England v Bangladesh, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 3rd day May 29, 2010

Steven Finn rattles Bangladesh on rain-hit day

Bangladesh 237 for 7 (Mahmudullah 7*, Shahadat 3*, Finn 4-75) trail England 505 by 268 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Steven Finn made the most of the 28.5 overs allowed by rain and bad light on the third day at Lord's to further enhance his reputation with three wickets as Bangladesh limped to 237 for 7 under overcast skies. With James Anderson bowling himself back into rhythm, claiming a confidence-boosting brace, it was tough for the visitors who had performed so admirably on Friday but are still 69 runs away from saving the follow-on.

English bowling attacks always look far more threatening when they have overhead conditions to help them and they were transformed from the below-par performance of the previous afternoon. Finn was given his favoured Pavilion End and reaped the rewards by causing continued problems with his bounce, while Anderson began to rediscover his outswinger.

With a view to the future it was Finn's performance that was most eye-catching. Significantly he was handed the second new ball and struck with his second delivery to remove the stubborn Mushfiqur Rahim as one nipped between bat and pad, not dissimilar to now Glenn McGrath, Finn's idol, took many of his wickets at Lord's.

It wasn't until 3.20pm that the players managed to take the field and England were clearly keen to take advantage of the conditions, but had also talked about their tactics as the lengths were much better. Finn, operating from the end where he does most of his bowling for Middlesex, struck in the fourth over when Junaid Siddique - after a resilient 58 - couldn't withdraw his bat in time; a problem caused by the extra bounce.

Mohammad Ashraful, who was dropped for the series in Bangladesh a couple of months ago, came in at No. 5 and opened his account with a positive square drive before being unluckily sent on his way. Finn nipped a ball back into his pads and Asoka de Silva answered the bowler's appeal though subsequent replays showed it was missing leg.

At the Nursery End Anderson continued to battle against himself following an inactive three-weeks in the Caribbean which has left him short of bowling. However, slowly he began to rediscover the outswinger which barely made an appearance the previous day and produced a lovely delivery which went away from Jahurul Islam to nick the outside edge.

Shakib Al Hasan, short of match practice after suffering chicken pox at the start of the tour, began in positive fashion but had to be very watchful as conditions continued to aid the bowlers. Tim Bresnan replaced Finn after a seven-over spell and was much improved as he found a fuller length to regularly beat Mushfiqur's outside edge.

It was Anderson, though, who made the next breakthrough when Shakib's concentration wavered and he pushed hard outside off stump to a ball that moved away. Matt Prior made a hash of a simple catch, but fortunately for the wicketkeeper Andrew Strauss was on hand at first slip to pouch the rebound much as Graeme Swann had been in the World Twenty20 final when Craig Kieswetter spilled an edge. However, given the scrutiny on Prior's place it won't be a good idea to do it too often.

Mushfiqur, five years after making his debut on this ground as a 16-year-old, gave another demonstration of the technique that makes him Bangladesh's most solid batsman. But in gloomy light after tea he couldn't keep out Finn's excellent start with the new ball during a seven-ball period between stoppages. Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, was clearly annoyed by the umpire's judgement on the light as the players left the field again after the wicket.

Play resumed for another nine deliveries - three of which Shahadat Hossain swung wildly at to suggest he wasn't keen on the fight - and although England were denied the chance to wrap up the innings they will be confident of putting Bangladesh back in again on the fourth day.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments