Bangladesh 285 for 5 (Mithun 91, Mushfiqur 50, Kumara 2-26) beat Sri Lanka Board President’s XI 282 for 8 (Shanaka 86, Shehan 56, Soumya 2-29, Rubel 2-31) by five wickets
Bangladesh got their tour of Sri Lanka off to a winning start with a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka Board President’s XI in their one-off warm-up game at the P Sara Oval. The visitors added pace bowler Shafiul Islam to their squad for the three-match ODI series which begins on June 26. Shafiul is expected to join the team in Colombo on Wednesday.
Mithun’s 100-ball 91 in particular will please the Bangladesh coaching staff, after he was given a chance in the No. 3 position vacated by Shakib Al Hasan. Scoring 11 boundaries and a six, the 28-year-old right-hand batsman put on partnerships of 73 and 96 for the fourth and fifth wickets respectively, with the rest of the Bangladesh line-up batting around him.
Mithun’s calm approach also allowed Mushfiqur to take on a more attacking role on his way to a 46-ball 50, built on a threatening 37 from Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order. Mahmadullah (33) and Sabbir Rahman (31) kept the Bangladesh innings on track, as Sri Lanka’s bowlers – apart from Lahiru Kumara, who impressed with figures of 2 for 26 in six overs – struggled to gain any foothold in the game. Mithun fell with Bangladesh only 21 runs shy of the target, but some lusty hitting from Mosaddek Hossain and Sabbir made sure there were no late scares.
For the hosts, Dasun Shanaka was arguably the only Sri Lankan player to come out of the game with his reputation significantly enhanced. Having come in to bat at 127 for 5, his 63-ball 86, studded with six boundaries and as many sixes, put a significant dampener on what was an otherwise stellar bowling performance from Bangladesh. The hosts put on a respectable 282 for 8 in 50 overs.
Shanaka was aided by 21-year-old legspinning allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga, who bolstered his case for selection in the first ODI with a quickfire 28 that included three fours and a six to go with his bowling figures of 1 for 39.
Earlier, Shehan Jayasuriya’s 56 off 78 deliveries had helped the hosts recover from a top-order collapse during which Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka and Oshada Fernando fell by the eighth over of the game. Shehan put on 82 for the fourth wicket with Bhanuka Rajapakse and helped steer Board President’s XI past 100.
Of the Bangladesh bowlers, on a wicket that didn’t offer much assistance, fast bowlers Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed struck early after the hosts opted to bat. Alongside Rubel, medium-pacer Soumya Sarkar stood out, taking the two crucial middle-order wickets of Jayasuriya and Rajapakse.
Marnus Labuschagne, run-scoring and bubble gum
Marnus Labuschagne is forever blowing bubbles and, over the last few weeks, scoring Test hundreds.
With a skip down the pitch at Mitchell Santner he deposited the ball over long-on, for just the second six of his career, to reach his third century in three innings following his scores of 185 in Brisbane and 162 in Adelaide. The 25-year old is only the third Australian batsman to manage such a feat after Charles Macartney in 1926 and Don Bradman in 1937-38.
“I got within one shot and I wanted to do it because scoring was quite slow so I was waiting for the right ball,” Labuschagne said at the post-day press conference. “I didn’t get all of it but luckily enough for it to go over.”
He is a batsman with a few idiosyncrasies and a close watch will show he is rarely without his chewing gum. It has become an integral part to his batting routine since he started playing for Glamorgan – a time when runs flowed and propelled him into the Ashes squad.
“It started it in the second game of the County Championship last year,” he said. “It was something I used because at times you play so much cricket and you need something to get you going and to get you in the contest. It’s helped me to relax especially when I’m subconsciously blowing bubbles and keeping my mind at rest between balls.”
There were no free runs on offer on the opening day in Perth, so full focus was needed. Without taking anything away from his runs against Pakistan, that was not always the case in the first two Tests of the summer. In this innings his first fifty took 102 balls, with Australia well behind their usual scoring rate, before moving to three figures off a further 64 deliveries. It was the innings of a player who can be at No. 3 for a long time to come.
“You never want to take any runs for Australia for granted,” he said. “Cricket can be a tough game so you have to cash in when you’re doing well. No hundred comes easy, but today there were patches where scoring really dried up completely and you just had to trust you would come out the other side
Before the Test, Tim Paine revealed there had been conversations about moving Labuschagne down the order to No. 5 to allow him to settle into Test cricket after being thrust back into the team during the Ashes.
“He didn’t want a bar of it,” Paine said. “He wanted to go out at three. He wants to be a star Test match international cricketer. He sees himself as a No.3. He wants that challenge. He’d be hard to move out of there now, that’s for sure.”
Labuschagne recalled a slightly different tale from the Brisbane Test when, with David Warner and Joe Burns having added a double-century stand, Justin Langer suggested – perhaps in jest – that he may want to slip down the order having spent so long waiting with his pads on.
“Justin asked me at the ‘Gabba, because we waited so long to bat and you burn a lot of mental energy. He said do you want to go down? I kind of laughed as in ‘you’re kidding, aren’t you?’ I still don’t know if he was serious, but I thought there’s no chance I’m letting [Steven] Smithy bat in front of me. I enjoy getting out there; sitting and watching can be draining.”
Batting is coming easily for Labuschagne at the moment, but he believes being in good form brings a need to be even more careful. “It’s just about riding the wave, not trying to get too high when you are going well. Keeping a clear mind on the field then you just play the ball as it comes. People say you nick balls more when you are in form because you a seeing it so well so it’s about keeping a high price on decision making.”
At the moment, he’s making a lot of good decisions. He’ll hope the run-scoring bubble doesn’t burst anytime soon.
Aneurin Donald ruled out for majority of 2020 season after ACL injury
Aneurin Donald is set to miss the whole of the 2020 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Donald, the 22-year-old batsman, joined Hampshire from Glamorgan towards the end of the 2018 domestic season, and impressed in his first full season at the club, hitting a 144-ball 173 against Warwickshire in the Championship and regularly scoring quickly at the start of a T20 innings.
But after suffering the injury to his ACL last week, Donald underwent an operation this week, and Hampshire physio James Clegg confirmed that his is expected to miss most of the upcoming domestic season.
“Thanks to all the doctors/nurses/surgeons who have looked after me the past week or so,” Donald posted on Instagram. “Long road back to recovery starts now.. Appreciate all the love and support I’ve received to date. Will be back stronger.”
The news represents a major blow to Donald, whose move to the Ageas Bowl came about in part due to his hopes of an England call-up.
He first announced himself as a 19-year-old in the Glamorgan side when he spanked 234 off just 136 balls, equalling the record for the fastest double-century in first-class cricket, in a remarkable maiden Championship ton at Colwyn Bay. He hit Derbyshire’s attack for 15 sixes, and made headlines as a future star.
There were flashes of brilliance in his fledgling white-ball career, including a 40-ball 76 at The Oval in 2017, but he failed to make a half-century in 2018, and finished last season with a disappointment when he found no takers in the inaugural draft for the Hundred.
CSA sponsor issues ultimatum for contract renewal
Pressure is mounting on CSA’s board, specifically president Chris Nenzani and vice-president Beresford Williams, after financial services company Momentum, which sponsors CSA, issued an ultimatum over its tenure. In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, Momentum asked for the CSA board or Nenzani and Williams to step down as one of six conditions that must be met if it is to renew its contract with CSA when it ends on April 30, 2020.
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