England v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Chittagong, 3rd day March 14, 2010

Tredwell's blinder ends Mushfiqur's fightback

Plays of the day from the third day of the first Test at Chittagong

Ball of the day
Tim Bresnan has grown in stature since he first featured in Test cricket, during the miserable home series against West Indies last year that neither the players nor the crowds cared to see. A true test of his mettle is still waiting around the corner, but if he can reproduce the sort of delivery that did for Tamim Iqbal, then a role in the Ashes could yet be on the cards. On a flat, unforgiving surface, and with a 41-over-old ball, he jagged a wicked delivery off the seam and into the top of Tamim's off stump to end an outstanding knock and reawaken the prospect of a swift demise in the innings.

Innings of the day
But not for the first time, and surely not for the last, England encountered the resolve of the Mighty Atom. Mushfiqur Rahim had not been at his best in the ODIs, but he still chiselled his way to a half-century at Dhaka that could and should have set up a memorable maiden win. Today, he allied that natural tenacity to a fluid and confident range of strokes, and with Naeem Islam alongside him, he made sure that England's bowlers suffered in the sticky heat of the most humid day of the tour so far.

Collapse of the day
Bangladesh have often found dramatic ways to undo their periods of good work, and today's denouement to their innings was no exception. At 296 for 7, with an unbeaten 113-run stand still in progress, it was England at long last who were toiling for inspiration. But then came three wickets in four balls, two of which were spectacular. First there was Naeem, who carelessly turned blind for a second run even as Mushfiqur was completing his first, but was beaten by a bullet throw after a sliding stop by the energetic Carberry at backward point. And the very next delivery Mushfiqur swung into an aggressive and justified pull, only for the substitute fielder, James Tredwell, to stick out a mitt as he dived at short midwicket, and cling onto a blinder.

Decision of the day
It was greeted with incredulity by England's fans, but there was a certain inevitability to Alastair Cook's decision to bat again. Despite a 303-run lead on first innings - which was seven more than Bangladesh had mustered in their innings - he figured that the sapping humidity would be too much for his four-man attack, and he duly let them rest in the air-conditioned dressing-room and brace for a victory push tomorrow. Now, had he gone in with five bowlers, as perhaps he now realises he should, it might have been a different story altogether.

Milestone of the day
A lofted sweep off Naeem towards the end of the 13th over took Cook to 31 not out, and his career tally to a not-insubstantial 4000 runs. It was a mark that Paul Collingwood also achieved during his second-day century, but in Cook's case it had a special significance. At 25 years and 79 days, he became the second-youngest cricketer in Test history - after Sachin Tendulkar, no less - to rack up a total of that size.

Deja-vu of the day
Poor old KP, he just can't shake them off. His brief innings today was ferocious and commanding, as he rushed along to 32 from 24 balls, with a volley of shots including two emphatic fours from his first four deliveries, bowled by Shakib Al Hasan, and another six and a four as he bombarded the leg-side boundary. But no sooner was he up and running than Shakib responded to cut him back down to size. A slider into the pads eluded his attempted sweep and tempted a slightly marginal decision from umpire Rod Tucker. And so, for the fifth consecutive international innings - and for the sixth time in his last seven on tour - he was extracted by a left-arm spinner.

Collapse of the day Mk 2
With a lead in excess of 400, it's unlikely to have any great bearing on the result ... although you never can tell in Test cricket anymore, especially on a pitch as flat as this one. But when Pietersen, Michael Carberry and Paul Collingwood all departed in the space of five overs and five runs, Bangladesh ensured that the day's honours belonged emphatically to them. Shabash.

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on March 15, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    One relatively quick way to develop Bangladesi batsmen is by trying to get them contracts with domestic teams in Eng/NZ/AU. I know Shakib signed up for an English county club this summer. If we can get Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah, Nafees, Aftab, Tamim, Rakibul to play against quality bowling they will improve fast. This will also help understand the strategies of the game and develop cricket IQ. I hope BCB helps them achieve it. It is rather unpractical to hope that Bangladesh will produce out and out fast bowlers. Given the diet, general physical attributes, and placid pitches, it's unrealistic to get fast bowlers. We need good accurate medium fast pacers like Vaas. We also need to be a consistently good atheletic fielding unit. We should also get a specialist wicket keeper for test matches at least and Mushfiqur as a specialist batter. Someday Bangladesh will see the players of the magnitude of Dravid or Sehwag or Murali or Vaas. I just hope I live to see those days :-)

  • Kerrie on March 15, 2010, 2:11 GMT

    Bangladesh will establish itself as a "more than ordinary" Test team based on the quality of its players. Sure, Zimbabwe in the 90's were in the doldrums, but the quality of their players were evident since their elevation to Test status in '92. The Flower brothers, Streak, Murray Goodwin etc, these guys kept Zimbabwe's status as "more than ordinary" Test team intact. We remember Australia's downward slope in the 1980's until Allan Border came along, and immediately following that, the downward spiral of the West Indies. Bangladesh has certainly improved on its performances and have quality players who turn in genuine performances.Tamim, Rahim and Mamadullah were class enough to turn in tons against India and Shakib was class enough to snap a 7 for vs New Zealand. The other players who we know have the talent, need to revolve around these players and come together as a unit and with the strong support they have, as is evident with all the Asian Test teams, Bangladesh can rise.

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    I cant agree Sri Lanka or South Africa being considered as powerhouses of the game at test level, South Africa's run currently in International Cricket 2008/9 in particular is no more spectacular than englands in 2004/5. Sri Lanka have done nothing away from home to suggest they deserve to be any higher than New Zealand in the test rankings. However i do agree that Bangladesh will become a nation capable of quality test cricket. There is real talent there. They need some good quick bowlers, which like Sri Lanka is the very reason they are often not competitive away from home!!

  • Mark on March 14, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    ShamimH, odd comments indeed. It just so happens that the four teams that you name are the top four in the ICC rankings, so you can say that they have played consistently well over the last 3 years. If you go back a over the last decade though your list might look rather different.

    In that time, India and England have been well-matched, with tight series. As have England and South Africa. And England have beaten Australia twice and lost twice. Sri Lanka have been consistent at home, but poor away.

    In fact, the only two consistently successful sides over the last decade have been Australia and South Africa. India are currently only top of of the ICC Test rankings thanks to England having de-railed their two closest challengers! :-)

  • Shamim on March 14, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Shahzad .."Bangladesh team (mainly due to sheer population!) forcing the ICC to keep them in elite test teams, to be brutally honest." Only four nations play consistently well in Test Level, namely Australia, South Africa, Sri-Lanka and India. To limit the game to only these few teams would be foolish. And then I keep hearing Bangladesh do not belong there. England is certainly not one of the powerhouse teams either and at each decade some nations dominated others faltered. And then check out the history of test cricket - many of the teams took decades just to get there first win. If you look at the numbers , the proof is solid that Bangladesh has continuously improved in their performance. Bangladesh will one day be just as good as others. It has a history of blood and guts and it's cricket team will do the same one day. And Jamie Siddons certainly believes that and he should know, he is a good coach.

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Bangladesh has only three test class batsmen such as Tamim, Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah and one world class alrounder Saqib. The rest would not even get a chance in second class county league in England or Australia. You would not win or even a draw in test matches with a lack of quality of such magnitude. They have a long long way to go. Only, the overwhelming support of Bangladesh team (mainly due to sheer population!) forcing the ICC to keep them in elite test teams, to be brutally honest.

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