Steven Finn bounced through Bangladesh to complete his second five-wicket of the series, after James Anderson had broken their resistance in an unplayable spell of new-ball swing bowling, as England surged to victory by an innings and 80 runs in a remarkable day’s play at a damp and overcast Old Trafford. Following a two-and-a-quarter hour delay, England’s decision to enforce the follow-on was amply justified, as they achieved the rare feat of claiming ten wickets in consecutive sessions.
Bangladesh came out to bat with a 203-run first-innings deficit, but they never recovered from the devastating loss of Tamim Iqbal to the second delivery of the innings – and nor, to be frank, did they really try. After consecutive scores against England of 86, 14, 85, 52, 55, 103 and 108, the law of averages dictated that Tamim was due to miss out at some stage, but to do so under gloomy skies and against a swing-tastic Anderson sent a message of abject defeatism to his fragile colleagues.
After punching his first delivery with confidence and aggression through the covers, Tamim fenced at his second, a zippy lifter outside off stump, and grazed a simple edge through to Matt Prior. For the first time in the series, that left his partner, Imrul Kayes, to cope on his own, and while he gutsed it out as best he could for five overs, the steep bounce of Finn eventually did for him for the fourth innings in a row, as he wafted a hook to Ajmal Shahzad at deep square leg, just as he had done during Saturday night’s collapse.
Junaid Siddique joined the procession five balls later, as Anderson’s booming outswing snicked his edge and skewed to Kevin Pietersen in the gully, and Finn made it 21 for 4 when Jahurul Islam dabbed atrociously outside off, for Prior to claim his second catch – a touch gingerly, as it happens, as he was nursing a damaged nerve in his right index finger.
The ever-maligned Mohammad Ashraful claimed two fours in three balls as Finn’s peculiar habit of losing his footing in his followthrough persuaded Andrew Strauss to remove him from the attack after five overs, but Anderson ended his brief stay via a looping edge to Jonathan Trott at first slip, before Ajmal Shahzad produced a beauty to snick Shakib Al Hasan’s off bail as the ball jagged back at the left-hander.
At 39 for 6, Bangladesh had lost 14 wickets in the match for 129 runs, and were tumbling hopelessly towards their lowest score of all time – 62 against Sri Lanka in July 2007. But Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim, two batsmen whose obduracy had not really been witnessed so far on this tour, helped patch up the scorecard in a 37-run stand for the seventh wicket. Mushfiqur required treatment for a painful blow on the fingers from Shahzad, but he wasn’t dislodged until Finn returned to the attack in the 26th over – whereupon he clipped a first-ball loosener obligingly to midwicket, and trooped off aghast for 13 from 42 balls.
Mahmudullah’s response was to go down swinging – literally, as he belted consecutive bouncers from Finn for four before snicking a top-edge through to Prior in the same over, and his gung-ho attitude rubbed off on Abdur Razzak, who took advantage of Graeme Swann’s preoccupation with a bleeding finger to smash his very next over for two fours and a six over cow corner. But his partner, Shafiul Islam, wasn’t quite so proactive in his approach, and Finn mopped up his second five-wicket haul of the series as Andrew Strauss scooped a low (TV-verified) chance at first slip.
Four balls later, it was all over bar the presentations, as Razzak aimed another mow at Swann, for Eoin Morgan to steady himself at long-on and cling onto a steepling chance. Despite the elation of Tamim’s century on Saturday afternoon, Bangladesh had contrived to lose 20 wickets for 213 inside two sessions. It represented a sad crash-landing at the end of a series in which they had won a lot of friends for the style and intent of their play.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, June 6th, 2010 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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