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May 28, 2010
On an otherwise lacklustre day from England's bowlers, one man stood out from the crowd - and not merely because he's the lankiest player on show. Steven Finn's Test debut came in bewildering circumstances in Chittagong back in March, only days after arriving in Bangladesh as injury cover. But the promise he displayed then was on show once again today, as he returned steady figures of 1 for 39 in 12 overs, in the vastly more familiar surroundings of his home ground, Lord's.
Using his height well on a slow surface, Finn was the closest that England's attack came to finding a cutting edge on an attritional day, and after Tamim Iqbal was run out for 55, he claimed the only other Bangladeshi wicket to fall, that of Imrul Kayes for 43, who gloved a lifter to Andrew Strauss in the slips.
"It was a fantastic feeling to get my first [Test] wicket at Lord's in front of that crowd, and the atmosphere," said Finn. "Initially, I wasn't sure whether he had gloved it or it came off his forearm or what, but I was excited to see it go through like that. It was relatively hard work, because the wicket's a little bit slow, but there's a bit of bounce from the Pavilion End, and we hope we can exploit that tomorrow."
After grafting his way through the lifeless decks of Chittagong and Dhaka, Finn was happy to play on a surface offering even a fraction of assistance, and remained upbeat about England's hopes of forcing the pace against a dogged Bangladeshi line-up.
"It wasn't that bad as Chittagong," he said. "I'm still having nightmares about that. A little bit more sun on it, and potentially the roller tomorrow, I think it could change. There's been a bit of variable bounce and that could be a big thing for us and work to our advantage tomorrow.
"At the moment it looks like a battle of attrition, us again trying to limit their boundary options and being clever with field-setting and able to attack at the right time. But you can see one going up, one going down. We're still 300 odd runs ahead, so if we can get a couple of quick wickets that's going to be in the back of their minds that they could potentially be following on within a session."
The start to the Bangladeshi innings had a recurring theme, with Tamim Iqbal blazing a 62-ball 55 before being run out by a direct hit. It was his fourth half-century in five Test innings against England, but having seen his hurricane style blow out on previous occasions, Finn was confident that the bowlers would be able to regain control as the match develops.
"Obviously, Tamim Iqbal is going to come out and play his way. But if we can 'dot him up' second innings, when he's faced two or three on the trot, he'll play a silly shot - try to slash one that's too straight through point. We did go for a few runs today but we bowled to our plans and stuck to our guns.
"We saw them bat like that in Chittagong and Dhaka earlier in the year," he added. "They're a developing team who are getting better game-by-game. They have players who are dangerous, and it's important we don't take them lightly, treat them with respect and have to be able to build dots against them."
"We're not just going to be able to blast them away; we have to build pressure, which will in turn get us wickets. The important thing is to use the new ball, because we know the Bangladeshis will struggle against the moving ball."
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