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March 4, 2010
Match factsFriday March 5, 2010
Until Eoin Morgan produced a display of brilliant hitting Bangladesh sensed their chance to notch a maiden victory against England in Mirpur but the wait goes on. Morgan's display also secured the series for England however, the visitors have been far from convincing and the gap between the sides is narrowing as quickly as the UK opinion polls.
Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, didn't hide his disappointment at a couple of umpiring decisions that didn't go his team's way - notably an lbw appeal against Morgan when he had 7 - but he has also been criticised in some quarters for his decision to recall paceman Shafiul Islam for the death overs. That, though, is harsh on Shakib who is moulding a young team in very promising fashion.
A consolation victory is now all they can aim for in Chittagong, the coastal town a six-hour train journey from Dhaka (or supposedly a 50-minute flight, but England were delayed six hours), although Bangladesh have certainly laid down a marker to England. The visitors will be desperate for a performance of real authority ahead of the Test series, but they have a few issues not least in the pace-bowling department which has been hit by injuries.
The quicks have struggled to make much of an impression in the series - Tim Bresnan has been the pick - with the onus on Graeme Swann to control the innings. However, they are learning valuable lessons ahead of the World Cup in a year's time, especially as they are grouped with Bangladesh and will play them in Chittagong. Already one lesson is abundantly clear - you can no longer take the home side lightly.
Form guide (last five completed matches)Bangladesh LLLLL
Watch out for...
Surely Kevin Pietersen has got to start scoring significant runs again soon. Hasn't he? It was all looking so good against Pakistan in Dubai, but since arriving in Bangladesh he has struggled to lay bat on ball. He was shot out for 0 and 6 in the warm-ups, made 1 in the first ODI and was removed for 18 on Tuesday. That dismissal, to Abdur Razzaq, highlighted a long-running problem Pietersen has against left-arm spinners and he was completely squared up by a hint of turn. Eventually his game will click and a bowling attack will pay. Maybe in Chittagong?
Abdur Razzaq had gone 45 overs without an international wicket when he claimed Pietersen and with one under his belt the confidence came soaring back. He troubled the England middle order with his flight and a hint of turn, also trapping Paul Collingwood lbw before removing Matt Prior to spark the late wobble. He forms a potent combination alongside his captain, Shakib, and if there is any assistance in the pitch he'll be a handful again.
Bangladesh produced a much more consistent batting effort in the second match to reach 260 for 6 - their highest score against England - and only Aftab Ahmed's position is probably under threat after two failures. It's the pace bowlers which are a problem, although Shafiul touched 90mph during his first over before getting rough treatment at the end. However, paceman Nazmul Hossain has been added to the squad as another option.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Aftab Ahmed, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Naeem Islam, 8 Suhrawadi Shuvo, 9 Abdur Razzaq, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain
Ryan Sidebottom has been ruled out for the rest of the tour and Stuart Broad is out of the final one-dayer with a back injury, so Ajmal Shahzad could make his ODI debut having played the second Twenty20 against Pakistan in Dubai. Craig Kieswetter has made a stuttering start to his career, but needs to be given a run in the side.
England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Craig Kieswetter, 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Matt Prior (wk), 7 Luke Wright, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Tredwell, 11 Ajmal Shahzad
Pitch and conditions
This is the first day game of the series so the dew factor, which hindered Bangladesh a little in Mirpur, won't be a factor in this match. It has a history of turning in Chittagong which would suit the home side and their clutch of spinners. However, being a day game means no let-up from the heat although being on the coast will help.
Stats and Trivia
"I thought 260 gave us a good chance if we took our catches, which we didn't, and if decisions had gone our way, which they didn't. England would have been in a whole heap of trouble if Morgan had been given out."
Shakib Al Hasan knows what proved the difference in the second ODI
"Whatever position I'm in, I enjoy the challenge of being in the game, and batting at No. 6 you go in at crucial times. Those positions can sometimes be the main places for getting a team over the line or not, so you take on the challenge and embrace it."
Matt Prior is starting to feel at home at No. 6
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