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May 30, 2010
Celebration of the day
It was Michael Slater who first dispensed with decorum at Lord's when, in 1993, he punched the air and kissed the crest of his Australia helmet after reaching his maiden Test hundred. Today, Tamim Iqbal carried that exuberance an extra yard or 20. Having cavorted through the nineties in a calculated assault on Tim Bresnan, he secured Bangladesh's first Test century at the home of cricket with a dismissive smack back over the bowler's head, whereupon he hurtled almost to within touching distance of the dressing-room balcony, and pointed to the back of his shirt as if to tell his team-mates to get on with the business of sticking his name up on the honours-board. Clearly, in his excitement, Tamim forgot that his name only appears on his back in ODI and Twenty20 contests, but after racking up a sublime century from 94 deliveries, he might as well have been playing limited-overs.
Shot of the day
There were so many to choose from, most of them audacious and nearly all of them impeccably timed, but nothing confirmed the presence of a rare talent quite like the short-arm pull with which Tamim rifled Steven Finn through midwicket for four. The shot was the third of three fours in a row, and whereas the first two were based entirely on bravado - a bludgeoning drive and a streaky edge - this was an emphatic stamp of class. The ball was short and rose steeply, but Tamim rocked back with his weight perched daintily on one leg, a la Brian Lara, and all that remained was for the fielders to whistle in admiration.
Acceleration of the day
Throughout their alliances at the top of the Bangladesh order, Tamim and Imrul Kayes have been like the hare and the tortoise - only without the twist to the end of the fable. Until this Test, Kayes' highest score in 22 Test innings had been a measly 33, and it was to his great credit that the lure of Lord's brought him out of his shell. After a first-innings 43, Kayes was briefly the pacesetter in the follow-on, as he hustled along to 48 from 71 balls, with Tamim trailing in his wake on 37 not out (albeit from just 44 balls). But then, while Kayes fretted over his landmark, Tamim went into overdrive, adding 40 runs to his total from 27 balls before his partner could notch up his fifty.
Over of the day
As England discovered to their frustration on Friday, their attack was pretty toothless when the sun broke through the clouds. So, when Andrew Strauss turned to his spinner, Graeme Swann, at 102 for 0 in the 22nd over, he did so in the knowledge that he was running short on options. Tamim's response was to batter England's Player of the Year into submission from the word go. The first ball was a mistimed charge that telegraphed his intent; the second ball was belted high and handsomely into the Mound Stand for six. A brutal drive for four came next, and then it was down onto one knee once more, for another scintillating slog-sweep over the ropes. Seventeen runs were swiped from the over, as England's toils continued.
Breakthrough of the day
Jonathan Trott once claimed career-best bowling figures of 7 for 39 - unfortunately the horse (Kent on that occasion) had already bolted by the time he was called into the attack, with his first wicket coming at 534 for 3. He'd have been forgiven for feeling a similar sense of foreboding when Andrew Strauss threw him the ball as a last resort this afternoon, with Bangladesh cruising on 265 for 2. But in a diligent spell of wicket-to-wicket medium-pace, Trott throttled the run-rate and made the incision, as Jahurul Islam inside-edged into his pads, for the bowler to snaffle a sprawling chance in his followthrough.
Cameo of the day
Mohammad Ashraful could not have hoped for friendlier conditions as he walked out for his second innings of the match. The ground was lit up by late-evening sunshine, his top-order colleagues had demonstrated beyond any doubt the absence of malice in the pitch (and the opposition, for that matter), and as for the Lord's faithful, they were bound to be predisposed to a player whom they still recall and revere for his Aussie-toppling innings at Cardiff in 2005. Sure enough, he notched his first boundary from the third delivery he faced, then added three four in the space of eight deliveries, including a sumptuous uppercut to deflect Finn through third man. Alas, it was not to last. Jimmy Anderson, armed with the new ball, tied him down in a tight and threatening over, before inducing a nick through to Matt Prior.
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