Rahim century boosts Bangladesh
Bangladeshis 309 for 7 dec (Rahim 115*, Rafique 54) drew with Northamptonshire 230 for 6 dec (Shafayat 76, Afzaal 47*, Hossain 4-113)
Mushfiqur Rahim gave the Bangladeshis a much-needed boost ahead of the first Test, with an unbeaten century on the third and final day of their rain-affected match against Northamptonshire. The match petered out into a predictable draw, but Rahim's innings enlivened proceedings and gave Dav Whatmore, Bangladesh's coach, some unexpected selection dilemmas.
Rahim, who is only 16, was originally picked on the tour as understudy to Khaled Masud, the established wicketkeeper, but he has shown the best form of all the batsmen in the last two warm-up matches. Following his gutsy 63 against Sussex he struck 15 fours and a six here, adding 91 with Masud and 87 with Mohammad Rafique, who made a quickfire 54 from 52 balls.
Rahim has put his name in the frame for Lord's as a specialist batsman, after the Bangladesh top order suffered another slump. The Northants attack did not feature any first-team players, but still caused plenty of problems. Charl Pietersen disposed of Javed Omar (6 for 1), while Matthew Friedlander removed Mohammad Ashraful, Rajin Saleh and Mashud as the Bangladeshis slumped to 105 for 5.
Northants had earlier taken their first-innings total from 149 for 5 to 230 for 6. Usman Afzaal made a run-a-ball 47 and Andrew White struck an unbeaten 30. Anwar Hossain Monir picked up his fourth wicket, but conceded nearly six an over throughout his 20 overs. He is unlikely to feature at Lord's and, although Rahim's innings is a boost for the Bangladeshis, the XI who take the field on Thursday know that that will be the true test.