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March 20, 2010
Bangladesh 330 for 8 (Tamim 85, Mahmudullah 59, Swann 3-94) v England
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
It was another case of what might have been for Bangladesh as they mixed talent with frustrating naivety to stutter to 330 for 8 on the opening day in Dhaka after their innings had been launched by a blistering 85 from 71 balls from Tamim Iqbal. Mahmudullah contributed a silky half-century and captain Shakib Al Hasan returned to form with 49, but England chipped away after opting to play five bowlers.
In oppressive heat and on a track remorselessly lifeless for the quick bowlers the visitors toiled hard. They were punished whenever they strayed by a Bangladesh side bristling with positive intent but unable to buckle down and build something more substantial. The tone was set by Tamim's sizzling assault in the morning session.
He celebrated his 21st birthday by launching into England's new-ball bowlers, dispatching Tim Bresnan for 23 from three overs and pinning Alastair Cook on the defensive almost immediately. He was dropped twice, a tough chance on 7 by Paul Collingwood at second slip and a much simpler offering to Cook at mid on 35 from a leading edge, and they cost England.
Having climbed to No. 2 in the world following his Man-of-the-Match outing in Chittagong, Graeme Swann's introduction was supposed to halt the run glut but Tamim was in no mood to let up. Identifying Swann as the pivotal threat in England's attack Tamim picked off two boundaries from his first over before unfurling four more in successive deliveries a couple of overs later, the last of which was handsomely deposited over mid on as he bought up a half century from just 34 balls.
Having sauntered to 80 with almost an hour remaining before lunch it appeared Tamim was on his way to becoming only the fifth player in Test history to make a century before lunch on the first day. The fireworks had left Cook desperately seeking some stability and it came from his second spinner, James Tredwell, who was making his Test debut at the expense of Michael Carberry.
Despite lacking the effervescence that makes Swann such a force, Tredwell has a game honed through a decade in the English shires, and he proved accurate enough to induce a poorly-executed sweep from Tamim which, in a flurry of bat and gloves, looped up to Matt Prior although the ball came off the forearm. Tamim looked disgusted to have been given out he had every right to feel aggrieved.
Having prized an opening Swann then burst through with a two wickets, trapping the debutant Jahurul Islam in front for a sixth-ball duck before removing Junaid Siddique, a century-maker in his last innings, in similar fashion after lunch. With England on the brink of taking control Shakib joined Mahmudullah for an enterprising 59-run stand.
Mahmudullah was unhurried and untroubled, working the ball around nicely and feathering boundaries during a half-century reminiscent of VVS Laxman. He reached his 50 with a languid cover drive off Swann and looked set to go on, but drove lazily to point against the first ball of a new spell by Steven Finn. It was Finn's only joy on a tough day. He was on the wrong end of Tamim's attack during the morning session and failed to find the consistency and bite, albeit on a very placid track, that he produced at Chittagong.
Meanwhile, Shakib chose to swipe his way out of poor form. Having been dismissed twice by Swann in the first Test, Shakib took the attack to his nemesis, slog-sweeping and cutting well, without quite giving an air of permanence. He reached 49 before missing an attempted heave across the line to give Tredwell his second wicket of the day. Once again Bangladesh needed a period of rebuilding.
Mushfiqur Rahim had picked up where he left off in Chittagong, displaying technique and temperament during a calm knock that threatened to edge the day for Bangladesh before he fell to a snarling delivery from Bresnan to the second new ball. On a day where nothing even offered to move off the seam Bresnan got one to climb and jag away from Rahim. With the shadows lengthening Abdur Razzak attempted an ambitious slog to leg to become Swann's third lbw victim of the day and epitomised the regular lapses of concentration that continue to haunt Bangladesh's progress.
Throughout the day Cook's captaincy was more robotic than insightful, chasing the ball and quickly reverting to defensive fields as England flagged in the late-afternoon heat. Yet on a pitch that looks like it could deteriorate come the latter stages, their eight wickets ensured the edge after a fluctuating day.
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