - and Michael Yardy - had done at Hove.
In fact, that mismatch had been so emphatic that Northants saw fit to rest the bulk of their first-team squad, with only Bilal Shafayat and Usman Afzaal, deputising for David Sales, retained among a team of rookies. One familiar face for the Bangladeshis was the South African student, Matt Friedlander, who had played against them for British Universities in their opening fixture at Fenner's. He is not even on the Northants playing staff.
Rain delayed the start by 75 minutes, but once Northants had won the toss and chosen to bat, Shafayat was quickly into his stride, striking 14 fours as he clattered along at nearly a run a ball. Wickets continued to fall at the other end, however, with Monir and Tapash Baisya both breaking through with the new ball.
Monir grabbed his second when Tim Roberts was caught-behind for 16 (93 for 3), but it was the spinner, Enamul Haque jr, who struck the big blow in his second over, as Shafayat was caught by Nafees Iqbal for 76. One run later, Riki Wessels became Monir's third victim but before they could make any further inroads, the rain came to Northants' aid.
Bangladesh were hampered by the continued absence of their captain and leading batsman, Habibul Bashar, who was felled by a Jason Lewry bouncer at Hove and did not take part in the remainder of that match. In his absence, the wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud took over as captain, with the 16-year-old Mushfiqur Rahim retained in the side after his brave half-century against Sussex.
Northamptonshire 1 Thomas Huggins, 2 Bilal Shafayat, 3 Robert White, 4 Tim Roberts, 5 Usman Afzaal (capt), 6 Riki Wessels (wk), 7 Matt Friedlander, 8 Andrew White, 9 Charl Pietersen, 10 Richard King, 11 John Wolstenholme.
Bangladesh 1 Javed Omar, 2 Nafees Iqbal, 3 Rajin Saleh, 4 Mohammad Ashraful, 5 Khaled Mashud (capt, wk), 6 Aftab Ahmed, 7 Mushfiqur Rahim, 8 Mohammad Rafique, 9 Enamul Haque jnr, 10 Anwar Hossain, 11 Tapash Baisya.