England Stutter Against Bangladesh In Second Test

Paul AustinCorrespondent IJune 4, 2010

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 04:  Mushfiqur Rahim of Bangladesh looks on as Ian Bell scores runs during the first day of the 2nd npower Test between England and Bangladesh at Old Trafford on June 4, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)
Julian Herbert/Getty Images

England may be the champions of the world, when it comes to the short form Twenty20 style of cricket, and Bangladesh may be ranked a lowly ninth in the official ICC Test rankings, but once again the supposed gulf between these two test nations was missing on the field of play. England stuttered to a disappointing 275-5, against a much improved opposition.

Before the start of play, England brought in seamer Ajmal Shahzad for his Test debut, in place of his injured Yorkshire teammate Tim Bresnan, and then, after winning the toss, they predictably opted to bat first, in the warm sunshine, on what looked like a docile pitch.

England started briskly, with Strauss and Cook at the crease, reaching 38-0 off the first nine overs, and with Shahadat Hossain conceding 25 off four before being replaced by the spinner Mahmudullah.

However the promising start didn't last for long, and Shafiul Islam soon had the England captain caught by Imrul Kayes at second slip, after he'd got a nick on an outside edge.

This set the pattern for the day, and from there after, every time England looked like they'd settled down and got going, another wicket would fall.

The second wicket to fall was Jonathan Trott, the double-centurion hero of the first test, who was bowled by Shafiul whilst still only on three.

Next up Left-arm spinner Razzak deceived Cook in the flight, with the batsman starting to move forward, before checking back and playing away from his body at a ball that went straight on, with Junaid Siddique happily accepting the gift at first slip.

After the fall of Cook, there was another promising spell, with Pietersen and Bell, putting on a swift 70 for the fourth wicket, before Pietersen's exuberance got the better of him, and he charged forward to play at a delivery from Shakib, missed, and left wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim with the simple task of removing the bails.

Bell, who had a lucky escape when an edge off Shakib struck Mushfiqur's pads, then took the lead role in a productive partnership with Eoin Morgan, and brought up his 24th Test fifty with a late cut to the boundary.

The pair added 70 for the fifth wicket before Morgan was dismissed by a stunning piece of fielding 20 minutes after tea.

After that, a rather subdued partnership of Bell, and Prior, batted out until bad light brought a premature end to the day's play.

Over all, this was a disappointing performance from England; the pitch was good, and whilst the opposition was much improved, the runs were still there to be had, as can be attested to by the fact that, with the exception of Trott, every batsman made a start.

Once again Pietersen was sloppy in giving away his wicket, and some of the other top order batsmen struggled with their concentration, and their application.

None of this, however, should take away from the Bangladeshi cricket team, as the Tigers punched above their weight, and showed that, whilst they might be ranked ninth in the official ICC Test rankings they are in England to compete.


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