Ben Duckett during his knock of 59 in the warm-up match    AFP
Ben Duckett during his knock of 59 in the warm-up match AFP

Ben Duckett strengthened his case to become Alastair Cook‘s opening partner in England‘s Test series against Bangladesh, scoring a fluent fifty in their drawn warm-up match against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI on Saturday. Duckett hit 59 off 63 balls with six boundaries before he retired as England put 137-4 on the board in 45 overs after stand-in captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat at the MA Aziz Stadium in the port city of Chittagong. Root led England as regular Test captain Alastair Cook returned home to attend the birth of his second child. The first day of the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to a wet outfield, forcing both teams to agree to play a 45-over game. Full Cricket Scorecard, Bangladesh vs England, 1st Test, Mirpur

Duckett, who also scored two half-centuries in England’s 2-1 win in the preceding one-day series, easily outshone teenager Haseeb Hameed, the other contender for the opening slot in the Test team. Hameed scored only 16. Gary Ballance was unbeaten on 27 while Moeen Ali made 24 before he became the third victim of leg-spinner Sabbir Rahman, who finished with 3-27 to stake his claim in the Bangladesh Test squad. The BCB XI reached 4-136 in 44 overs as experienced Shahriar Nafees top scored with 51 runs for the home side. Thirty-nine-year-old Gareth Batty, who is vying for a place in the England line-up with Ali, Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari, claimed 2-31 bowling 10 overs. READ: England’s tour match in Bangladesh: First day cancelled due to ‘unplayable pitch’

Ansari failed to make an impact in his eight overs. Bangladesh and England will play two Tests in the series with the first beginning in Chittagong on October 20. Before the first Test, England will play another two-day warm-up match against the BCB XI, which will start on Sunday.