The Bangladesh cricket team reached Ireland with around four days in hand before their first game of the tri-nation series also involving New Zealand. The Tigers will face the host in the tri-series opener at Malahide Cricket Club Ground, Dublin on Friday.
The Bangladesh squad reached the island in the North Atlantic following a 10-day long conditional camp in Sussex, England. The tri-series is part of the Tigers' preparation for the 2017 Champions Trophy, starting June 1 in England.
The Bangladesh think tank arranged the camp in Sussex so that the cricketers can get acclimatised with the chilly conditions since its their first tour to England in seven years.
The Tigers squad sweated it out in alien conditions with the exception of ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza, all-rounder Shakib al Hasan and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman. Mashrafe travelled to England with the team on April 26 only to return home four days later due to family emergency. Mashrafe’s wife had fallen sick and was admitted to hospital. Having spent sufficient time with his wife, the veteran pacer travelled to Ireland on Sunday evening, along with the team manager for the tri-series, Jalal Younus, who is also a BCB director.
On the other hand, Shakib and Mustafizur was busy participating in the 10th edition of the IPL T20. Their campaign however, was not a memorable one to say the least, given that Shakib and Mustafizur played only a game each for Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively. Both Shakib and Mustafizur returned to Dhaka and following a short break, travelled to Ireland on Sunday afternoon.
During their stay in England, Bangladesh played two 50-over practice matches - against Duke of Norfolk XI and a second string Sussex County Cricket Club XI. The games were somewhat contested in light-hearted fashion, bearing in mind that Bangladesh fielded some members in the opposition team.
The match against Duke of Norfolk XI was abandoned due to rain. Batting first, the Tigers got to play the full 50 overs, posting 345 runs for the loss of seven wickets, riding on an unbeaten century from wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim. The diminutive batsman struck 134 off 98 deliveries while opening batter Soumya Sarkar added 74 in 73 balls. Duke of Norfolk XI were 95 without loss when rain came pouring down, paving the way for the game to be cancelled.
In the second practice match, against Sussex, Bangladesh won by 134 runs. Taking first guard, opener Imrul Kayes’ 78-ball 92 and youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz’s unbeaten 60 enabled the tourist to register 314/9. Top-order batsman Sabbir Rahman chipped in with 52.
Chasing the target, Sussex managed 184 on the board before losing all of their wickets. Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah, who played for Sussex, scored 32. Bangladesh's Miraz picked up three wickets while fast bowlers Subashish Roy and Taskin Ahmed bagged two each.