Imrul Kayes scored a brilliant half century to save the blushes for Bangladesh Red as they scored 215–7 on the second day of the four-day match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday.
Imrul made 85 off 133 balls as Reds trailed by 66 runs at the end of the day after they had dismissed Greens for 281 in 105.1 overs. Greens added only 27 runs to their overnight total, resuming the play on 254–6.
Naeem Islam, unbeaten on 95 overnight, missed out on a century when Shafiul Islam had him caught by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim in the fifth ball of the morning. Naeem failed to add any run to his bedtime total.
The start of the second day’s play was delayed until 11:00am because of the early morning drizzle and on resumption, Bangladesh Red made a light work to take the remaining four Greens wickets.
Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak who suffered a freakish finger injury on the first day, returned to action much to the relief of the team management and struck three times to help Reds to dismiss Greens.
The start of Reds innings was also not that great, with Tamim Iqbal dragging a Shahahdat Hossain delivery onto his stumps to get dismissed for only two runs. One-down Shuvagoto Hom departed four balls later giving Roqibul Hassan a catch at gully to leave Reds 13 for two inside three overs.
Imrul and Mohammad Ashraful had to repair the innings and when it was time for them to reap the benefit of their hard work, Ashraful was caught at silly mid-on trying to flick off-spinner Sohag Gazi.
Mushfiqur Rahim (20) joined Imrul to add 50 runs for the fourth wicket before left-arm spinner Elias Sunny trapped him lbw.
Imrul, who hit 14 boundaries and a six in his three-hour innings, was ultimately got out when he edged Shahadat to wicketkeeper Sahagir Hossain although the reaction of the batsman showed that he was unhappy about the decision.
Nasir Hossain had made an unbeaten 40 off 47 balls before bad light stopped the play helping Reds avoid further damage and keep their hopes alive to take a lead in the first innings. Imrul hoped that the innings would help him regain his confidence.
‘I think this innings will help me get back my confidence,’ said Imrul, who had been struggling with form in recent times.
‘For quite some time, I could not play a big knock. But I am happy that it arrived,’ he said.
Imrul said that his change of stance was one of the reasons he played so freely. ‘Earlier I had a short stance. Then I opted for a big stance. But somehow I was not comfortable.’
‘Today after playing for some time with the long stance, I tried to get back to my own stance and it paid dividend as I could play freely,’ Imrul addded.
Shahadat Hossain, who missed the Zimbabwe tour because of an injury, had a good comeback in the four-day match with 3–52 for Greens.
The pace bowler said that he was confident to make a comeback as he felt he was getting back his rhythm. ‘It was nice to get some wickets,’ Shahadat told reporters.
‘I feel that I am getting back my rhythm and I home make a claim in the national side before the series against West Indies,’ he added.
-With The Daily Star input