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Bangladesh vs England, 2nd Test, Day 4: Bangladesh Struggle To Stay Afloat

By on March 23, 2010

Bangladesh 419 and 172 for 6 (Shakib 25*, Shafiul 0*) lead England 496 (Bell 138, Bresnan 91, Shakib 4-124) by 95 runs…

England sensed a distinct opportunity to depart Bangladesh with a series whitewash, having broken the back of the hosts’ batting on the fourth day in Mirpur.

Responding to a first-innings deficit of 77, Bangladesh had wiped that away quickly enough to keep them interested in setting England a challenging target tomorrow.

But the loss of Tamim Iqbal, for a characteristically chancy and impetuous 52, allowed England a glimpse into the middle order, which a disciplined bowling unit seized ruthlessly. In the space of 25 overs, England picked up five wickets on a largely unresponsive surface.

At the close on a less humid day near Dhaka, Bangladesh were 172 for six, a lead of just 95.

Stuart Broad’s removal of the in-form Mushfiqur Rahim three overs from stumps leaves the responsibility of keeping this match alive squarely with Shakib Al Hasan, who will resume tomorrow on 25.

It would be harsh to criticise Bangladesh. Their young batsmen were forced to score quickly in a limited amount of time against two accomplished off-spinners who bowled 41 of England’s 68 overs.

Tamim’s approach was frivolous, but hardly surprising, given his previous history and the fact that he was robbed of valuable time in the morning while England stretched out their first innings.

Tamim announced his presence with a daring hook off Broad in the third over.

He had already edged a tough chance behind off James Tredwell, introduced in the fifth over, when he lost his beleaguered opening partner.

Broad benefited from a possible defect in Imrul Kayes’ equipment, seeing his nondescript leg-side half-volley brush the left-hander’s thigh guard and back on to his middle stump.

Tamim emerged in more combative mood after lunch, charging Tredwell three times in a single over. He was fortunate to survive skying to a vacant extra cover.

Graeme Swann was held back until the 20th over, but immediately had Tamim playing risky lap-sweeps in front of his pads.

Tredwell looked on as two bat-pad chances evaded close fielders, but more anguish was to come for the debutant. On 47, Tamim hit Tredwell straight up in the air to point, but Jonathan Trott somehow put down a sitter.

England’s relief was palpable when Tamim picked out Broad at point just five runs later, mistakenly trying to square drive a full delivery from Swann.

Bangladesh debutant Jahurul Islam came in on a pair, but responded with gusto by opening his Test account with two sixes and generally surviving on his wits.

Bangladesh lost their bulwark and hero from Chittagong, Junaid Siddique, to a moment of misfortune. The left-hander’s back-foot drive rebounded flush off silly point Alastair Cook’s boot and straight into the hands of Tredwell, the bowler. Siddique’s 34 had used up 113 balls.

Bangladesh’s lead was 38 at tea, and they looked considerably shaky when Tim Bresnan produced a fine spell in adverse conditions.

Swinging the old ball both ways, Bresnan had close lbw shouts against Jahurul and Shakib correctly turned down, before surprising the capable Mahmudullah with a fine outswinger that he could only edge behind.

Swann then denied Jahurul an admirable half-century with a classic off-spinner’s wicket. Lunging forward, the right-hander was beaten by the turn and bowled off his inside edge for 43.

Bangladesh desperately needed Mushfiqur to survive to the close, but Broad put paid to that. Broad first had a tight lbw decision turned down, prompting an unnecessarily distraught reaction towards umpire Tony Hill, but had his man the following ball, bowling Mushfiqur via bat and pad.

England’s priority in the morning was simple: to frustrate Bangladesh as long as possible by stretching out their first-innings lead.

They largely succeeded in that aim, adding 56 runs in almost 20 overs, mostly from the bat of Tredwell, allowing the tourists to post 496.

The one setback for England was the fall of Bresnan nine runs short of a maiden Test century.

Shakib attempted to make run-scoring as hard as possible by declining the new ball when it became available seven overs in, but Tredwell continued to pick off anything loose.

Bresnan had advanced more sedately to 91 from his overnight 74 when he came fatally down the track to Abdur Razzak. The ball spat out of the turf and into the gloves of Mushfiqur, who did brilliantly to take the ball high to his right and take off the bails with Bresnan short of his ground.

The appearance of last man Steven Finn prompted Tredwell to increase the tempo, hauling Shakib for consecutive fours over midwicket.

The number 10 had moved to 37 when he too attempted to charge Razzak, leaving Mushfiqur to complete a second stumping.

England’s innings was a real slog for Bangladesh, but praise should go to the parsimonious Shakib, who completed a marathon 66 overs, claiming 4-124. No Bangladesh bowler had ever bowled so many overs in an innings.

Source: ECB

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