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March 21, 2010
Partnership of the day
After whittling away eight wickets to atone for their morning mauling, England believed they had snatched the ascendancy by the close of the first day. But if Alastair Cook thought his work in the field was done, he was sorely mistaken. By employing a peculiar split field that invited the batsmen to make their own mistakes, he allowed Naeem and Shafiul Islam to cruise along at the tempo of their choosing. In Naeem's case, he opted for slow and steady, nudging along to 59 not out from 172 balls, while the young gun Shafiul blazed with impunity at the other end. Of his 11 fours, two were edges through an under-manned slip cordon, and most of the rest were belted through the covers to bring up his maiden Test fifty from just 47 balls.
Shot of the day
In six Tests and 11 previous innings, Rubel Hossain had mustered 13 runs at 2.16, with a top-score of 4 not out and no boundaries to his name. His arrival at the crease at 388 for 9 prompted England to believe, finally, that the end of Bangladesh's innings was nigh. Not so fast. Having opened his account with a thick edge through the slips, Rubel decided that his eye was now in, and followed that up with an exquisite full-faced cover-drive off Steven Finn, to double his career-best and bring up the 400. As if to prove the stroke was no fluke, he repeated it in Finn's next over, en route to an invaluable 17.
Stodge of the day
Jonathan Trott is not the most free-flowing batsman in world cricket, least of all when he's stuck in one of his introspective moods. That was the case when he came out to open the innings for the first time in Test cricket, with 20 minutes to go until lunch. He duly poked his way to 0 not out from 13 balls, but then found that, upon the resumption, his mindset had already been established. It wasn't until his 33rd delivery that he finally got off the mark, with a frantic scrambled single that rivalled one of Kevin Pietersen's Red Bull runs. By the close, he was the glue that was both holding England's innings together, and arguably preventing them from making much headway.
Stat of the day
Kevin Pietersen's travails on this trip have been well documented, but at least today he reached a landmark of note. On 45, he became the quickest batsman in terms of days to reach 5000 Test runs, and at 29 years and 267 days, he became the fourth-youngest Englishman after David Gower, Michael Atherton and Colin Cowdrey to reach the mark. (Although, in a testament to the number of matches that England churn through these days, he was only the 16th quickest in terms of matches). Sadly, he didn't have long to enjoy the moment. Before he could notch up his 5001st run, he had fallen to a left-arm spinner - Shakib Al Hasan on this occasion - for the sixth consecutive international innings.
Show-off of the day
Towards the end of the second session, the eardrums of everyone in Mirpur Stadium were shattered as a low-flying MIG zipped across the neighbourhood, and began performing dramatic high-velocity handstands against the city skyline. It's not the sort of thing that tends to take place in a built-up area, let alone an area populated by 14 million people, but it's fair to say it was one of the more eye-catching spectacles of a sluggish afternoon. With Bangladesh's Liberation Day Parade set to take place on March 26, there might be more such aerial gymnastics to come.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo. Go to http://twitter.com/miller_cricket to follow him on Twitter through the England tour of Bangladesh.Feeds: Andrew Miller
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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