RUNS FLOW THIS WAY: Bangladesh lower-order batsman Naeem Islam glides one between gully and slip during his unbeaten knock of 59 on the second day of the second and final Test against England at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.Photo: STAR
Strong tail-end batting got Bangladesh to 419 eventually but the second Test match is far from over as England ended the second day solidly despite a few blows. The visitors were 170 for three at stumps yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
After Nayeem Islam and Shafiul Islam batted purposefully to score maiden half-centuries in the first session, England made sure they were still in the reckoning but struggled to score at a faster rate.
However the heroes on this scorching hot day of few runs and wickets were Nayeem and Shafiul as the Test match progressed to what could be some thrilling three days of cricket.
The two overnight batsmen, who came in late on the first day with the Tigers hoping for a score that would be 350 at best, frustrated the England fieldsmen and then dominated for almost two hours in the morning.
Nayeem farmed the strike for most of the first hour but as England started leaking runs, particularly through gaps in the slip cordon, Shafiul felt confident enough to take on the pacemen. Soon he struck boundaries through the tight off-side field, hitting the likes of Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and James Tredwell. He got on a roll and reached his half-century off 47 balls with a carved boundary over the covers.
Nayeem at the other end was contented with squirting boundaries through the slip cordon off Tim Bresnan and three overs later, he also reached a first half-century. The two added 74 for the ninth wicket, a record in Bangladesh-England Tests, before Shafiul edged one to Matt Prior who dove in front of the first slip to take the catch off Bresnan.
If England thought they could wrap it up quickly, the Tigers No 11 Rubel Hossain came out and slammed four boundaries in his 22-ball 17 to make sure a healthy first innings.
Shakib brought himself and Abdur Razzak into the attack within an over into the England innings and soon after lunch, Razzak had England captain Alistair Cook caught at mid-wicket for 21.
It would have been a far even worse day for tourists had the Tigers held the only chance they got from opener Jonathan Trott, who ended the day on an unbeaten 64.
He had Ian Bell for company when the day ended but Trott, who took 33 balls to get off the mark, had a reprieve when debutant Jahirul Islam dropped a simple chance at short leg off captain Shakib Al Hasan with England on 41-1.
Thereafter, Trott and Kevin Pietersen, who also had a strong lbw appeal against him turned down, took the visitors to tea safely in a 76-run stand but within minutes, the Tigers were back with two key wickets.
First, Kevin Pietersen was beaten in length by Shakib and toed it to short cover where Imrul Kayes took a simple catch. Seven balls later, Paul Collingwood fell leg-before to Rubel Hossain who used an otherwise futile old ball to good effect.
England soon restored parity with Bell, hitting three confident boundaries in his 25, and Trott reached his second Test fifty. The two have added 64 for the fourth wicket so far, confirming a long hard day for Tigers bowlers on a non-responsive wicket.