Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test, Dhaka, 3rd day March 22, 2010

Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan earn England narrow lead


England 440 for 8 (Bresnan 74*, Tredwell 0*, Shakib Al Hasan 4-99) lead Bangladesh 419 (Tamim Iqbal 85, Swann 4-114) by 21 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ian Bell's classy 138 wrestled England a narrow advantage in the second Test after Bangladesh's hopes were deflated by poor umpiring decisions and gritty batting. Bell was supported by a fluent 62 from Matt Prior and a battling 76 from Tim Bresnan who batted through the final two sessions to remain unbeaten at the close.

What ended a lacklustre day started with real tension when Jonathan Trott was dismissed in the third over. His torturous effort last night heaped pressure on his batting partners but he was unlucky to be out to a ball that trickled back off his forearm on to off stump. It was an important strike and left England teetering on the brink of embarrassment until Bell revived their hopes.

Watchful but untroubled throughout he has transformed his reputation as a soft-centred scorer of easy runs to one of England's steeliest batsmen this winter. His 10th Test hundred is the first time he has passed three figures without a team-mate doing the same before him in the innings and is a mark of how far he has come since being dropped after England's 54-all-out calamity in Jamaica last year. Dripping with talent he feathered the ball around the ground at will, reaching three figures in typically deft style, gliding Rubel Hossain for four behind point.

Bell's average against Bangladesh continues to be stratospheric, although plummeted to a mere 244 when he was finally dismissed for 138. Unlike his runs in the first Test this innings was crucial, guiding England out of trouble and setting up a chance of victory. It's the style of knock that makes him appear like a natural No. 3, a hole the selectors have longingly looked at Bell to fill, but given his success down the order they will be reluctant to tamper.

It could have all been different for Bangladesh had they not been denied three decisions at crucial moments. With Shakib Al Hassan asphyxiating England at one end and Rubel finding incisive reverse-swing at the other, Prior was on 7 when Rubel snaked one into his pads and trapped him bang in front. However, Tony Hill thought otherwise and Prior made it count.

After struggling for runs early on the second new ball broke the shackles and Prior went on to share an enterprising 98-run stand with Bell. Shakib, much like his opposite number, has made some curious decisions through the series. He virtually ignored his two offspinners, Naeem Islam and Mahmudullah, instead stubbornly sticking to Abdul Razzak's innocuous left-arm spin. Razzak was poor on the second day but was again given the new ball. He repeatedly erred in length and line and allowed Prior to canter his way to an 83-ball fifty.

It was only a rash swipe from Prior, looking for a third boundary in an over over off Shakib, that allowed Bangladesh a glimpse at a first-innings lead as they saw Bresnan wondering out at No. 7 ahead of Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad with the deficit still 147. Bresnan should have departed on 5 when Shakib found an inside edge that popped up off the pad to silly point, yet once more the decision was turned down and the home side never really recovered.

Across the two Tests and the earlier one-day series Bangladesh have endured the worst of the decisions. It's difficult for a side used to losing to see opportunities denied and it was no surprise when, seeing the chance of a rare win disappearing, Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, grow increasingly agitated. Firstly he charged into the umpires' room and later, when an lbw appeal against Bell was turned out, he was seen gesticulating at the boundary edge. It was the kind of passion that David Lloyd used to show in his time as England coach and Siddons' frustration was understandable.

Bangladesh really flagged as the day wore on, revealing their inexperience as the fielding descended into farce at times and the intent all but disappearing. Bresnan picked off the runs that were available on a pitch designed for utter tedium. He'll make harder Test runs but a maiden fifty, coming at a time England needed them will be a useful nudge to the selectors when Ashes fever heats up later in the year.

Bangladesh showed more heart in the final session with Rubel, in particular, running in hard in unforgiving conditions. England once again favoured caution over adventure, working the ball around and being content to drift along without showing the flair needed to be ruthless. Shakib toiled all day, recalling yesteryear with 27 maidens, and was rewarded when Bell skied a slog-sweep to midwicket.

Shortly before the close, Bangladesh finally had some luck when Bresnan drilled a drive back at Shakib, who deflected it onto the stumps to run out Graeme Swann at the non-striker's end and Broad was out lbw to the underused Mahmudullah. Bresnan ended 26 short of a maiden hundred and England will need to extend their narrow to give themselves before trying to extract Bangladesh for a second time on this very docile surface and, once again, there will be a huge onus on Swann.

Sahil Dutta is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dre on March 23, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    I think Sahkib made a good rational statement unlike some of the fans on this site. He admitted they had a rough time with decisions, there were poor standards ann blamed the BCB for not having the UDRS system! He never accused the umps of bias! ,which may be expected since he is an Int'l cricketer with a superior understanding of the game. I have no problem with saying one is disappointed with the decisions, I too feel d same with ump standards all over the world dropping. BUT I have a problem with the EXCESSIVE ACCUSATIONS of racism n bias of the umps. Racism and prejudice r serious serious offenses, especially for sport officials. I believe many of those who LOOSELY accuse persons of racism n bias on this site are cowards, thats right cowards who don't have the guts to accuse persons face 2 face. If you want to vent serious accusations without concrete evidence, do it with your friends at home not on an Int'l website. It ruins the tone of the comments section for it is rude.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    thats very difficult to improbe our country cricket

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    The same thing happened in Pakistan where they were literally given the game, Bangladesh isn't playing England - they have two additional players and the ICC will simply ignore it, because it's much easier that way. Had this been the English team only then, would ICC take a stiff stance. WHAT A SHAME ! With this attitude Baseball do much better than cricket in the near future. At least a failed organization incapable of implementing a system which fair reviews are part of the game is too much to ask for" "Respecting the official umpiring" - what kind of pathetic, low minded attitude is this with all the available technology ! I have a very good SOLUTION. Put in game reviews, and if umpires refuse to use it and make the wrong decision fine them, HEAVILY - then there will be no more mistakes.

  • Rezaul on March 23, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    All I can say is that its a shame for cricket what we have witnessed in Dhaka. Two umpires are competing with each other to give one after another decisions against Bangladesh. We saw three genuine LBWs (KP, Prior,Bell) were not given in England innings then finally a catch Out was not given. On the other hand, Zohurul was given LBW which was very marginal. Actually these people are shameless. They just do not want to see Bangladesh does better. Imagine what would happen if umpires would give right decisions: England would all out of below 300 and a healthy lead would have been an ideal situation for Bangladesh who played better cricket than England in this test. But these umpires, match referee do not have any respect for cricket. All they can chorus on undermining Bangladesh. Its a shame for cricket. Again, if a team needs to take 14/15 wickets in an innings then how can you expect them to do better!!

  • Bapi on March 23, 2010, 2:46 GMT

    Well done England. Reaching 400 with the help of the umpires was quite an achievement. But I am sure this England team will need little more than the umpires support when they play against teams like India, Australia. Give Bangladesh the support of the umpires that England are getting or paint them white. Bangladesh will blackwash England every time they play. No matter it is Test, One-dayers or T20.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    I cant take it anymore....seriously enough is could you turn down appeal after appeal. There is a limit. Jesuuuuuuus Christ, it seems the umpire came onto the field already deciding that they wont give out any appeal against England...Only God can help us.

  • kas on March 23, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    Hi everyone, just wanted to thank all those who have so far admitted and agree that the poor umpiring decision is actually taking away the game from the BD. I think that 'Sharif217' is bang on the money. I agree with him that something must be done because there is still 2 days of play remaining. I understand Siddons anger and frustation, but what he and the BCB can now do is take it up to the ICC. They should make a formal complaint to the ICC. But I dont know how effective ICC is, I really dissaprove of the ICC. It takes them a lifetime for a meeting which is apparently still taking place right now in Dubai, don't know how a meeting can take so long, not too sure whether they are meeting or just having a fun holiday? While on the other hand they are most likely to be aware of the dimwitt umpires on this series who are completely not elligable to even be umpires. These two umpires should be removed and hopefully they wont be there for the 20/20 wcup. IPL is superior to the ICC bigtime

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 0:25 GMT

    Could somebody clarify the role of the 3rd umpire? He can see the replays. Can he not contact the field umpires when there's an obvious mistake?

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2010, 23:00 GMT

    what in the earth is happening? OMG this is some low class umpiring ruining the fun of cricket... SAVE THE CRICKET

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2010, 22:19 GMT

    We need fair umpiring..........Let England have 12 wickets as a handicap benefit but please ensure that there is a semblance of fairness in umpiring......Please stop sending worthless junkies ...we'll pay their unemployment wages if required

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