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Shafiul pushes Test claim with five-fer

10 August 2017

Shafiul Islam took 5-17 in 7.1 overs // Getty

Dave Middleton


Dave Middleton


Bangladesh seamer Shafiul Islam has starred on the opening day of an intra-squad match as they prepare for Australia Tests

Bowler Shafiul Islam has pressed his claims for a recall to the Bangladesh Test team with a five-wicket haul on the opening day of an intra-squad practice match.

Shafiul took 5-17 in 7.1 probing overs for Tamim Iqbal's Green team at Chittagong's Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

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Shafiul extracted good seam movement from the surface to remove both openers with Soumya Sarkar caught at second slip for one, before Imrul Kayes edged behind for five.

No.3 batter Mahmudullah Riyad was bowled without scoring to give Shafiul three wickets in his opening spell before the Red team captain (and national skipper) Mushfiqur Rahman put on 70 with Nazmul Hossain Shanto for the fourth wicket.

Mushfiqur offered a return catch to off-spinner Sanjit Saha and departed for 30, before Shafiul returned to complete his five-wicket haul with the scalps of Taijul Islam and Rubel Hossain.

"There is still a lot to learn and I am working on the accuracy and according to the demand of the pitch," Shafiul told reporters after play. "At the same time I am working on swing as well."

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Shaiful has played nine Tests since his debut seven years ago, but missed Bangladesh's Test against India in Hyderabad and series in Sri Lanka earlier this year.

He was recalled to the side for Bangladesh's opening Test against England in Chittagong last October but was dropped for the home team's famous win in Dhaka. In nine Tests he has 15 wickets at 53.4.

Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin said Shafiul's bowling was why he was never far from selectors' minds despite not being able to secure a regular spot in the playing XI.

"I think he bowled outstandingly, especially the first three wickets he took came through sheer pace," Abedin told The Daily Star.

"This has been the reason why we have always kept Shafiul in our plans as he has the ability."

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Nazmul top-scored for the Red team with 53 from 86 balls with six fours and a six, while bowler Mustafizur Rahman picked up 1-15 from nine overs.

One of the rising stars of Bangladesh cricket, Mustafizur has been working with West Indies legend Courtney Walsh to regain the spark that has been missing since surgery on a damaged shoulder last year.

"(Mustafizur) was not bad and hopefully he will be fine by the start of the series," Abedin added.

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Mushfiqur declared at 9-140 after 48 overs. Rubel then struck early to remove Green team opener Liton Das for five before stumps with the Green team on 1-49, with Tamim 23 alongside Mominul Haque on 19.

Rain forced a delayed start to the match as the monsoon season continues to impede preparations. Australia's scheduled warm-up match is expected to be moved from Fatullah with that venue currently under water. An alternative of Sylhet in the country's north east, a 40-minute flight from Dhaka, has been mooted but yet to be confirmed.

Tamim's Team Green: Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mominul Hoque, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Tanbir Haider, Sunzamul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Kamrul Hasan Rabbi, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Saqlain Sajib

Mushfiqur's Team Red: Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mahmudullah Riyad, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Al Amin Hossain, Subashis Roy, Naeem Hasan

Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.

Bangladesh squad (preliminary): Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mahmudullah Riyad, Liton Kumar Das, Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Subhashish Roy, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Sanjamul Islam, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mohammad Saifuddin, Anamul Haque, Abul Hasan Raju, Al Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Muktar Ali, Tanbir Haider, Saqlain Sajib, Shafiul Islam.

11-17 August Australia pre-tour training camp, Darwin

18 August Australia arrive

22-23 August Tour match, TBC

27-31 August First Test, Dhaka

4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong

About the Writer


Dave Middleton is's senior news editor. From Queensland, he spent 10 years in the UK where he wrote for The Times, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and The Telegraph.