October 5, 2000

Stewart and Hussain guide England towards target

Helped in no small measure by a 17-run first over, England spent the first 25 overs of their innings setting themselves up to chase down a victory target of 233 in the ICC KnockOut tournament preliminary round match against Bangladesh at the Nairobi Gymkhana Club on Thursday.

At the halfway stage England were 125 for one with Alex Stewart on 59 and Nasser Hussain on 39.

Hasibul Hussain had hit the last ball of the Bangladesh innings for six just before lunch, but he was brought quickly down to earth when he took the new ball for the first over of England's reply. The over included five no balls and a wide as the hapless Hasibul conceded 17 to Marcus Trescothick and Stewart.

In his third over, however, Hasibul redeemed himself when he had Trescothick caught at the wicket essaying a big drive at a wide one. Trescothick made 15 and his departure brought to the wicket Hussain, the England captain who is desperately looking for some sort of form before his side leaves for their winter tour of Pakistan.

For Hussain, the circumstances could scarcely have been better. With Stewart striking the ball cleanly at the other end and a friendly attack on a docile pitch, the skipper had all the time he might have wished for to build an innings.

Despite the loss of Trescothick, England had moved easily to 86 for one by the end of the first 15 overs.

Stewart was in rollicking form as he went to his 50 with a six off Enamul Hoque off 59 deliveries. The shot went over square leg and landed in the England players' viewing area. In Enamul's next over Hussain played an identical stroke and went equally close to injuring his team-mates.