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May 27, 2010
Tea England 362 for 4 (Trott 175*, Morgan 40*) v Bangladesh
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Despite being only nine months ago memories of Jonathan Trott's stunning Ashes debut had begun to fade and he started this season with ground to make up so made the ideal start with an unbeaten 175, his second Test century, as the hosts reached 362 for 4 on the opening day at Lord's. He shared a second-wicket stand of 181 with Andrew Strauss, who returned to the international fold with a confident 83, and after Bangladesh struck back either side of tea Trott was accompanied by a compact Eoin Morgan until the close.
With the result of the series seemingly a foregone conclusion the interest is how England go about their cricket. Strauss and Andy Flower believe there is plenty of room for development and having preached the need to score big hundreds Strauss will feel culpable for the loose cut that brought his downfall, while Kevin Pietersen couldn't quite lift himself for the occasion and was undone by left-arm spin again. However, Morgan eased himself into Tests and Trott closed in on a double century - a rare commodity for England.
It was a difficult winter for Trott, who struggled to build on his perfect debut, and questions were being asked about his long-term place in the line-up. Both tours exposed the intense nature of Trott's character; in South Africa he struggled with the high-quality pace bowling, and mental pressure of facing the country of his birth, then in Bangladesh it was trial by spin that, especially in Dhaka, brought him to a virtual standstill.
He has started the season in good form for Warwickshire and the intent he showed here suggested a batsman keen to stamp his authority on the opposition in a way he didn't manage in Bangladesh. He was quickly into his stride with a square cut from his third ball, and then produced a brace of flowing cover drives off Shahadat Hossain. He barely put a foot wrong during his six-hour stay.
Inevitably the usual caveats have to apply over the opposition and standard of bowling he faced, but it was a case where Trott would be damned if he did and damned if he didn't. When he reached his hundred off 133 balls, with his sixth cover drive of the innings, he celebrated with emotion that suggested he hasn't been immune to recent discussions.
He was the crease in the fifth over after Alastair Cook was trapped lbw by Shahadat although replays showed the ball was heading over the stumps. However, the Umpire Decision Review System has been scrapped for this match after no agreement over costs could be reached between ICC and the host broadcasters, and in the umpire's defence on first impressions it looked close.
That gave Bangladesh an early fillip after putting England into bat but their decision to bowl was based as much on the fear of how their batting would cope in the conditions rather than a real belief that they could run through England's batting order. There was movement but the bowling wasn't of sustained quality to take advantage.
Strauss took his time to settle and scored one from his first 18 balls before pulling 23-year-old debutant Robiul Islam for six and clipping another boundary through the leg side to get his score moving. He also drove through the covers off the front foot, a sign that Strauss's game is in good order.
Shakib Al Hasan at least showed he wasn't afraid to react to the match situation and brought himself on in the tenth over to target Trott, but May in England is very different to Dhaka in March and there was little on offer for the captain. Bangladesh's pace bowlers ran in with enthusiasm, but their line varied too often which allowed Strauss and Trott plenty of opportunities to pick off easy runs while the bowlers weren't supported by their fielders who fumbled regularly.
With the batsmen progressing as they pleased it came as a surprise when Strauss chopped into his stumps against Mahmudullah's tight offspin, although he had escaped a gloved sweep off the previous delivery which looped to slip. The deflection wasn't massive, but could have been overturned by TV.
After Strauss's departure Pietersen was quickly into his stride with a couple of powerful drives but couldn't quite find his fluency against the Bangladesh spinners and Shakib deceived him with a beautiful arm ball that beat the inside edge and took off stump. Yet rather than assess Pietersen's problems with left-arm spin, this was more likely an occasion that didn't quite stir his competitive juices as Barbados had done.
Ian Bell reaffirmed his Test credentials over the winter but was undone by a good ball from Rubel Hossain that nipped down the slope and England threatened to lose their momentum at 258 for 4. However, Trott and Morgan consolidated then began to take advantage of a tiring attack during the final session. After a careful start Morgan had the confidence to unfurl a reverse sweep off Shakib and Bangladesh's defensive fields allowed him to tick along as though it was a one-day game. For both him and Trott more milestones await.
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