With four days between games, here's what the team has been up to in Chittagong.

On tour with the BLACKCAPS


Saturday 22 March
Game day at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, where all the BLACKCAPS' pool matches will be played. Many of the squad were involved in the first Test v Bangladesh in October played here, so it's a familiar place. The team meets up in the hotel lobby to jump on the bus for the trip - the team's timekeeping is done through a shared calendar loaded onto everyone's phones, a system devised by team video analyst Paul Warren that works well. This is an early team - if departure time is 1pm, it pays to get down there at 12.50pm, just in case.  
The view from the Hotel Agrabad - the road outside has been blocked off for the duration of the team's stay here.
Off to the ground. 
The BLACKCAPS kick off their campaign with a win v England on Duckworth Lewis, with all the post-match talk of the massive storm that ended the game. When the team went out to bat they were told there was a 2% chance of rain, but the lightning began in the fourth over and didn't stop. Many of the players bolted from the pitch side dug out to the safety of the changing room when the storm began and there was a scramble to get all the video analysis laptops, monitors and cabling inside before the rain arrived. 

In the ICC office there was a mad scramble to locate umbrellas and raincoats and get them out of their plastic wrapping. Heavy and steady rain wasn't going away, and after a couple of umpires' inspections play was called off, and the English team (who are sharing the BLACKCAPS' hotel) visited the dressing room to shake hands. 
Roll Taylor stoked with his spot in the dressing room. Almost as good as the White Ferns' bus

Sunday 23 March   
Optional training session at ZACS stadium. About two thirds of the squad take the chance to train with the remainder, mainly the bowlers and batsmen  resting at the hotel.  
Heath and safety 'relaxed' at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. 

That night the team piles back on the bus for an outing to Ambrosia, the go-to restaurant for the team in the area. The menu is a smorgasbord of nations, with Chinese, India, Indonesian, Continental and Bangladeshi cuisine all on offer. The group is looked after by a small army of waiters, and there are autographs and photos taken on the way in and out. 

Monday 24 March
Game day v South Africa. This is the 'early game' for the day, starting in hot sunshine, but ending under lights. The match ends in a disappointing defeat, and the task needed to make the semi finals becomes much clearer - two wins from two it will have to be. 
The view from the team bus as we leave for the ground. 
Pre-mach entertainment and the ground announcer you can hear on the telly. 

Tuesday 25 March
The first of four days between matches. The plan is to train on Thursday and Friday, as there is no point in the team flogging themselves in the nets for four days straight, but it poses the challenge of occupying time, when there are extremely limited opportunities to leave the hotel. 

First up is a trip to Bhatiary Golf & Country Club for a round for about 10 players and a couple from management - groups from England, Sri Lanka, South Africa and even Danny Morrison and the commentary team are out today. The course is extremely lush and picturesque with lots of water hazards, and each group of players is accompanied by a small army of caddies and ball spotters. There is talk of snakes in the rough, but any balls hit off the fairway seem to miraculously make their way back onto the fairway before the players can get to them. 
The view from the clubhouse. 

Wednesday 26 March
Probably the longest day of the tour so far, with nothing formal organised. The players can catch up on their scouting for the next two matches on their laptops, but apart from that it's the gym, the pool or just keeping occupied as best you can. The team room has a full-size snooker table that is seeing a lot of hot competition, if not skill, with 'no jiggers' and 'one foot on the ground at all times' rules keeping things even. 

Most people take a long time over breakfast, taking the chance to chat before everyone does their own thing for the day. Playing cards and watching TV series are a popular way to pass time, with Suits, Breaking Bad and The Blacklist the most popular. There is another smaller outing to Ambrosia that evening on the bus. 

Thursday 27 March
Back into training at the MZ Aziz stadium on probably the hottest and most humid day of the tour so far. Today is set out as a hard workout for everyone, with everyone batting for as long as they can, and the bowlers all putting in long sessions. The team goes through a mountain of water and Gatorade during the session, with everyone, including wussy media people not excerpting themselves at all, sweating buckets. The nets are set up in the middle of the ground, and with all the batsmen keen to practice their big shots, down the ground becomes a dangerous place to hang around, with big shots peppering the area around the sight screen, and a small army of ground staff and Aktar, the team's bag man, doing a stirling job of retrieving the balls for the bowlers.  

Friday 28 March
A lighter training session than the day before, but equally as hot. Today is about fine tuning and limited fielding as the surface in the outfield is not up to a full session. There's also a scouting session on the Netherlands, to go along with most of the team watching their remarkable near-win against South Africa earlier in the week. There is full coverage of every match of the World T20 here, as well as replays almost 24 hours a day, including on the big projector screen set up in the breakfast room. After so much waiting, it's fair to say everyone is keen for match day to arrive and get into it. Trent Boult and Corey Anderson organise a delivery from Ambrosia, and the team surely sets a record when it orders 16 portions of Cashew Chicken, which has become everyone's go-to option. 

The scene at BLACKCAPS training at MA Aziz stadium. 

With Thanks To

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