Sarkar, Mushfiqur start tour with fifties

India A 91 for 1 (Panchal 40*, Iyer 29*) trail Bangladeshis 224 for 8 dec (Mushfiqur 58, Sarkar 52, Choudhary 4-26) by 133 runs

The sight of Imrul Kayes studiously watching his batting footage in the first session suggested the sort of day Bangladesh had at the Gymkhana ground on their first day of cricket on their first bilateral tour to India. Kayes was the first wicket to fall against India A, when he picked out the only fielder in the deep - Hardik Pandya at long leg.

It was a carbon copy of his dismissal on the first day of the Wellington Test last month, when he picked out Trent Boult, who was the only man in the outfield, in the same region. Bangladesh's concerns about the inconsistency of their batsmen hasn't abated, with only four days to go for the one-off Test.

The day belonged to India A's left-arm quick, Aniket Choudhary who generated extra pace and bounce using his height to claim four wickets. Mushfiqur Rahim, who was ruled out of the Christchurch Test because of a thumb injury, marked his return with a half-century. Top-order batsman Soumya Sarkar also struck a fifty while Sabbir Rahman and Liton Das, who has not played international cricket since 2015, made cameos before Bangladeshis declared on 224 for 8 with more than 60 minutes remaining in the first day. In reply, India A, led by Priyank Panchal's unbeaten 40, reached 91 for 1 before stumps. Abhinav Mukund was the only Indian to fall, caught at first slip off seamer Subashis Roy.

It wasn't the kind of tune-up Bangladesh were looking for, ahead of the Test. After opting to bat on the sluggish pitch, they lost wickets at regular intervals. Five overs after the fall of Kayes, Choudhary bowled Tamim Iqbal 13 and then surprised Mominul Haque with extra bounce. Choudhary later returned to test Mushfiqur with extra bounce and had him edging to Rishabh Pant. He then trapped Mehedi Hasan Miraz for a first-ball duck.

Mushfiqur, though, looked comfortable on his comeback from injury, striking eight fours and a six during his 106-ball 58. Sarkar, meanwhile, played some attractive drives in the arc between covers and mid-off during his 52 off 73 balls, including nine fours and a six. But Tamim, Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman didn't convert starts, after briefly looking comfortable, as the India A bowlers preyed on their patience, or the lack of it.

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Bangladesh 3rd innings Partnerships

1st71Tamim IqbalSoumya Sarkar
2nd0Tamim IqbalMominul Haque
3rd2MahmudullahTamim Iqbal