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The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill
March 21, 2010
England 171 for 3 (Trott 64*, Bell 25*) trail Bangladesh 419 (Tamim 85, Naeem 59*, Mahmudullah 59, Shafiul 53, Swann 4-114) by 248 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Bangladesh had the better of the second day at Mirpur, posting 419 with half centuries for Naeem Islam and Shafiul Islam before reducing England to 107 for 3 during the evening session. However, Jonathan Trott provided an exhibition of patient and determined batting to guide England to 171 for 3 at the close, finishing unbeaten on 64 after more than four hours of obdurate occupation of the crease.
He added 76 with Kevin Pietersen to steady England after Alastair Cook departed early for 21, and a further 64 in an unbeaten stand with Ian Bell to chip away at Bangladesh's first innings after the hosts' positive batting performance in the morning.
Trott started his vigil very slowly as Shakib al Hasan opted for the choking application of spin to cut down scoring opportunities after lunch. Shakib's tactics drew early dividends when Cook attempted to break the shackles with his favoured slog-sweep, but managed only to loft a catch to a perfectly-positioned Imrul Kayes at deep midwicket.
His dismissal left England wobbling slightly at 29 for 1, and with Pietersen's arrival the Bangladesh captain opted to keep left-arm spin on from both ends, with three fielders in close and Mushfiqur Rahim geeing up his side with a constant stream of encouragement from behind the stumps.
The pressure mounted with each successive maiden, and Bangladesh should have had another wicket when Trott pressed half forward to Shakib and the ball ricocheted off the bat and pad towards Jahurul Islam at short leg. But the debutant missed the chance, then Pietersen seized the opportunity to grab the momentum by skipping down the track to launch Abdur Razzak over mid off, and the runs began to flow once more.
All the while Trott continued in an ultra-defensive vein, cutting out all risk from his batting and waiting for the bowlers' concentration to waver. He collected all of his seven boundaries in the arch between deep square-leg and wide mid on, as he was more than happy to simply occupy the crease and wait for the bad balls - whether full tosses or long hops on the pads - to arrive. Razzak was the main culprit in that regard, and though he was used for 19 overs in the day and picked up Cook's wicket, very rarely was he able to sustain any sort of pressure.
Pietersen was more enterprising, although Rubel Hossain should have had his wicket when he beat him with reverse swing to rap the batsman on the pads, but umpire Rod Tucker decided there was enough doubt to turn the appeal down. Pietersen continued to find the boundary with regularity to reach 5,000 runs in Test cricket but Four balls later he charged down the pitch to Shakib and succeeded only in giving Kayes an easy catch at short cover from a leading edge.
England were in more trouble when Paul Collingwood was pinned on the crease playing across his front pad to his third ball, but Bangladesh could not maintain their intensity on a long, hot day of bowling on a placid pitch. Trott and Bell took advantage of the flagging attack, taking their partnership past fifty with minimum risk.
Bangladesh looked tired and a touch deflated at the close of play, but there had been a definite buzz in their camp after their productive batting in the first session, when Shafiul and Naeem Islam took advantage of a muddled plan of attack and a lack of communication between Cook and his bowlers to add 74 runs for the ninth wicket.
Shafiul rode his luck in his 53, while Naeem, as the senior batsman, was far more circumspect, being content to wait for the bad ball. With very little movement through the air or off the pitch Bangladesh's lower order continually eased any pressure which had been built up by getting the ball down to third man - either off the edge or the face of the bat.
It was a scenario that played out with grinding regularity as the day wore on, with Cook opting to protect both sides of the wicket - presumably as part of a plan to bowl at the stumps. But if that was Cook's plan then he was either badly let down by his bowlers or had failed to communicate it to them, as they repeatedly fired the ball at or outside off stump.
Shafiul was dismissed shortly after registering his maiden half century from 47 balls, but Naeem batted on, bringing up his own milestone and taking Bangladesh past 400 in the midst of a 31-run partnership for the tenth wicket with Rubel.
Bangladesh will have been pleased by their effort in making England toil so hard in the first session, but for the rest of the day it was their turn to face the trial of trying to take wickets on what remains a flat, true pitch. However, there is still much work for Trott and Bell to put England in a safe position and should the hosts strike early on the third morning they could still put the visitors under a real pressure in this Test.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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