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March 13, 2010
Missed opportunity of the day
It's not often a batsman can make 173 in a Test match and feel as though he's sold himself short, but Alastair Cook will rarely play a worse shot than the flat-footed mow that led to his downfall at the hands of Mahmudullah. From Sachin Tendulkar to Jacques Rudolph, via Marvan Atapattu and even Jason Gillespie, the cast of cricketers who have cashed in against Bangladesh is extensive to say the least, and a maiden Test double-hundred was there for the taking. As it happens, Cook's mentor, Graham Gooch, fell to an almost identical hoick on 174, against Sri Lanka's Don Anurasiri, at Lord's in 1991. It's clearly an Essex trait.
Just desserts of the day
Some might argue that Paul Collingwood's tenth Test century was handed to him on a plate this afternoon, as Bangladesh's morale slumped to their boot-straps and England's total soared. Others, however, might suggest it was long overdue after his frankly heroic endeavours of the past 12 months. Incredibly, this was Collingwood's first century since the drawn Test in Trinidad in March 2009, but he hasn't exactly been moping in the meantime. He's produced three match-saving innings (74 at Cardiff, 26 not out at Centurion and 40 at Cape Town), contributed to two victories with 54 at Lord's and 91 at Durban, and even bashed out a face-saving 71 at Johannesburg. Tougher challenges are what make him tick, but no-one should begrudge him this freebie.
Soft dismissals of the day
Prior to the series, the editor of Wisden, Scyld Berry, ensured himself of a less-than-red-carpeted welcome when he suggested that Bangladesh were so poor that they risked dragging England down to their level. But when Stuart Broad starting roughing up the top order, you had to concede his point. All thoughout his career, Broad's penchant for the short ball has been the most frustrating aspect of his game, but when the left-handers Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique flapped pitifully at a brace of leg-stump rib-ticklers, you started to imagine him attempting such a stunt at Brisbane in eight months' time. Thank goodness, then, for Tamim Iqbal, who had no truck with such nonsense. The next ball that Broad bowled in that vicinity was helped over fine leg for six.
Inevitable dismissal of the day
Graeme Swann just can't stop striking in the first over of a spell. It became his calling card on the recent tour of South Africa, and his happy knack has been extended into yet another series. In the 12th over of the innings, Swann came on with the left-handed Tamim in his sights, but it was the right-hander, Aftab Ahmed, who duly became his first victim. All it took was a single delivery - his fourth of the series - as Aftab shaped to play a lame paddle, and Bell at short leg walked into position to intercept with his midriff.
Statement of the day
At least there was one Bangladeshi who refused to accept the inevitable. Tamim is fast becoming the champion of his team, and when their innings began with a daunting 400 runs to save the follow-on, he notched off a hundredth of those in the space of a single delivery. Broad's first ball was short and wide, and smoked past point for four, as Tamim announced his intentions to play on his own terms. In rattling along to a chanceless 53-ball half-century, and surviving thereafter, he showed the sort of fight that will be sorely needed both here and in Dhaka next week.
Atmospherics of the day
It's amazing what a difference an innings makes. Never mind the match situation, all that matters is who's batting. And with Tamim in full flow in the evening session, the locals found their voices at last, with chants of "Tamim! [clap clap clap]" and "Bish bish bish, shabash Bangladesh!" The Barmy Army, meanwhile, managed a mournful chorus of Jerusalem as England came out to bowl, but retreated into their shells thereafter.
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 EMEA Ltd.
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