England v Bangladesh, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 5th day

Strauss and Shakib target improvement

Andrew Miller at Lord's

May 31, 2010

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Andrew Strauss comes down the pitch during his confident innings, England v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Lord's, May 31, 2010
Andrew Strauss helped England finish the match confidently, but knows his team were below their best at Lord's © Getty Images

For the third Test in a row, a comfortable margin of victory masked a match in which Bangladesh forced England to graft for their rewards, but the events of the final day were typical of the gulf that still exists in the mindsets of the two nations. While England believed that they'd come good in the end, and ultimately galloped to their goal at a rate of five an over, Bangladesh knew deep down that another disappointment awaited, and the final margin spoke of a familiarly demoralised surrender.

"The facts will be that we won by eight wickets, but we had to work very hard for our win," said England's captain, Andrew Strauss, who sealed the result with a final-day 82. "In some ways we've got to give credit to the way the Bangladeshi batsmen played - in the first innings and the second they held us up with some stubborn resistance and some pretty good strokeplay. We'll be better for this game and the five days we've had, but we're obviously looking to set our standards higher than we achieved in this game."

At times in the game, Bangladesh had the measure of their opponents, and more. When conditions were at their best for batting, in bright sunshine on the second afternoon and again on the fourth day when Tamim Iqbal was blazing through the follow-on, they spanked along to 493 runs in 135 overs, for the loss of five wickets. However, when the sun disappeared - into the clouds on the third and fifth days, and over the horizon when the new ball was taken on the fourth evening - they mustered figures of 15 for 171 in 68.2.

"They are definitely getting closer because more of their batsmen have the belief they can get decent scores," said Strauss. "But, like most sides, if you keep chipping away and pressurising them, eventually you will see a collapse of some sort, and on both day three and five when the conditions suited us, we were able to take wickets quite frequently."

"It's a bit frustrating but we know that we are improving," said Bangladesh's captain, Shakib Al Hasan. "When it was overcast the ball was doing a bit, but we didn't apply ourselves for long periods of time, and that cost us the game. We thought we'd have a good chance to draw if we batted more than 50 overs, but then I got out, and our tailenders couldn't get enough runs. It's always frustrating when you lose, but we can take so many positives out of this game. There are so many negative things as well, and we need to learn from them and improve."

After lighting up Lord's with a thrilling hundred on Sunday, Tamim claimed to have been inspired by some scathing remarks from Geoffrey Boycott, who had argued on Test Match Special that Bangladesh's attack was not worthy of Minor Counties cricket. It was a charge he repeated, with some justification, as England amassed 160 runs in a single session to wrap up the result, and afterwards Shakib admitted that his bowlers were struggling to compete on equal terms.

"We know we will win some games if we win sessions, day by day, but we need to improve our bowling, especially in these conditions," he said. "At home we can depend on our spinners, but here we have to depend on our fast bowlers, so they need to learn quickly. As far as our batting is concerned, that was our best game against England, but we didn't bowl in the right areas, and that was the main problem. Any team that scores 700-plus in a match makes it difficult for us to win."

We probably didn't hit our straps in the first innings, though we got better as the game went on and the pitch got flatter, and that was encouraging Andrew Strauss wants his attack to improve on their Lord's show

The extent to which the conditions dictated terms doesn't exactly bode well for Bangladesh's prospects ahead of the Old Trafford Test, where the weather tends towards the damper side of mild, and where the pitch promises to be hard and fast. But England themselves should be equally concerned by the ramifications. They can't expect such prodigious assistance from the heavens in Perth and Adelaide this winter, and the question of whether to go in with four bowlers or five is one that will remain a hot topic for the remainder of this summer.

"It was hard work for our bowlers," admitted Strauss. "We probably didn't hit our straps in the first innings, though we got better as the game went on and the pitch got flatter, and that was encouraging. We've always said we'll judge whether we need four bowlers or five depending on the conditions we're likely to encounter. We probably felt on this wicket there'd be more in it than there was, early season, but we'll keep looking on a case-by-case basis."

One factor that should not be overlooked was the unusually subdued performance from Graeme Swann, England's Player of the Year and the No. 2-ranked bowler in the world. He went wicketless for the first time since the Headingley Test during last summer's Ashes, and has never before returned a barren analysis in a Test in which England have claimed 20 wickets.

"You've always got to judge your attack that on the conditions you're likely to encounter," Strauss said. "Sometimes you want four extra bowlers when a partnership develops but you can't have them. But I think what the bowlers did well was that they stuck at their task very well. At times they had to change their plans and dig it in short, while Graeme Swann didn't have a huge role to play because there was no turn at all. On most wickets he's going to be more threatening than on this one."

On the subject of Tamim, who has now helped himself to 395 runs in three Tests against England, at a remarkable strike-rate of 83.33, Strauss was cautiously appreciative. "He's a dangerous player because he hits length balls straight and very hard, and he goes after the short balls as well," he said. "Some of the orthodox fields you might employ are rendered slightly redundant at times, but there's no secret to bowling well at any player. If you're hitting the top of off as often as possible he's going to struggle, especially with the ball nipping around."

With that in mind, Strauss was grateful for the influence of Steven Finn, who marked his home Test debut with Man of the Match figures of 9 for 187, and had all of the Bangladesh batsmen flinching at the accuracy he generated from his 6'7" frame. "There wasn't a lot there for our bowlers, and the lines and lengths he hit were encouraging," said Strauss. "He's obviously got some great attributes, his height and a pretty clean action, and early in your career it's fantastic to get wickets and show you belong at this level, which he has done."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (June 3, 2010, 14:23 GMT)

@Rezaul, u accuse us of having a mental problem but it seems as if you can't read...I never said that Bang should not play tests I will quote myself again hoping u will read properly: "...ensure that whenever Bang TOUR, make sure they play at least 4 WARM-UP matches against A teams or TOP club teams from the other test nations..." The word "tour" obviously means test + ODI series overseas and if you don't understand the concept of "warm-up matches," there is no hope for u. I don't mind u not reading properly but what's silly is that u attempt to be a bit rude about it. Any1 who reads the comments regularly will know that I don't support removing test status from Bang, I suggest u chill and stop being hasty and loose with u'r comments.

Posted by BillyCC on (June 3, 2010, 2:42 GMT)

Forget the talk of England's team being made up of foreigners. The fact is, this is the team that they have and let's get on with it. The more interesting point is that with the team that they do have, they should be doing much better. One Ashes victory and T20 world cup does not a champion side make. England should be aiming a lot higher, and should have closed out South Africa for a well earnt series victory, be thrasing Bangladesh both home and away (which they have failed to do), and beaten India in India (let's face it, India chased 400 and shouldn't have got there with 6 wickets left). The results so far for England could have been so so much better.

Posted by hironno on (June 3, 2010, 2:37 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding...and your point is? should I correct myself and say, most accomplished players of England team are foreign born and brought up? This year they won the t20 with help of KP who was the player of the tournament. Look, my point is English fan and commentators are always harsh on developing countries. I could understand if England was the best team in the world. They had to work very hard in the last 3 test matches they played against Bangladesh. My point is they should earn their right to pick on emerging teams, otherwise it might just come back to bite them back.

Posted by Rezaul on (June 3, 2010, 0:29 GMT)

@_NEUTRAL_Fan_ and others, I have written in couple of other discussions that you dont have any cricket knowledge. You guys argue for IRE test status, at the same time argue not to play tests against Bangladesh, dont like Bangladesh plays good cricket. You guys have a mental problem with Bangladesh making more and more progress in the direction of a good test team. Tamim, Junaide, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Mushfiq all are top class players. Bangladesh do not depend on any paid player who came from other country for money. These players are born in Bangladesh and play for the green and red flag. When Tamim scored century, you guys are looking for his problems and criticizing in stead of applauding him. wow English wow... keep ur style up...

<Arzoo from USA>

Posted by   on (June 2, 2010, 22:04 GMT)

After 25 yers Bangladesh should get a chance to play five day test match. ICC should not allow Bangladesh to play 5 day test match. If you hard the commintry of David Loyed you all should be ashemed. English batsman has to walk on the pitch to adjust the pace of our bowlers and spinner speed was not reg. on the speed gun. they were that slow. If you could not get 20 wicket in test match you should'nt b qualify for the 5 day test.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (June 2, 2010, 20:14 GMT)

@Hironno, there are actually only 2 players in the England Test Squad that are foreign born and brought up, these are KP and Trott. To my knowledge this is not Most of the team. Even if you include Morgan in that list that is still only 3 out of 11 players so again hardly most. If you include Strauss (moved to the uk at 6), and Prior (moved to the uk at 11) then you are mistaken, both these players learnt thier cricket in England. Morgan also learnt a significant portion of his cricket in the UK, and came through the county system. In the wings there are a number of english born players in the wings, these include Adam Lyth, Adil Rashid, James Taylor, Woakes, Steven Davies (FYI hes above Keiswetter in the pecking order), Andy Gale, Shahzad, as well as others, all these are English born, and raised. Before you post please look beyond what you see in the media.

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (June 2, 2010, 19:35 GMT)

@_NEUTRAL_Fan_: I don't know what you mean by bat longer. If it is the no of balls per innings Tamim's figure is 65.76 as opposed to Til Dil's 60.26 and Sehwag's 63.64. Also, Tamim's just at the beginning of his career, so he has a big learning curve ahead of him. He rarely plays with terrific players (eg., Dravid or Mahela) at the other end, people who can talk to him during his innings on how to pace it or even calm him a bit or better yet take burden off of him. Give the lad some time to develop.

Posted by   on (June 2, 2010, 16:42 GMT)

I'd say forget test cricket concentrate on 20/20

Posted by hironno on (June 2, 2010, 14:07 GMT)

Most players in England team are foreign born and brought up. England couldn't win a major worl tournament untill this years t20 world cup when players like Kevin Pietersen and EEoin Morgan helped them along. I dont know where all these bid words come from about a team that is rapidly developing its game with a huge fan base> Bangladesh is emerging on its own and will start winning in big stage soon unlike England which is totally depended on naturalised citizens.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (June 2, 2010, 11:57 GMT)

Oh and on Tamim, he has got ability but he needs to learn to bat longer. Every so often he plays a crap shot. He needs to cut that out. I see some1 else sharing my thoughts that while he should play his natural game, Bang unlike Sri Lanka n Ind who have Dilshan n Sehwag cannot afford him to get out and even the latter 2 do bat longer.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (June 2, 2010, 11:53 GMT)

@Bengaltiger1...No!@ZsZs good stuff. The prob is ICC behave as if test status means u can only play test sides on a regular basis. AlL ICC have to do is ensure that whenever Bang tour, make sure they play at least 4 warm-up matches against A teams or TOP club teams from the other test nations. This ensures they still get to gain test experience whilst learning to win at least vs A teams and Club Teams.

Posted by DrToast on (June 2, 2010, 10:50 GMT)

I can definitely see the benefit of Bangladesh playing more first class cricket against A sides and learning how to win but they should still play Tests as well. If you consider the improvement in performance they have made from the Lords test in 05 to last weeks they are already well on the road to becoming a good test team in a few years time.

Posted by Ruhel_Moscow on (June 2, 2010, 8:10 GMT)

Boycott is a damnnnn cricketer.i saw his video on youtube.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (June 2, 2010, 7:18 GMT)

@thatsy, i know i shouldnt 'bite' but i depise intolerance and incorrect nature of the posts in regrad to this....@McGorium, Its an excellent set of suggestions and somethig i' suggested in the past, the BCB can easily arrange this with CA,The ECB, The BCC even the WICB, I'm sure these boards would support such a move, as it will make for more entertaining cricket in the future and bigger gate reciepts when the Banglash team tours, lords on sunday was 60% full....I also agree that a run a ball 100 is fun to watch but knowing how to stick around and frustrate the opposition sometimes is the only way to ensure a draw, an example is the England Match at Cape town, England Batted out 141 overs @ 2 an over to save the match, it wasnt pretty but i earned a draw, had BD batted to save the match such that they managed to get to Tea on the final day with a 160-200 run lead, the test would have been set for a draw.

Posted by Bengaltiger1 on (June 2, 2010, 6:49 GMT)

328 for five at the end of day 4. 380 all out in the first session of the day 5. Does any one sniff match fixing?

Posted by sanin on (June 2, 2010, 6:37 GMT)

Being a Bangladeshi I like the idea of playing more against A sides.........good sugeestion.

Posted by McGorium on (June 2, 2010, 0:50 GMT)

@ZsZs: (contd)... So, yes, I think they should play more A sides than test sides. The fact is, Ban have never come close to winning against a proper test team (Zim and WI wins came against ramshackle teams, weakened by strife). This fact is made worse if you note that no major side ever plays a full strength side against Ban. Ban has the fan following to develop their game, if only then can win. I don't know how easy it is, but play Sheffield shield champions, County Champs or Ranji champs. Or, send Ban players to play county cricket. Perhaps, then, players will be able to switch gears between ODI and test mode. Players like Tamim have to realize that Sehwag can afford to bat the way he does because of the batsmen who follow him(even if you ignore his obvious talent).Unless you can bat long,you can't draw a match. Since Ban doesn't have the bowling to knock out oppositions to win, it leaves only one result. I'm sure they know it,but they, including the experienced Ashraful,do it anyway

Posted by McGorium on (June 2, 2010, 0:29 GMT)

@ZsZs: My personal opinion is Bangladesh needs to learn how to win. In the sense, capitalize when on top. Vs. India (Sehwag's "Bangladesh is an ordinary test side" one), they were in a decent position and went on to lose pretty badly. Playing A sides away from home might help. I don't think it helps Ban much frequently losing by an innings, or having the opposition declare almost every time(inexpr. bowling). They don't bat long enough(Tamim making 100 in 100 balls does not help when following on. Tamim making 100 in 300 balls might have saved the game, and it was a flat track), and play like it's an ODI. It's great to have Sehwag in a team, as long as he is followed by solid Dravid or Tendulkar. You can't pack a side full of Afridis and consistently expect to do well. I suppose this learning will come as Ban play A sides. I mean, Ashraful was hailed as a good batsman, but his record doesn't reflect that; it's barely better than what you might expect from a #8 of a top side

Posted by vichan on (June 1, 2010, 21:49 GMT)

@thatsy - Completely agree regarding the comment on not taking the "bait". Fact is, 12% of England's population is born elsewhere. So if the team represents its demographic, then it is natural there should be a few cricketers in there who were born outside that country. For example, the overseas-born population in Australia is 22% and it is very conceivable that they could have Symonds (born in England), Nannes (played for the Netherlands) and Khawaja (born in Pakistan) in their Ashes team. I doubt there'll be too much moaning from all quarters about these facts, though...

Posted by ZsZs on (June 1, 2010, 20:04 GMT)

There goes the negative comments flying again. On the constructive side, I think Bangladesh should start inviting and paying for first class teams to come and play in Bangladesh. In turn I hope that BD first class teams go to other countries to play. I hope the boards around the world agree, as this will certainly assist BD to learn and create better players with the right mindset. Now, lets leave the vitriol aside and look at positive suggestions. The recent matchups of the A sides tour in BD is a good start. I think taking it one step forward of having a few BD players playing in different first class tournaments as team members would be a better way to learn. Thoughts?

Posted by   on (June 1, 2010, 19:31 GMT)

The name´╗┐ Boycott and the word attacking dont go together lol.go to youtube and watch some of his batting againest westindies bowler and you can understand who is tamim and who is Boycott.

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (June 1, 2010, 18:07 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding: I think its time the English fans stop replying to comments about KP/JT/EM's nationalities. I think the other teams' fans have to grow up and live it. I have never had any problem with Saffers or Irish playing for England or any other team. I just want to add that I'm a huge fan of Eoin Morgan. The lad's gonna make it big.

Posted by saladin3 on (June 1, 2010, 17:06 GMT)

High time to give serious look on our bowling ! We need a specialist bowling coach.esp. for the fast bowling. I hope the BCB must take the action as soon as possible if they want to improve in test cricket.!

Some awesome batting to awful bowling from seamers . Shame!

Posted by   on (June 1, 2010, 15:59 GMT)

england was tough but bangladesh bowlers showed good intent and pace but trott was good in the first innigs however banglesh was too many runs short in the first innings but they will improve and the future

Posted by JS82 on (June 1, 2010, 15:31 GMT)

I am a Bangladeshi. There is no point in making a fuss about England having players who were born elsewhere. This is a global world and people naturally migrate to more developed countries for better opportunities. Look at thousands of ex-pat Bangladeshis living in England and USA. It's very normal. However, I do feel bad for Ireland though, they really need to be able to hold on to players like Morgan for the betterment of their cricket. South Africa produces enough quality players anyway.

Posted by Trickstar on (June 1, 2010, 14:54 GMT)

All this about getting into the 5th day,the fact is they lost more than 2 sessions to rain so in reality it took England 4 days to go through the Banga's.

Posted by McGorium on (June 1, 2010, 14:35 GMT)

@tan_123: Ha... Bangladesh couldn't beat an England A side. It's all very nice, saying Ban did well, but many teams do better when asked to follow on in good batting conditions. The fielding side can afford to set attacking fields, and the bowlers are a bit tired. Hell, I recall when India toured, Ajit Agarkar made a test century. Yup. Let's recap: What's Bangladesh's achievement here? That they didn't suffer an Inning's defeat, as is so often the case? The fact of the matter is, Bangladesh and Zim exist to boost the averages and strike rates of their opponents, and to allow selectors to try out new players without worrying about their win-loss record. Like what India is doing vs Zim right now. We do need guinea pigs, don't we? England may have found a bowler in Finn, who knows. Lets see how Ban fares at Old Trafford, if the pitch has juice in it. That'll be the real thing.

Posted by popcorn on (June 1, 2010, 13:45 GMT)

If only the last 5 wickets of Bangla Desh had not crashed in the first and second innings. A draw would be tantamount to a loss for England. Even now, though the scoreline reads England won, if they are not smug about it, they should admit they were exposed. And Andy Flower particularly. Andrew Strauss got away with last man drwas in South Africa too.Sic.

Posted by sanin on (June 1, 2010, 12:44 GMT)

At jinxed1184....whats did you mean by "new breed".........it took us 7 years to find a opener lyk Tamim, a spinner lyk sakib, razzak. But i agree that it would take few years more to cope themselves in test cricket properly. England has the experience of 100 years where as Bangladesh been playing for 10-12 years, you do the math.

Posted by athletic on (June 1, 2010, 12:32 GMT)

yeah true the bottom line is that bangladesh have lost.really disappointing after an amazing display of batting from tamim =(, Bangladesh should have drawn from there on.we really need another player who plays with the confidence and accuracy of Tamim Iqbal

Posted by   on (June 1, 2010, 12:11 GMT)

@ Jinxed1184 Onions is injured and will be out of action for up to 3 months

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (June 1, 2010, 12:01 GMT)

@Jinxed, Onions has been sidlined for 3 months with a back and knee problem, as a result hes not likely to be match fit until mid/late August at the earliest.

Posted by Nawsad on (June 1, 2010, 11:16 GMT)

@ jinxed1184 :'does not have the level to draw let alone win ..'u r right cz this bunch r 100% bangladeshi not like england &associated team lol.we dont hire crickter,we produce ok mr.i hope u understood.........

Posted by Rajeshs239 on (June 1, 2010, 10:23 GMT)

@jinxed184 Onions is injured and he is hoping to make his comeback at the end of English domestic summer...Can expect him to be part of Ashes squad....

Posted by prime.lens on (June 1, 2010, 10:21 GMT)

@tan_123 - what an irrelevant comment to make! Bangladesh were not good enough to beat England. Accept it and take what positives you can out of their gradual improvement. It's not like Bangladesh is hammering other teams who field "native" players and only stumbled at England due to their "mercenaries."

Posted by riankhan on (June 1, 2010, 9:07 GMT)

To gzawilliam: There are no issues between Shakib n Mortaza. Mortaza is recovering from injury and yet to be fit for 5 days game. But he will probably play the ODIs after the test series. At present, Bangladesh is ok in Test, good in ODI, but crap in T/20. Hope to see some exiting ODI's

Posted by jinxed1184 on (June 1, 2010, 7:46 GMT)

Where is Onions ?? Can someone please tell me .. I know Broad is rested .. but why he is not playing . and about bangaladesh .. They need a new breed of players .. this bunch does not have the level to draw let alone win ..

so I guess it will take at least 5 more years for them to win a test against a proper nation .. Forget the wins against WI C-D grade team ..

Posted by gzawilliam on (June 1, 2010, 6:53 GMT)

Great effort from the bangladesh players. At first i thought it would be over in 3 days with the way trott batted. But with Tamim sehwag in their team some good fight and even a remote chance of victory was on the cards. The team really needs Mortaza back firing. I don't know if shakib has an issue with him but for their own benefit they need him back leading the attack. He has the quality of a test bowler. Without him or someone with that skill they are going to continue to struggle during this series.

Very impressed by Kayes too. He looks like a very good player aswell

Posted by   on (June 1, 2010, 6:39 GMT)

Very good performance especially by top3 of Bangladesh. It's good to see the improvement by them and that's due to Tamim Iqbal's charge at the top of inning. Also good contributions by Kayes & Siddique. But would love to see better effort from Shakib Al Hasan & Mohammad Ashraful with the bat. Also a team dominated by spiinners, and without Mashrafe Mortaza (who would be the key if he was there), the pacers were a bit dissapointing especially the new lad

Posted by sanin on (June 1, 2010, 6:04 GMT)

criticism is good, it help to rectify the mistakes. As far as I know TEST Cricket is the toughest test for a player, if a country improves at a slower rate or doesn't improve at all in test cricket, then why not help them, it is not "war", maybe it is "WAR" since some players doesn't even bother for handshakes after match is over.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (June 1, 2010, 5:53 GMT)

Andrew, a fair appraisal of the match, and both teams need to focus on thier bowling attacks....@Tan_123, look these are not mercenaries, england go round the world to hire them specifically to bolster the ranks, KP came to the UK as a Spinner who could bat a bit, Trott's married to an English woman and chose to live here, Strauss and Prior have lived in the UK since before they were teens, and Morgan, he learnt much of his cricket in the UK, and decided he wanted to play Test cricket so informed the ECB he would be available for England selection, but believe what you want.

Posted by vhabuk_bd on (June 1, 2010, 5:11 GMT)

"The facts will be that we won by eight wickets, but we had to work very hard for our win," said England's captain, Andrew Strauss. Thank you Strauss to admit the truth. England has been playing Test cricket for 100 years and Bangladesh, for 10 years, so England should defeat Bangladesh within 3 days. But England has not 11 English players to play test, it has to depend on South Africa and Ireland. We want to say to Geof Boycot "stop criticism and oil in your own mechine, you should help your country to produce test cricketers and help Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, kenia, Ireland for globalization of cricket.

Posted by jamrith on (June 1, 2010, 4:52 GMT)

@tan_123 Bangladesh lost fair and square so don't go on about South African players and all that. We live in a global environment where everyone is free ( technically) to use his talents wherever they are best appreciated and rewarded.Ii am sure the thousands of Bangladeshis in England would agree with that and we may well have some of them playing for England one day.

Posted by tan_123 on (May 31, 2010, 21:42 GMT)

yea its tough to beat team like england .. dey hired player from south africa and now ireland .. hmm :!! its really tough ... but again bangladesh played with 11 bangladeshi players .. and dey played well :!!

Posted by Bang_La on (May 31, 2010, 20:08 GMT)

Hi Andrew, the bottom line is, Bangladesh have been defeated convincingly as the English bowlers could use best of the conditions. I don't see any reason to be swayed away with emotions and start talking big. Geof Boycot is still alive :)

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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