Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test, Dhaka, 5th day

Cook hundred takes England to 2-0 series win

The Report by Sahil Dutta

March 24, 2010

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

England 496 and 209 for 1 (Cook 109*, Pietersen 74*) beat Bangladesh 419 and 285 (Shakib 96, Tamin 52, Tredwell 4-82) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Shakib al Hasan played several positive strokes while compiling 96, Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test, Dhaka, 5th day, March 24, 2010
Shakib Al Hasan extended Bangladesh's lead over 200 with a fine 96, but it wasn't enough © PA Photos
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What was at times a fluctuating contest turned into a comfortable victory for England as Alastair Cook finished his first tour in charge with a controlled, unbeaten 109 and Kevin Pietersen continued his return to form with a 74 to complete a nine-wicket victory and a clean sweep. England remain the only team to have an unbeaten record against Bangladesh, but have been made to work hard for their success by a home side that showed signs of development but still frustrated with fundamental mistakes.

It was particularly satisfying for Cook to guide his side home with his 12th Test hundred, having copped plenty of criticism for some naive captaincy through the tour. It was, as ever, more efficient than spectacular, as he picked off the generous offerings from a tiring Bangladesh attack. His toe-ended cut to bring up three figures and slog-sweep through midwicket to seal the result were both fitting as he proved captaincy would not affect his dogged batting.

Before a ball had been bowled on this tour Cook was left out of England's preliminary Twenty20 squad, but in every match since he's shown how his game has developed. Adding a touch of adventure to his steely temperament he ended as the leading scorer in the series after making a career-best 173 in the first Test and demonstrated an authority that had been missing during his struggle form form last year.

Needing 209 at almost four an over after Shakib Al Hasan's fighting 96 kept England in the field until after lunch, Bangladesh had a chance to squeeze the visitors, but they couldn't muster the resolve. Shakib looked exhausted, having made 141 runs and bowled 66 overs in the game. He wondered around the field with his arms folded and, rather than open with himself, allowed Shafiul Islam and Abdul Razzak to gift England an easy start.

The openers had strolled to 40 before there was any trouble - albeit through another dubious umpiring decision. Jonathan Trott was given run out by the third umpire when the only replay available showed the stumps broken only after Trott had made the crease. It only added to the catalogue of poor decisions in this game, but unlike the previous ones had no bearing on the match.

If anything it only hastened Bangladesh's demise as Pietersen demonstrated the flair that separates him from the rest of his England team-mates. Using his feet to drive the spinners beautifully and unfurling the occasional switch hit, he appeared to recover the swagger that made him such a force before his Achilles injury. He will face sterner examinations soon, but can head off to the IPL in good spirits.

For moments on the final day, like periods throughout the series, Bangladesh offered stubborn resistance, only to crumple when more something substantial could have been built. On his 23rd birthday, Shakib bristled with intent as he tried to carry his side to a position of safety. Needing to both extend the lead and take time out of the game he shunned the cautiousness his opposition favour and took the game to England.

Almost from the off he made his intentions clear, chipping down the crease to the quick bowlers and scything cuts and drives through the off side regularly. At the other end Shafiul Islam blended defence with purpose as the pair added 60 in 14 overs. England looked ragged but rather than stick with their captain, Shakib's team-mates were unable to resist the flighted temptation of James Tredwell with Shafiul and Naeem Islam both gifting their wickets at crucial moments.

It meant the momentum Shakib created was wasted and he was marooned with the last-man Rubel Hossain when still 14 short of a deserved hundred. Again Shakib backed aggression to get him through, taking 10 from the first five balls of Tredwell's opening over after lunch. But, just one shot away and with a field set tantalising tight in on the single, Shakib couldn't resist running down the wicket and having an enormous swipe. He missed and despite a forlorn dive was stumped to end hopes of a hundred and Bangladesh's chances of forcing a draw. It was a deflating end that killed off both Shakib and his team's heart for the fight.

Sahil Dutta is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by sathishvaiju on (March 26, 2010, 6:13 GMT)

Dear Guys, i don understand one thing, wat BD proved in the recent past???????? Always losing matches, irrespective of ODI or Test, but still people r telling Bangla-Tigers proved a lot bla bla n all. bangladesh team , first of all is not at all tigers, they r rats, they can't become a tiger.People make a note of it, Even in 2030, Bangladesh continue these kind of loses and people will comment,Bangladesh has improved a lot , ha ha ha crazy guys.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (March 25, 2010, 23:01 GMT)

nislan, yep just like the LBW appeal that broad had turned down, what did he do? Did he let his head drop, no, he tried harder the next ball, and the result was a definative OUT. This is where bangladesh need to improve thier game, instead of bemoaning the umpires decision, you get on and make sure there is no doubt. And Minnows are not the only team to suffer, in SA england suffered bad umpiring with Umpire Harper who made more than 5 or 6 marginal calls. One where the bat was no where near the ball (there was daylight between them) was given out Caught at slip. Australia suffered in England with a number of bad decisions.

Posted by Jipster on (March 25, 2010, 19:29 GMT)

I think that apart from being very tired, and resigned to the defeat on the last day, BD can feel proud of themselves in these Tests. I can't say if the wicket didn't help, but they took England into day 5 on both tests which bodes well for the future. They also have some class players emerging. I said on the day 4 bulletin of the 1st test that I wanted to see a BD player get a century and take 300 deliveries to do it - he got 106, and took 292 deliveries. This is the mentality that I hope seeps into all of the BD team psyche for Test Match Cricket. I love to see the flair too, which Tamim definitely has, but what I wanted to see was a BD player WILLING to grind a score out and display some quality mental strength. I was impressed - Good games Tigers !

Posted by nislam4 on (March 25, 2010, 16:11 GMT)

@ Yorkshirepudding: I do understand that the dynamics of a game can not be predicted. However with dismissal of players like KP, Bell, Prior, the likely scenario would have been that the BD players would have been energized to go for the kill. On the other hand, denial of genuine appeal deflated them.

Posted by jackiethepen on (March 25, 2010, 9:48 GMT)

I think Bangladesh played really well and it was foolish of the English media to write them off but the England team certainly didn't. However Bengali-Tiger it is unscientific to say that Bangladesh would have won the game if the lbw umpiring decisions had been given. If the first lbw shout had been allowed against Prior, then a whole new future would have been created with Bresnan coming in early to bat with Bell. Because of the nature of cause and effect we have no idea what would have happened in that future. Everything would have been different to a degree. Bresnan might not have met that ball that caused his lbw shout or it might not have been bowled by the same bowler or Bell might have dealt with it better because he had been in longer. They both might have played differently losing Prior. It would have been a blow to lose Prior and created a rearguard action mentality in which Broad and Swann might have played differently. We will never know.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (March 25, 2010, 9:37 GMT)

Sallu, you have to consider that England never took the world cup or limited overs cricket seriously until recently (last 10 years), it was always considered a sideshow to the main event of test cricket, and to some extent is still considered as a minor competion, you only have to look at the number of ODI's that england play compared to India or Australia. In the current sequence, England have played 36 ODI's compared to Indias 49, and Australias 53. In tests, the numbers are reveresed, with England playing 47 tests, and India playing 38, Australia playing 39.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (March 25, 2010, 9:12 GMT)

nislam4, you are wrong in your assumption, you are taking the view that those players would have been out in exactly the same way. The innings could have taken a change of direction and as such there is no guarantee that the wickets would have fallen at those scores. You could play that same innings 2000 times with KP falling on 35, and each time you would get different results, as a wicket will change the way the next batsmen plays. Heres a question, In the second innings do you agree that Trott should have been given out, and would you feel the same if it was a Bangladesh batsman? The Evidence was inconclusive in one frame the bat is on the line, in the other the stumps are broken and his bat is 2-3 inches over the line, now on that evidence Trott should have been given the benefit of the doubt and been given not out. An umpire only has one chance to see a dismissal and needs to make a decison, he sometimes gets it wrong.

Posted by WhoCaresAboutIPL on (March 25, 2010, 8:11 GMT)

I have some sympathy with Bangladesh comments, but all the "virtual arithmetic" about the number of runs that certain decisons cost are meaningless. Unfortunately, although they played well for three days, BD could not sustain the level of concentration needed to push an England team missing their seam strength and their captain. I am not sure all the hype from Jamie Siddons helped them at all!

The real test will come in May - then we will see how much BD has improved. Unfortunately the world at large will see two massive losses - 9 wickets is a real thumping - and on that wicket 400 could have been reached.

Posted by cricket_rulzzz on (March 25, 2010, 7:40 GMT)

umpiring was at its worst in this series. but thats not the only reason BD lost the match. England played well but not as expected. on the other hand BD played better than many expected. so, it was a good series to enjoy. & BD proved that this team will be a great force in the near future.

Posted by leedsfanca on (March 25, 2010, 6:01 GMT)

This whole series was little more than a warm up exercise for England. That said, it's nice to see KP start to regain a little of his form and Cook should also be pleased with his contributions. Against a stronger team, the weaknesses of the current England seamers would have cost us dearly.

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Sahil DuttaClose
Sahil Dutta Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.
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