|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
June 4, 2005
"To get so close is a little disappointing," admitted Bell. "I thought all four seamers were exceptional on the first morning, but the pitch was a little easier today, so they were able to handle the guys better this time." Bell had given England every chance of a quick win by adding 105 runs to his overnight 57, the best in a morning session since Les Ames put South Africa to the sword at The Oval in 1935. But he could have no complaints personally, after cementing his place for the first Test against Australia at Lord's next month.
"I had a few thoughts about a century last night so it was a bit of relief when it came," added Bell, who was under no illusions as to the strength of the attack he had just clobbered "I'd like to do the same against Australia, although I don't believe that Bangladesh are as strong as a county side, so I'm sure there are tougher times to come.
"I won't be sitting around worrying though," Bell added. "There are a lot of worse things I could be doing than testing myself against the best in the world. I'll just play with a smile on my face, take every game as it comes."
If Bell was merely satisfied, then the mood in the Bangladeshi dressing-room was one of relief tinged with defiance, as they succeeded in batting out the day, en route to their highest total in Tests against England. Javed Omar led the way with his fourth responsible knock of the series, and was well supported by hard-hitting cameos from Habibul Bashar and Aftab Ahmed.
"We've struggled for the last two or three innings," admitted Omar. "We've not done as well as we'd been hoping, but today we started well and changed our tactics with Bashar coming in at No. 5. The coach told us to go out and enjoy ourselves and play positively, and it paid off. Most of our batsmen, like Aftab and Bashar, are strokemakers, so scoring runs is their natural game."
Omar has been the one redeeming feature of Bangladesh's batting in this series, reaching double-figures in all four innings. "I've been confident and focussed," he admitted, "but I've not scored big runs. That's bad for the team and it's bad for me. I needed to do it for longer, because what's good for my country is good for me."
Omar refused to comment on the controversial dismissal of his opening partner, Nafees Iqbal, who was adjudged caught behind by Geraint Jones, although it is understood that the Bangladeshis are to lodge a complaint. But, that sour note aside, it was a better day all round, and Omar was hopeful that the experience would stand them in good stead for the one-dayers.
"That was an important day for Bangladesh," he said. "We've been in bad shape in the Tests, so the confidence is very important for one-dayers. We are not worried, the white-ball game is a different game, and when the team plays well, the mood is positive back at the hotel."
Ishant Sharma has often been the butt of jokes, and sometimes deservedly so. Today, however, the joke was on England
They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity
Only 15 times in Test history has a player achieved the double of 300 runs and 20 wickets in a Test series. Going on current form, Bhuvneshwar could well be the 16th
In India's win at Lord's, Ishant Sharma took the best bowling figures by an Indian in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia. Here are five other best bowling efforts by Indians in the fourth innings of Tests outside Asia
India's wretched run away from home began at Lord's in 2011. A young team full of self-belief may have brought it to an end with their victory at the same venue three years later
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?
Alastair Cook did not bat like a leading man but the crowd applauded him for simply not failing
If England are going to win nothing, history suggests it might be worth their while to win nothing with kids
Why not you? Read and learn how!