October 5, 2000

England win as Hussain finds form

Nasser Hussain played himself back into form in vigorous fashion as England swamped Bangladesh by eight wickets in the third and last of the preliminary round matches in the ICC KnockOut 2000 tournament on Thursday.

The England captain, who arrived in Kenya needing to get runs under his belt before he takes his side off to Pakistan, accelerated throughout his innings to eventually make 95 off 120 balls as England tracked down Bangladesh's 232 for nine. The victory sets up a quarter-final meeting with South Africa next Tuesday.

Hussain was not entirely alone in his endeavours - Alex Stewart made an unbeaten 86 off 122 balls as he shared in a partnership of 174 for the second wicket. But it was Hussain's contribution that will have most pleased the England camp.

To be fair, Bangladesh had little to offer in the way of firepower on a third good batting pitch in as many days. The minnows had probably exceeded their own expectations by setting England as much as 233 to win. They succeeded only in claiming the early wicket of Marcus Trescothick, caught at the wicket as he chased a wide one, but for the rest their attack more closely resembled a defence.

Stewart was first to his 50 when he swept Enamul Hoque over square leg and into the England players' viewing area, but Hussain emulated the stroke in Hoque's next over to demonstrate that he, too, had found a rich vein of form to mine.

Hussain overtook Stewart in the 70s when he hit Bangladesh captain Naimur Rahman for successive straight sixes and he seemed certain to record the second century of the tournament when he misread the flight and popped a tame return catch back to Mohammad Rafiq. In all, Hussain struck nine fours and five sixes.

Hussain was out with 26 still needed for victory and Graeme Hick joined Stewart to see England home with 6.1 overs to spare.