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March 13, 2010
Bangladesh 154 for 5 (Tamim 81*, Shahadat 0*, Swann 3-40) trail England 599 for 6 (Cook 173, Collingwood 145, Pietersen 99, Bell 84) by 445 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad shared five wickets as England built on a commanding batting display by reducing Bangladesh to 154 for 5 at Chittagong, but Tamim Iqbal at least provided some resistance with a combative, unbeaten 81. Paul Collingwood's 10th Test hundred, and a stand of 184 in 35 overs with Ian Bell, propelled the visitors' total to 599 for 6 and despite a counterattack by Tamim and Mahmudullah Bangladesh have a huge task to even take the game five days.
The match was crying out for an element of competitiveness from Bangladesh after an insipid performance in the field and Tamim's performance at least ensured the England attack weren't given as easy a ride as the batsmen. However, Swann's removal of Mahmudallah and Shakib Al Hasan before the close were huge blows for the home side who still need 246 to save the follow on
Tamim's 125 in the one-day series displayed the talent he holds, but if Bangladesh are to develop as a Test nation those innings have to be played over the longer format and Tamim's contest with the England attack became the most compelling part of the match. He impressively restrained his attacking instincts as the close approached and also had the technique to withstand the quicks.
That couldn't be said of his first two partners as Broad exploited a glaring weakness against the short ball to remove Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique in the 30-minute passage before tea following Alastair Cook's positive declaration. Both batsmen had no idea how to handle the short deliveries as Broad proved comfortably the quickest bowler of the match and extracted disconcerting lift.
When Swann continued his extraordinary knack of striking in his first over, removing Aftab Ahmed courtesy of alert anticipation at short leg by Bell and a dubious decision, Bangladesh were tottering on 51 for 3 and it was threatening to become a walkover. But Tamim was joined by Mahmudullah, who scored a maiden Test century on the recent tour of New Zealand to follow impressive contributions against India, and together the pair revived the innings with a stand of 94. The stand served as a reminder that once the Kookaburra ball loses its hardness wicket-taking proves hard work.
Tamim became the quickest Bangladesh player to pass 1000 Test runs - in 29 innings - as he reached a half century from 53 balls. The knock included a hooked six off Broad and he latched onto Steven Finn's first spell in Tests as a three-over burst cost 25.
Mahmudullah offered stylish support and justified his elevation up the order following the hasty reshuffle of the line-up after Raqibul Hasan's 'retirement'. He drove confidently through the off side, but the pick of his shots was a six straight against Swann. However, shortly after reaching fifty Swann had revenge when Mahmudullah gloved a sweep and a skilled set-up by the bowler did for Shakib who tried to drive inside-out.
Graeme Swann's first over magic
England paced their innings perfectly with Collingwood and Bell stepping on the gas to plunder the bowling in the afternoon. Collingwood struck a single boundary between his fifty and his hundred - and that appeared to deflect of pad rather than bat - but after reaching three figures off 157 balls he began to pepper the boundary in one-day style. Midwicket, both along the ground and in the air, is Collingwood's area and he toyed with the Bangladesh spinners.
So, too, did Bell although he has not made such easy runs since the 162 he plundered off Bangladesh during his third Test in 2005. The bowling was barely first-class standard, let alone Test quality. In contrast to Collingwood's rustic thumping, Bell was elegance personified as he regularly skipped down the pitch to counter the leg-stump line of the spinners and fed the ball through the off side with inside-out drives. He was given the chance to become the third century-maker of the innings but fell to a well-judged boundary catch which signalled the declaration.
That smart piece of work from Rubel Hossain at long off was the exception rather than the rule as the fielding disintegrated, while Mushfiqur Rahim continued to be a liability behind the stumps. Bangladesh had long-since given up the pretence of trying to bowl England out and it was clear from the start of play, when Shakib removed all the slips, that they were just waiting for the visitors to score as many as they wanted.
Cook ticked past his previous career-best of 160 against West Indies, at Chester-le-Street, last year but continued England's lack of double hundreds when he pulled a long hop back to the bowler. England's last was by Kevin Pietersen in 2007 and there have only been seven since Graham Gooch, Cook's mentor, hit 333 against India in 1990. But while the double eluded the new captain, a Test victory is well within his grasp.
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