Shahadat stakes claim for Lord's debut with Bangladesh

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The Independent Online

Teenager Shahadat Hossain bowled himself into consideration for a Test debut with a four-wicket bag for Bangladesh in the drawn match with British Universities yesterday.

His successes might only have come against the country's best students but his ability to extract life out of a placid Fenner's surface bodes well for a touring party who are expected to be easy pickings in the two-match series which begins in a fortnight.

He finished with the commendable figures of 15-2-33-4, a return which might have moved the fast bowler up the pecking order for his international bow at Lord's.

Coach Dav Whatmore said: "I wouldn't say selection is a foregone conclusion, there should be a few opportunities for other members of the party to press their claims. It is healthy not to have pre-conceived conclusions on these guys and what Shahadat has shown here is that he wants to play."

After Mortaza split overnight pair Luke Parker and Josh Knappett by encouraging an expansive drive from the former which provided a straightforward chance to wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud, the lanky Shahadat got to work.

He banged in his second delivery of the day halfway down the track to hurry Knappett into a hook which was swallowed at fine leg.

A fuller length accounted for the tail, however, as he charged in from the pavilion end: Amit Suman's middle-stump went cartwheeling while Monty Panesar tickled a ball which did for him.

That took Shahadat's tally to 3 for 8 in four overs, having removed Adnan Akram, held in the slips, on the second evening.

He certainly generated more pace than Mortaza, generally regarded as the fastest bowler Bangladesh has to offer, after his fellow quick halted a 134-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Oxford colleagues Knappett and Parker, who both struck half-centuries. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique polished off the innings for 238, an advantage of 143, when Glen Read misjudged a sweep to be dismissed leg before.

* David Shepherd's illustrious umpiring career will come to an end after England's one-day international against Australia at The Oval in July. Shepherd has decided to bow out after the summer programme.

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