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England vs Bangladesh 2nd Test, Day 1: Bell Holds Key To Imposing Total

By on June 5, 2010

England 275 for 5 (Bell 87*, Prior 21*) vs Bangladesh…

Ian Bell succeeded in repelling Bangladesh’s trial by spin, as he set about making sure England did not waste first use of a competitive Old Trafford pitch in the second npower Test.

Bell took his Test average against this opposition further into the stratosphere in moving to 87 not out in England’s 275 for five from 83 overs, when bad light ended play at 5.30pm local time.

That represented a considerable improvement on 83 for three just before lunch, taken during glorious sunshine which warmed the first two sessions.

Tentative strokeplay had proved England’s downfall after winning the toss, forcing them to battle hard against a Tigers side who took the field wearing black armbands, following the fire disaster which has killed more than 100 people in Dhaka.

It was a task that Kevin Pietersen was able to fulfil, in his own quixotic style, until a thrilling assault ended with him charging Shakib Al Hasan.

Fortunately for England, Bell showed no signs of hot-headedness, and played in his own unhurried manner alongside Eoin Morgan as they contributed the second 70-run partnership of the innings.

The tourists’ cause looks set to be compromised by a concerning injury to Shafiul Islam, the skiddy seamer whose impressive nine-over opening spell yielded two early wickets.

One of only two seamers in an attack with three spinners, it is hard to see Bangladesh winning with only a single fast bowler in operation.

Nonetheless, they bowled and fielded tidily, and began to bring England’s scoring into check with a tight ring.

It hardly helped that Shahadat Hossain was milked for boundaries by Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook took their opening stand to 44.

The England captain was out unexpectedly, and somewhat tamely, when he pushed at Shafiul on 21 and edged to slip.

Gaining inward movement with a whippy action, Shafiul followed up by spearing one through Jonathan Trott’s defences.

Bangladesh’s dismissal of a man who plundered 226 at Lord’s was met with jubilant celebration.

Cook, meanwhile, appeared to have done the hard work in getting to 29 after 24 overs, but he too prodded forward and edged Abdur Razzak’s first ball of the series to Junaid Siddique at slip.

Pietersen was still keen to set the agenda. He tried to throw Shakib off his stride, playing one glorious on-drive for four past his vanquisher in the first Test.

He and Bell, whose late cutting was beautiful, looked untroubled in carrying England into the ascendancy in the hour after lunch.

Then, as he approached fifty, Pietersen went up a gear; picking off Shafiul before launching Razzak for a midwicket six. He emphasised his astonishing reach in easing Shakib through extra cover for a divine four.

Closer observers preferred to take notice of the last ball of the 38th over from Shakib that spat almost square off the turf.

Significant turn was again in evidence when Shakib lured Pietersen down with a shorter ball, but the batsman was so far from the pitch that he would likely have still missed by a distance had it gone straight.

Mushfiqur Rahim completed one of the simplest stumpings of his short career, prompting primal roars from both wicketkeeper and bowler.

If Bangladesh hoped to eat into a green middle-order, they were mistaken. Morgan survived a nick through slips and a close leave which almost saw Shahadat take out his off stump, to play assuredly against the spinners.

Bell was quick on his feet throughout, and his half-century arrived in 97 balls when he guided Razzak behind square three overs before tea. Despite the loss of Pietersen, 123 runs came in the session.

Morgan made barely an error in making 37, but was stopped in his tracks when he cut a rising ball from Shahadat in the air behind point where Jahurul Islam, leaping to his right, took a blinding one-handed catch.

Matt Prior, who was 21 not out in an unbroken alliance of 52 with Bell, twice survived against Razzak; first only due to soft hands when he nudged just short of slip an hour into the evening and soon after more fortuitously when he split keeper and slip.

That second piece of fortune heralded the 250 and England moved along comfortably thereafter as Bangladesh delayed taking the second new ball.

Source: ECB

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