Shamik Das

Friday, June 04, 2010

Bangladesh bowlers finally show their class

England-Bangladesh-Old-Trafford-04-06-10Manchester, second Test, day 1:
England 275/5 (Bell 87*, Pietersen 64; Shafiul 2-37) v Bangladesh

Bangladesh built on their impressive performance in the first Test at Lord’s with another decent display of Test match cricket to leave the second Test even after the first day in Manchester, restricting England to a scoring rate of only 3.3 runs per over when bad light and then rain curtailed the day’s play.

Ian Bell continued his fine run against Bangladesh - his current average against them is 197.3 - but it was Kevin Pietersen who once again stole the day’s headlines, pinging the ball to all corners after a slow start. KP struck 28 runs off his last 15 balls, including a wonderful six off Abdur Razzak, before getting himself stumped dancing down the track and completely misreading the spin.

However, it was Bangladesh’s bowlers who’ll feel happiest, picking up where their batsmen left off; unrecognisable in attitude and outlook from the nervy XI who took to the field in the country’s inaugural Test on these shores five years ago, they once more performed like a genuine Test attack, as they’d done on the second day at Lord’s the Friday before. Shafiul Islam bagged two wickets, conceding just 37 runs from his 14 overs, with Shahadat Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak taking one apiece


Were Bangladesh to see it through, and there’s no reason to believe they will, it’ll be the fourth time in seven Tests this year they’d have taken all ten first innings wickets - the challenge, though, is to make inroads in the second innings. So far this year, their second innings hauls have been 8, 0, 5, 7, 1 and 2.

This contrasts sharply with their batting displays; in four of their six Tests this year, Bangladesh’s second innings score has exceeded their first - with only one of those instances, the game at Lord’s, involving them following-on. Bangladesh’s match aggregates have been particularly impressive of late.

As Cricinfo points out, three of their five highest match totals have come this year: their Lord’s aggregate (664) was their fifth-highest in a Test match;, the 690 against New Zealand in Hamilton in February was higher still and their highest (704) was against England in Dhaka earlier this year.

In the field they have also improved, evidenced by Jahurul Islam stunning leap to hold on to an Eoin Morgan cut to backward point, stopping Morgan in his tracks as he threatened to let fly, pegging England back at 223 for 4.

With Old Trafford once again looking like a spinner’s paradise, and Bangladesh’s spin team outnumbering England’s lone offie Graeme Swann, the Tigers look well placed to give England more of a test.

Test Match Special: Live ball-by-ball audio commentary
Cricinfo: Live text commentary of the second day’s play


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