England v Bangladesh, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 4th day May 30, 2010

Tamim Iqbal inspires impressive Bangladesh

The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill

Close Bangladesh 328 for 5 (Siddique 66*, Shakib 2*) and 282 (Siddique 58, Anderson 4-78, Finn 4-100) lead England 505 by 105 runs
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Tamim Iqbal reached a memorable hundred on the fourth day at Lord's, giving his team the spark of inspiration they needed after being asked to follow on as they battled impressively to 328 for 5, a lead of 105, while England were made to toil in the sunshine. Tamim was well-supported by Imrul Kayes, who reached a milestone of his own with his maiden Test half-century as the pair put on 185 - a record opening stand for Bangladesh - as the visitors recovered well after being bowled out for 282. Late wickets dented their hopes of securing a draw, but Bangladesh continue to show that they are no pushovers.

Tamim's hundred was the first by a Bangladesh batsman in England, and his will be the second Bangladeshi name etched onto the honours board at Lord's after Shahadat Hossain made his mark with 5 for 98 in England's first innings. Tamim suggested as much as he motioned enthusiastically to his team-mates to get his name on the board as soon as he reached three figures with a dismissive drive over mid on.

He struck 15 fours and two sixes in reaching his century from just 94 balls - the fastest by a Bangladesh batsman in Tests, the fastest at Lord's since Mohammad Azharuddin's effort in 1990, and just the sixth Bangladesh Test hundred outside of subcontinental conditions - midway through the afternoon session, and though Steven Finn struck back to remove both openers in a testing spell just before tea, Bangladesh's middle order picked up where they left off with some stubborn resistance.

Whether they would do be able to do so was an open question when James Anderson and Tim Bresnan ensured that Bangladesh's tail folded within the first hour of play. But England's bowlers found things much harder thereafter, with Tamim and Kayes taking their opening stand to 61 before lunch.

The openers did not have everything their own way, but luck was with them as good balls flew past the edge of the bat rather than off it and Kayes, usually content to sit back and let his partner do the bulk of the run scoring, on this occasion matched Tamim shot for shot early on to bring up the fifty in the tenth over.

Tamim was as pugnacious as ever, and he greeted Graeme Swann's first ball of the day by charging down the track as the offspinner's opening over was dispatched for 10 runs. At the other end, Kayes moved into the 40s with a couple of streaky shots behind square after the lunch interval, but was totally muted as he approached his maiden fifty, sitting on 49 for 15 balls before he finally reached the mark with a cleanly-struck sweep to deep square leg.

His nerves had no effect on Tamim, however, who, after being outscored by his opening partner early on, switched gears as he neared his hundred. Swann's first over after lunch was dispatched for 17, including two massive slog-sweeps over midwicket, and Tamim reached his hundred in the 35th over of the innings with three fours in one over from Bresnan, the third a dismissive drive over mid on to raise three figures.

Bresnan was replaced with Finn, but even with men positioned out on the hook Tamim continued to play his shots, and eventually paid the price as he failed to control a swivel-hook and picked out Jonathan Trott at deep backward square. Four overs later Finn was at it again, finding disconcerting bounce from a good length as Ian Bell held onto a sharp catch off the face of the bat at short leg.

The double strike exposed Bangladesh's vulnerable middle order, but Junaid Siddique and Jahurul Islam picked up the mantle with a 100-run partnership for the third wicket. Siddique, in particular, was given a thorough examination by England's pace attack, and throughout his innings faced very little that bounced in his half of the wicket.

Both batsmen were willing to take their scoring opportunities when they arose, though, and a loft down the ground by Jahurul to take the score past 200 opened the floodgates as the batsmen cashed in with a flurry of boundaries. England responded with a short-pitched assault that had both batsmen ducking and weaving, but as the ball got older and the bowlers began to tire, Strauss was forced to use Trott's gentle dobbers.

The change brought a dismissal against the run of play, however, as shortly after Siddique brought up his half-century Trott wobbled one in to Jahurul and the ball ricocheted off the inside edge onto the pad, looping up for Trott to take a sliding return catch and pick up his first international wicket.

Mohammad Ashraful again promised much with a couple of confident shots before he was undone by a beauty from Anderson with the new ball late in the day. England also removed nightwatchman Shahadat in the penultimate over to bring captain Shakib al Hasan to the crease, but Bangladesh can remain immensely proud of their efforts. With Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah still to come it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they could leave Lord's with honours even.

Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo