Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Saini, Saurabh give India A opening-day honours

Navdeep Saini celebrates a wicket Bangladesh Cricket Board

India A 120 for 0 (Jaiswal 63*, Easwaran 53*) lead Bangladesh A 112 (Mosaddek 63, Saurabh 4-23, Saini 3-21) by eight runs

Navdeep Saini and Mukesh Kumar helped India A take the opening-day honours in the first unofficial Test against Bangladesh A in Cox's Bazar.

Put in to bat, Bangladesh A were shot out for 112, with Saini and Mukesh picking up five of the top six. That the hosts recovered from 63 for 6 to cross three figures was mainly down to Mosaddek Hossain's 63.

It wasn't just India A's fast bowlers that impressed though. Saurabh Kumar, the left-arm spinner, ran through the lower order to finish with 4 for 23. The performance is significant given Saurabh could possibly stay back to be part of the Test squad should Ravindra Jadeja be ruled unfit for the two-match series in December.

With the bat, India A's openers looked in no trouble, galloping past Bangladesh A's total and ending the day 120 without loss. Yashasvi Jaiswal's strong first-class initiation got even better as he remained unbeaten on 63, with a possibility of bringing up a sixth first-class century in just his eighth match. At the other end Abhimanyu Easwaran, now an India A veteran, was 53 not out.

It was Saini who drew first blood when he clean bowled Mahmudul Hasan Joy, one of eight Test players in the Bangladesh A side, with a delivery that swung late and beat the outside edge. Mukesh had then Zakir Hasan, the top-scorer in the just-concluded NCL first-class competition, caught behind before clean bowling Mominul Haque, who misjudged a nip-backer from around the stumps.

Mominul's dismissal could be some cause for worry in the Bangladesh camp as it was his first knock against an overseas team since being dropped from the Test side in West Indies earlier in the year.

Saini wasn't done yet. He got Najmul Hossain Shanto caught at third slip, before the captain Mohammad Mithun carelessly chased a wide one. At that point, Bangladesh A were 26 for 5.

Mosaddek resuscitated the innings with a half-century that had six fours and three sixes, and after he became the eighth batter to be dismissed, the hosts managed to add just four more to their score to fold for 112.

India A's openers calmly posted half-centuries in their reply. They struck 14 boundaries in all, as the likes of Khaled Ahmed and Taijul Islam struggled for consistency. Mithun also tried four overs each of Nayeem Hasan and Mosaddek but could not find a breakthrough.

Bangladesh A 3rd innings Partnerships

1st71Zakir HasanMahmudul Hasan Joy
2nd148Najmul Hossain ShantoZakir Hasan
3rd30Mominul HaqueZakir Hasan
4th17Mohammad MithunZakir Hasan
5th51Zakir HasanJaker Ali
6th1Mosaddek HossainZakir Hasan
7th4Taijul IslamZakir Hasan
8th13Zakir HasanNayeem Hasan
9th5Nayeem HasanRejaur Rahman
10th1Khaled AhmedRejaur Rahman