Bangladesh slip to five-wicket loss
Essex 313 and 130 for 5 beat Bangladesh 231 and 211 by 5 wickets
Essex predictably completed a five-wicket victory over Bangladesh at Chelmsford today - but not before they suffered some anxious moments. Left with a target of only 130 after bowling out the tourists for 211 in their second innings, Essex lost half their side for only 78 in pursuit of victory.
But then skipper Grant Flower and Adam Wheater shared in an unbroken half-century partnership to see them home. Resuming at 148 for 6, Bangladesh found themselves in more trouble form the fourth delivery of the morning when Shafiul Islam, displaying little or no footwork, edged Tony Palladino to Wheater behind the wicket.
Two more wickets quickly followed. Naeem Islam became another Wheater victim, this time providing fast bowler Maurice Chambers with success, as he sparred at a wide ball, while Shahadat Hossain was dismissed by Palladino as Billy Godleman held a skier at mid-off.
But if Essex thought they would bring the innings to a swift conclusion they were mistaken. The last wicket pair of Abdur Razzak and Robiul Islam, with a mixture of edges and authentic strokes, added 46 before the arrival of Michael Comber ended the resistance.
The young paceman tempted Razzak with a legside delivery and he pulled it to Godleman at deep square leg. Palladino and Max Osborne each finished with three wickets while Comber and Chambers shared the others.
Although left with a modest target, the top order were soon undone by the new ball. Robiul again produced superb deliveries which cut back to remove John Maunders and Godleman, while Imrul Kayes held a fine diving catch at second flip to get rid of Jaik Mickleburgh when Hossain found the edge to leave Essex in some trouble at 37 for 3.
They suffered two more setbacks with the total in the 70s. Hossain, working up a decent pace, bowled Matt Walker while Tim Philips edged left-arm spinner Razzak to the wicketkeeper. But Flower batted confidently to gather six boundaries in an unbeaten 34 as he and Wheater (19 not out) knocked off the remaining runs in 15 overs.