Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test, Dhaka, 4th day March 23, 2010

England chip away to leave home side floundering

The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill

Bangladesh 419 and 172 for 6 (Shakib 25*, Shafiul 0*) lead England 496 (Bell 138, Bresnan 91, Shakib 4-124) by 95 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It has been a grinding effort from England but, led by Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad with two wickets apiece, they gained momentum as the fourth day, making regular inroads into Bangladesh's batting order to set up the prospect of 2-0 series win. The home side limped to 172 for 6 - a lead of 95 - as their resistance began to falter after Tamim Iqbal was dismissed for a belligerent 52. Shakib Al Hasan remained unbeaten on 25 and it will be down to him to try and give his side something to defend on the final day.

After battling hard during the first three days Bangladesh's resistance is finally starting to crack with England able to apply pressure. However, once again it wasn't a faultless performance from the visitors who batted ponderously during the morning and then spurned a number of chances, some easier than others, in the field.

With the ball beginning to turn appreciably, Tamim was given three lives off James Tredwell in his short, but enterprising innings when Bangladesh came out to bat for the second time with a deficit 77. The first came in Tredwell's opening over as he immediately found some purchase off the wicket to graze the edge of Tamim's bat, but the deflection bounced out of Matt Prior's gloves and a tumbling Paul Collingwood on slip could not hold on either.

Unperturbed by Imrul Kayes's unlucky dismissal - bowled after the ball ricocheted off his thigh pad - Tamim continued in a positive vein but almost paid the price when, on 26, he charged down the track to Tredwell and slammed the ball very hard at a catchable height back to the bowler. However, the ball slipped through his fingers, and with Junaid Siddique trundling along steadily at the other end, Bangladesh had reduced their deficit to four when Tamim was dropped the third time - and this one was by far the easiest of the lot. He swished wildly and the ball looped gently towards Jonathan Trott at point but he somehow managed to let the ball slip through his fingers.

Tamim's luck finally ran out shortly after he had brought up his second half century of the match as he slashed at Swann and Broad held on to a regulation chance at point. Jahurul Islam strode out to the middle on a pair in his first Test, with Bangladesh at 86 for 2, and got off the mark in emphatic style by lofting his sixth ball over long on. His next scoring shot was another six as he mowed Tredwell back over his head.

In the second unlucky dismissal of the day, Junaid - who had settled in nicely - went back to Tredwell and forced the ball firmly off the back foot and straight onto Cook's foot at silly mid off. The ball popped gently back to Tredwell and Junaid fell to a singularly peculiar caught and bowled. Mahmudullah, who scored a defiant 59 in the first innings, was soon undone by an impressive piece of bowling by Bresnan, who had been moving the ball both ways and shaped one away to take a thin outside edge as Bangladesh slipped to 130 for 4.

England sensed their opening, and after a brief period of resistance Jahurul was completely outfoxed by Swann as he stepped out to drive but the ball dipped, gripped and turned through the gap between bat and pad and crashed into the off stump. He bristled with intent in his 43 but appeared only to have two modes - total defence or all-out attack.

Mushfiqur Rahim, who has been a solid presence in the middle order throughout England's tour, strode to the middle with his side in dire need of a stabilising partnership at 156 for 5. With Shakib starting to settle at the other end, captain and vice-captain buckled down but with just over three overs remaining Broad snapped their resistance in the midst of an aggressive final spell.

Finding considerable reverse swing, he had a very strong lbw appeal turned down but steamed in to bowl Mushfiqur, via an inside edge, with his very next ball, and Bangladesh were tottering at 169 for 6. Shafiul Islam survived the 12 deliveries he faced before the close, and Shakib remained defiant, but it's a tough battle ahead.

England had extended their lead to 77 in the morning, as their innings was finally wrapped up for 496. Bresnan took his ninth-wicket partnership with Tredwell to 47 in a turgid first hour of play before he fell for 91, skipping down the pitch to Abdur Razzak in the first real display of intent only to be beaten in the flight and by the turn as the ball bit into the surface.

His dismissal enlivened what had been a grinding effort from England, as the batsmen had been content to settle for a run rate of under three an over. After Bresnan departe Tredwell started to up the ante, with a brace of boundaries off Shakib, who completed a marathon 66 overs. By the end of the day Shakib was again trying to thwart England, this time with the bat, and he will need a captain's performance to stave off defeat.