Al-Amin, Afghan openers shine in warm-up


All-rounder Al-Amin claimed four wickets while Afghanistan openers Ihsanullah and Ibrahim Zadran made unbeaten fifties on the opening day of their only two-day practice match against Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, as Afghanistan reached 242-6 at stumps in Chattogram on Sunday.

Afghan opening pair of Ihsanullah and Ibrahim made an unbeaten 62 and 52 respectively before both left the field retired hurt to give their team-mates some batting opportunity at the MA Aziz Stadium.

Al-Amin was the star with the ball for BCB XI, as the part-time off-spinner claimed 4-51 and pacer Sumon Khan took 2-21 while the other five bowlers remained wicketless.

Opting to bat, Afghanistan’s young opening pair made Bangladeshi bowlers look ordinary by going into lunch without losing a single wicket and forming a hundred-plus opening stand before retiring to the pavilion.

Sumon then gave Bangladesh their first success of the day by removing Javed Ahmadi (three) with the score on 131-1.

Al-Amin then began his wicket-taking spree, claiming the next four scalps, namely Rahmat Shah (seven), Asghar Afghan (16), Hasmatullah Shahidi (26) and Ikram Alikhil (one) to reduce the visitors to 187-5.

Mohammad Nabi (33) and Afsar Zazai (20 not out) then added 42 runs for the sixth wicket to take their score over 200, before Sumon trapped the former leg-before to break the stand in the 87th over of the day with the score on 229-6.

Zazai and skipper Rashid Khan (six not out) saw off the rest of the day.

Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan was the only player of the 15-man Bangladesh squad to be featuring in the practice match’s squad but he didn’t bowl on the opening day.

Ihsanullah, who scored an unbeaten 65 in the second innings of his debut Test match to guide Afghanistan to their maiden Test win against Ireland in March this year, looked to be carrying on his form to Bangladesh with a patient fifty.

His partner Ibrahim was no stranger to Bangladesh conditions, as the 17-year old was part of the Afghanistan A team that toured Bangladesh in July this year and was the highest run-getter in both the four-day and one-dayer series with 209 and 273 runs respectively.

Afghanistan landed in Chattogram on Friday to take part in a one-off Test series and a tri-nation Twenty20 series between them, the hosts and Zimbabwe.