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Bangladesh battled hard for long periods of their two-Test series against England, but were prone to dramatic collapses with both bat and ball. Cricinfo picks through the rubble to assess the 13 performers
June 7, 2010
Features : England marks out of ten
Players/Officials: Abdur Razzak | Imrul Kayes | Jahurul Islam | Junaid Siddique | Mahmudullah | Mohammad Ashraful | Mushfiqur Rahim | Robiul Islam | Rubel Hossain | Shafiul Islam | Shahadat Hossain | Shakib Al Hasan | Tamim Iqbal
Matches: England v Bangladesh at Manchester
Series/Tournaments: Bangladesh tour of England, Ireland and Scotland
Tamim Iqbal - 9
Imperious, audacious and compelling viewing. Arguably not since Mohammad Azharuddin charmed Lord's in 1990 with an 87-ball hundred has a lost cause been pursued with such freedom, talent and enjoyment. He came into the series with a wrist injury that was expected to restrict his mobility, but nothing of the sort transpired as he walloped a 94-ball hundred at Lord's and a run-a-ball ton at Old Trafford, and the only time his aggression boiled over into recklessness came when he resorted to slogging in the nervous nineties. His talent was well known coming into this tour, but a global star has been born this month.
Imrul Kayes - 6
He came into the series with a top score of 33, and having been bounced out by Stuart Broad on a shirtfront in Chittagong, he arrived with a target on his forehead as well. But to his immense credit, Kayes fought against his frailties to improve on that career-best in three innings out of four. He did so, for the most part, by slipstreaming Tamim, but there was no shame in that approach, especially when you consider how often and easily the rest of the line-up crumbled. The most improved batsman on show, by a distance.
Junaid Siddique - 6
A tale of two Tests for Siddique, who looked a classy cricketer during his pair of half-centuries at Lord's - a first-innings 58, in which he knuckled down with rare determination to leave England sweating for breakthroughs at 172 for 2 at the close of the second day, and an excellently paced 74 to capitalise on Tamim's onslaught in the follow-on. But in keeping with his colleagues, he found the going much tougher when the conditions were in the bowlers' favour, and at Old Trafford, he was cannon fodder, snicking off to Swann and Anderson for a total of seven runs.
Jahurul Islam - 5
Another player who enhanced his credentials at Lord's before shrivelling dispiritingly in the Old Trafford debacle. Until he was suckered by the part-time seam of Jonathan Trott, Jahurul had helped carry Bangladesh to 289 for 2 in the follow-on, a position of untold riches that promised England a problematic fourth-innings run-chase. But that was the high-water mark of his tour. One match later, he was done by a Swann beauty in the first innings, before signing off with an awful dab to the keeper second-time around.
Mohammad Ashraful - 3
So much promise, so little reward. An unlucky lbw undermined him at Lord's, and Anderson later extracted him in a superb new-ball over, but a player of his class can't blame accidents for his shortcomings. At Old Trafford he had no such excuses, as he wafted a cut to point and lobbed an edge to slip, and ensured that his ever-shrinking career-average continues to plummet towards the teens.
Shakib Al Hasan - 5
Seven for his bowling, three for his batting, which was a greater disappointment even than Ashraful's, given how committed he had been in the return series back home. He made 52 runs in four innings - appropriate statistics for a captain whose team collapsed like a deck of cards - but provided one of the highlights of the series with his Warne-esque ripper to bowl Ian Bell at Old Trafford. His five-wicket haul was due reward for his perseverance, as his tally of 80 overs was 29 more than any of his colleagues managed - further evidence of the shortcomings of their attack.
Mushfiqur Rahim - 3
A genuine disappointment. The Mighty Atom's battling qualities were in scant evidence as he was washed away in a flood of collapses, one in each innings. Only at the very end did he revive his nuggetty tendencies, when he overcame a blow to the finger from Shahzad to survive for 42 balls and revive Bangladesh from 39 for 6. But then, in a sadly appropriate sign-off, he flicked a leg-stump half-volley to midwicket to complete a series tally of 40 runs @ 10.
Mahmudullah - 5
A puzzling performance from a man who seems to be selected entirely as a plan B. Shakib showed little interest in his more-than-effective offspin, limiting him to a partnership-breaking role, while his appearance at No. 8 in the order seems a waste of a player who scored a maiden Test hundred in New Zealand earlier this year. Showcased his abilities by thwacking 38 in a lost cause at Old Trafford, but it was little more than a walk-on role.
Shafiul Islam - 7
A real prospect. Missed out at Lord's but atoned in style at Old Trafford, swinging the ball with pace and aggression to claim two first-hour breakthroughs and explode the myth that Bangladesh cannot produce fast bowlers. His subsequent troubles with cramp undermined his efforts and left his team lacking a cutting edge just when they most needed to pile on the pressure, but at the age of 20, he's a talent worth investing in, and to judge by the manner in which he outwitted Jonathan Trott, he has a cricketing brain as well.
Shahadat Hossain - 6
The first Bangladeshi to write his name on the Lord's honours boards, and that is a moment he will treasure for the rest of his days. It has to be hoped that he doesn't milk the moment too much, however, because his follow-up effort at Old Trafford was pretty poor. Despite his energetic grunts, his pace rarely pushes 80mph, and so anything less than a perfect line and length - which was what earned him his Lord's rewards - will be punished. As indeed it was at Old Trafford.
Abdur Razzak - 5
His selection alone gave Bangladesh a massive lift in the early stages at Old Trafford, as it meant that they had returned to the spin-dominated line-up with which they have more familiarity, and hence confidence in the field. And when he bagged Alastair Cook with his first ball of the series, the decision suddenly looked like a masterstroke. Didn't quite maintain that level of effectiveness thereafter, although while he and Shakib were in tandem after tea on the first day, it was almost as if we were back in Mirpur.
Robiul Islam - 3
Picked to make his debut at the home of cricket, no less, but the occasion overawed him, despite Jamie Siddons' faith that he had a technique that would be ideally suited to English conditions. Discarded for now, but he's young enough to learn.
Rubel Hossain - 3
Bowled Bell through the gate with a beauty at Lord's, but that delivery was at odds with the rest of his performance, which is possibly why it took the batsman by such surprise.
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