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Plays of the day from the third day of the first Test at Chittagong
March 14, 2010
Report : England build huge lead after Rahim's resistance
Matches: Bangladesh v England at Chittagong
Series/Tournaments: England tour of Bangladesh
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.Feeds: Andrew Miller
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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