Close Bangladesh Cricket Board Presidents XI 57 (Hoggard 6-13) and 143 for 9 drew with England 253 and 69 for 1 dec
England completed a highly satisfying warm-up match - one that had seemed an unlikely starter after the torrential rains that greeted their arrival - as Gareth Batty and Ashley Giles picked up six wickets between them in their first outing of the tour. They couldn't quite polish off an obdurate tail, as the BCB President's XI reached the close on 143 for 9, but for England the result mattered less than the practice.
For the young Bangladeshi side, however - eight of whom are members of the U19 squad that will play in the World Cup here next March - survival was an impressive accomplishment, albeit aided by the weather on the first day. It had not seemed likely when seven wickets fell in rapid succession after tea, but Nadif Chowdhury and Gazi Alamgir gritted their teeth to carry the match into the final over of the day. A late twist seemed on the cards when Steve Harmison yorked Chowdhury for 26 with two balls remaining, but Enamul Haque held fast to deny England victory.
Such resistance was unexpected after the Bangladeshi efforts in the first innings. They had teetered to 46 for 6 overnight, and England required just six overs to wrap up proceedings for a paltry 57. Matthew Hoggard once again displayed the sort of form that he had consistently shown in Pakistan and Sri Lanka three winters ago. He added three more wickets to his overnight haul, to finish with 6 for 13 from 9.3 overs.
In theory, the President's XI had avoided the follow-on by four runs, but there would never have been any intention of enforcing it, especially after England had lost four wickets for no runs on the second afternoon. Instead it was left to two of those victims, Graham Thorpe and Rikki Clarke, to get some much-needed time in the middle. Thorpe was in supreme touch for his 47, but Clarke - whose place remains under threat from Paul Collingwood - was less able to settle. He found the spinners particularly tricky to handle, and when he was finally bowled by Enamul for 19, England declared on 69 for 1, and lunch was taken.
Martin Saggers made England's first breakthrough in the tenth over of the resumption, when Chris Read pulled off a fine one-handed catch in front of first slip to remove Nadif Iqbal for 20 (36 for 1). But Aftab Ahmed, very much a candidate for next week's first Test, lead the resistance with a sparkling 45 that included four fours and a mighty pulled six off Clarke. But Clarke had his revenge in his very next over, when Aftab was trapped lbw, and the innings frittered away. Hannan Sarkar's patient 16 soon came to an end as Giles won his first lbw appeal of the day, and Batty entered the attack from the opposite end to provide the final touch to England's preparations.
The spinners wheeled away, with great accuracy but no spectacular turn, and seven wickets tumbled for 37 as the inexperience of the Bangladeshis threatened to be their undoing. But Chowdhury and Alamgir rallied the tail to ensure that first blood in this tour has yet to be drawn.
Andrew Miller is assistant editor of Wisden Cricinfo. He will be accompanying England throughout their travels in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.