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Naeem ensures Bangladesh A finish on a high

A stunning century from Naeem Islam helped Bangladesh A hunt down 320 to secure a consolation victory over England Lions at Taunton in the final game of their 50-over tour.

Two down in the three-match rubber and having been beaten in all five of their warm-up fixtures against county opposition, Bangladesh looked set for another defeat when the Lions posted 319 for seven on the back of another substantial score from Gary Ballance.

The Yorkshire batsman’s 87 took his tally of runs in all formats this month to 658 from seven visits to the crease.

However, Naeem responded in style, sharing 104 with Raqibul Hasan before accelerating to 121 not out from 100 deliveries.

Naeem’s fine knock ensured Jahurul Islam’s men triumphed by four wickets with six balls unused.

Bangladesh’s reply started poorly when Ben Stokes bowled Jahurul for six in the second over.

Yet a second-wicket stand of 58, brought to an end when Jamie Overton had Imrul Kayes caught and bowled, built momentum before Raqibul and Naeem shared 104 in 19.1 overs for the third wicket.

Raqibul was stumped off Danny Briggs for 72 and wicketkeeper Anamul Haque fell cheaply to Chris Jordan, but Naeem grew in stature and received able support from Shamsur Rahman, whose 20-ball 35 contained three sixes.

Shamsur and Ziaur Rahman fell to Stokes either side of Naeem bringing up his hundred, only for the Durham all-rounder to then be removed from the attack in the 47th over for delivering two full-tosses above waist-height.

By that stage, Bangladesh had seized control and it was not long before their chase was successfully completed courtesy of a Farhad Reza maximum.

Although Ballance made the most significant impact in the Lions’ innings, every member of the top eight reached double figures and there were particularly useful contributions from James Vince, James Taylor and Jordan.

Vince made 61 at the top of the order, while Taylor and Jordan accelerated to 44 and 26 not out respectively during a late surge that saw 72 come from the final six overs.

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