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The Wisden Bulletin by Freddie Auld
October 22, 2003
Marcus Trescothick: continued his good form with a rapid 77 not out
© Getty Images
Close England 111 for 0 (Trescothick 77*, Vaughan 30*) trail Bangladesh 203 (Khaled Mashud 51, Harmison 5-35) by 92 runs
England finished the second day of their inaugural Test against Bangladesh on top, but they were made to work hard for it. After Khaled Mashud had scored his maiden Test fifty and helped Bangladesh recover from a precarious 72 for 5 to reach a competitive 203 all out, Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan survived a few early scares to put England back on track with a dominating 111-run opening partnership.
England finished and began the day well, with Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison, who finished with a Test-best 5 for 35, leading the way. Hoggard struck the first blow with the wicket of Hannan Sarkar for 20, nipping one back and knocking back his off stump (38 for 3). Harmison then carried on his good work from the previous evening, bowling with good pace and aggression, and Rajin Saleh could only fend a short one to Chris Read, who took a comfortable catch running to his left. Saleh made 11, and Bangladesh were on the verge of disaster at 40 for 4.
Alok Kapali managed to kick-start a fightback of sorts by scoring a quickfire 28. He cracked four boundaries over the still-sluggish outfield, and helped himself to seven runs off the first three balls from a nervous Rikki Clarke, who was bowling his first over in Tests. The other debutant, the Worcestershire offspinner Gareth Batty, was far more assured, though, and made his mark with only his third ball. Kapali completely misjudged a standard offbreak and let it cannon into his off stump. It was the start of an impressive first spell for Batty, who finished a satisfying debut with 1 for 43.
Bangladesh were five down for only 72, but if England had any thoughts of skittling them out for around 100 then Khaled Mashud and Mushfiqur Rahman made them think again. They rolled up their sleeves and added a rescuing 60 for the sixth wicket, happy to grind down the bowling rather than play their shots, and they slowly but surely helped Bangladesh creep out of trouble.
As the conditions became gloomier - the floodlights came on as early as mid-afternoon - Hoggard came more and more to life, bowling with swing and changing his pace well. And he should have had his second wicket when Mashud, on 23, was dropped by Vaughan at mid-off. Rahman then brought up the fifty partnership with a crashing cover-drive off Batty, and England were beginning to feel the heat.
However, the whole-hearted Hoggard cooled things down when he finally broke the partnership soon after the afternoon drinks break. Bowling wide of the crease, he sent down an inswinging yorker which trapped Rahman in front of middle stump (132 for 6), and he reaped more reward for his efforts when he picked up Khaled Mahmud lbw with a fuller inswinger (148 for 7). Mohammad Rafique then came in and chanced his arm to great effect with three steepling sixes. He walloped Batty over mid-on, then despatched Ashley Giles over square leg and straight back over his head.
Steve Harmison celebrates on his way to a Test-best 5 for 35
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Meanwhile, Mashud crept to his first Test fifty by cutting Clarke for three. It came off 121 balls, and the majority of his attacking shots being wristy whips through the on side, or well-timed cover-drives off Giles and Batty. But Mashud's gritty 51 was brought to an end with Clarke's first Test wicket. Mashud again tried to glance a straight ball through leg, but missed it and was plumb lbw (182 for 8).
Vaughan took the new ball 20 minutes before tea with Bangladesh eight short of 200, and Harmison duly wrapped up the innings, cleaning up Rafique with a slow inswinging yorker (198 for 9) and then beating Mashrafe Mortaza's defences to take out the leg stump. Bangladesh were all out for 203, but England had a potentially tricky evening session under the floodlights to negotiate.
Trescothick continued his dominating tour form from the off, punching and pulling Rahman and Mortaza, the new-ball pair, to all parts of the Bangabandhu Stadium. Vaughan, on the other hand, took an age to settle, and survived a scare when he only had a single to his name. He pushed forward to a good-length ball from Rahman, which hit something and went through to Mashud, the wicketkeeper. Everyone, including the crowd, went up, but Asoka de Silva correctly turned the appeal down, as replays showed the ball clipped the back pad. Perhaps Vaughan's luck was starting to change at last.
Trescothick, however, had no such problems. He raced to his fifty, clobbering nine fours along the way, and was in total command of the bowlers and the conditions. And after he passed the landmark, he just got better, sweeping Enamul Haque Junior for a huge six over square leg and taking his boundary count to 13. Vaughan also started to play with more assurance, sweeping and driving his way back to form as he reached 30, compared to Trescothick's 77, before the umpires finally came off for bad light at 5.35pm.
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