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March 14, 2010
England 599 for 6 dec and 131 for 5 (Bell 0*, Prior 0*) lead Bangladesh 296 (Tamim 86, Rahim 79, Mahmudullah 51, Swann 5-90) by 434 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Analysis : Plucky Bangladesh survive to fight another day
Analysis : Tredwell's blinder ends Mushfiqur's fightback
Matches: Bangladesh v England at Chittagong
Series/Tournaments: England tour of Bangladesh
If Bangladesh's cricket is about minor victories, then keeping England in the field long enough that they decided to bat again instead of enforcing the follow-on can be classed as one. Mushfiqur Rahim's battling 79, and a Bangladesh record eighth-wicket stand of 113 with Naeem Islam, meant the visitors had to work harder than expected. The extra exertions persuaded Alastair Cook to give his bowling attack a rest and by the close the lead was 434.
England's pre-day game plan would have revolved around putting Bangladesh straight back in and that looked firmly on the cards when Tim Bresnan produced a beauty to remove Tamim Iqbal in the third over of the day. But the longer they were kept in the heat the more batting again became the likely option especially with just a four-man attack, although it did raise questions about the balance of the side. Neither did the way they batted suggest that ruthlessness was at the forefront of England's mind.
However, it was to Bangladesh's credit that they forced a change of tactics and Rahim's innings was a lesson to the more impetuous of his team-mates, while Naeem belied his position in the lower-reaches of the order as the pair defied England for 39 energy-sapping overs. Although neither Rahim or Tamim could convert to deserved hundreds, it is innings like these that others must follow for Bangladesh to improve.
Rahim's innings was a huge boost for Bangladesh and his 152-ball defiance suggested he should be batting further up the order. He has had a solid technique since making his debut as a 17-year-old at Lord's in 2005 and after a first-ball flash at Bresnan coped impressively with pace and spin.
He skipped down at Swann and lofted him straight down the ground, flicked him sweetly through midwicket and then brought his fifty from 90 balls with a powerful sweep. After lunch more of the scoring came from Naeem who expanded his strokeplay. He was given a life on 13 when Swann couldn't hang on to a stinging return catch and had to withstand a testing spell of reverse swing from the lively Steven Finn.
After his nervous start on the second day, Finn gave a proper indication as to his talent after settling himself with the scalp of nightwatchman Shahadat Hossain. He maintained a tight line around off stump and showed great control of the swing, twice inducing Rahim to edge past leg stump and also troubled Naeem with the old ball.
Both Finn and Bresnan managed to swing the old ball, but England couldn't break through and took the new ball as soon as it became available. Rahim was reprieved on 61 when Paul Collingwoood spilled a low edge at second slip off Stuart Broad and the extra hardness meant boundaries started to flow again.
It took two outstanding pieces of work in the field for England to finally wrap up the innings. Firstly Naeem was run out by Michael Carberry's athletic chase, slide and throw which left the batsmen confused, then James Tredwell - briefly on as a substitute after Cook sprinted off (probably to discuss the follow on) - pulled off a blinding one-handed catch at midwicket as Rahim went for a slog sweep.
Quite where Tredwell's appearance fits into the new ruling of only using substitutes for an injury is unclear, but it meant a moment to savour in a game where he should have been playing. As it is, Swann is England's lone frontline spinner and again starred when he collected his fifth five-wicket haul with an arm ball that beat Rubel Hossain second ball.
With a lead of 303, England's second innings was virtually pressure free but attempts to accelerate before the close weren't particularly effective. Cook top-edged to deep square-leg, Jonathan Trott fell to a long hop and Kevin Pietersen, having sped to 32 with a succession of effortless blows against the spinners, missed a sweep to Shakib Al Hasan. It was a marginal decision, but this time his dismissal to a left-armer shouldn't cause many alarms.
Carberry also fell lbw, moving too far across at Abdur Razzak, having again become stuck against the spin and Razzak also claimed Collingwood who drove lazily to mid off. However, they were all fairly inconsequential wickets in the bigger picture. England already have enough runs, but Cook will probably want 500 before letting his revived bowling attack loose again.
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