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Surrey's Zafar Ansari boosts case for inclusion in England side for opening Test with Bangladesh

Ross McLean
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Surrey v Nottinghamshire - Specsavers County Championship: Division One
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Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari pressed his claims for a Test debut by leading England’s fightback during the opening day of their final warm-up clash against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in Chittagong.

England appeared to be toiling in the field until the left-arm spinner claimed three quick scalps to prompt a dramatic collapse which saw the hosts slip from 207-2 to 294 all out. Ansari finished with figures of 4-68.

Seamer Stuart Broad snared two wickets, as did Gareth Batty – Ansari’s Surrey team-mate and rival for a spinner’s berth in the England team for the first Test against Bangladesh, which starts on Thursday.

Opener Abdul Mazid proved a major thorn in England’s side with an impressive century before he was bowled by Broad, while Nazmul Hossain, batting at No3, struck 72.

Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn was the most economical of England’s attack, conceding just 24 runs from his 10 overs, while Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes and all-rounder Moeen Ali chipped in with a wicket apiece.

England navigated four overs in reply with Ben Duckett, who impressed with a half-century in the first warm-up game, two not out at the close, while Lancashire’s Haseeb Hameed was yet to score.

The duo are competing for the vacant opener’s slot alongside skipper Alastair Cook, who is currently attending the birth of his second child, after Alex Hales opted against travelling to Bangladesh amid ongoing security

concerns.