• Player at centre of dramatic scenes after being hit on back of helmet • Wicket-keeper returned to the ground after receiving treatment
Kane Williamson’s excellent 104 not out led New Zealand to an unlikely seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first Test. But the result was slightly overshadowed by Mushfiqur Rahim being taken to hospital after being hit on the helmet by a bouncer.
Mushfiqur took his eye off a shorter delivery from Tim Southee and was struck on the back of his helmet, requiring an ambulance to come onto the Basin Reserve pitch and take the Tigers captain away to a nearby hospital.
The success of the security operation for England’s visit has encouraged hopes that more Test teams will tour Bangladesh
There remain reservations about how successful England’s expedition to Bangladesh was on the field, but as they arrive safely in Mumbai for the second leg of their tour, one man is entitled to look back on the first with satisfaction.
Reg Dickason, England’s security adviser, is the man whose advice was the single largest factor in the tour to Bangladesh going ahead and there has been no argument that the security arrangements for the players – and the press, who were incorporated unofficially into the plan along with a few stray supporters – were successful.
With his record on the subcontinent, not many would have predicted that England’s captain would be dismissed three times by a teenager, but Mehedi Hasan’s impeccable line and length on “spin or skid” pitches proved too much, even for Cook. There were signs that he was finding his celebrated batting rhythm in the second innings at Dhaka, when the four balls went to the boundary and his strike rotating pushes and prods kept the scoreboard moving. As captain, he never seemed to know quite what to do with his bowlers, for whom he needed a couple more fielders due to their inability to bowl one side of the wicket. He was clearly dissatisfied with his spinners but was curiously reluctant to go to Chris Woakes, who bowled just 25 overs in the series at an economy rate well under three.
• ‘On spinning wickets their bowlers are experienced,’ says England captain • Cook disappointed by reaction to Ben Stokes’ exchanges with Sabbir Rahman
At the end of another topsy-turvy day in an ever-fluctuating series Bangladesh recorded their first Test win against England by the emphatic margin of 108 runs. It was a landmark victory for the home side, who had previously beaten only Zimbabwe (five times) and a depleted West Indies (twice) in the longest format of the game. It was something of a humiliation for England.
Alastair Cook believes his side have shown their ‘inexperience’ against a Bangladeshi team who laid claim to a first ever Test win against England. Speaking after the historic defeat in Dhaka on Sunday, Cook cited difficult ‘spinning wicket’ conditions as a contributing factor to their loss despite a strong batting performance from Ben Duckett
So that is that. Bangladesh’s win was a thumping one, by 108 runs, with two days to spare. History has been resoundingly made, and it’s been an honour to tap out the first draft of it. Thanks for your company, your emails, your tweets and your good humour. English cricket won’t go down without a laugh.
Man of the match is Mehedi Hasan, Mr Six For, who trots up with a glorious smile on his face and says “I’m really happy”. He can say that again. And he does.
My grandfather, John de Lisle, was a county cricketer who spent several years in Dhaka, working as a jute merchant. It would have surprised him to see Bangladesh become a nation, let alone a Test team, but I like to think he would have been cheering them on today. Test cricket has had a wonderful couple of weeks, and to have a young nation doing so well makes the whole game stronger.
Man of the series will surely be Mehedi Hasan, the off spinner who took 19 England wickets, one for each of his tender years. He was accurate, tireless, painstaking, a real grown-up.
England need to sort out the way they play spin, and the way they deploy it. Alistair Cook had three slow bowlers here, but showed little faith in them, and set fields that just gave away easy singles.
So history is made, and history is invoked by Phil, our resident mononym. “To paraphrase Admiral Beatty at Jutland,” he writes, “there seems to be something wrong with our batsmen.”
The astonishing thing about this victory is not that it happened, but that it came so fast. England were 100-0 at tea, and cruising, with Ben Duckett making an electric first Test fifty. The first ball after tea, Duckett got a daisy-cutter, and then Mehedi stood tall and lured England into one of their all-time great collapses. They lost all ten wickets for 64 in 22.3 overs. Staggering stuff.
Finn is plumb lbw and Mehedi, the teenage wonder boy, has given his country their first win over England. He may also have given the rest of the world a laugh – but this win was no fluke, and a drawn series is the right result.
45th over: England 163-9 (Woakes 8, Finn 0) target 273 A pattern has already established itself for this partnership: Woakes takes a comfortable single half way through the over, and Finn uses his long reach to see out the rest. If they can just keep it up for a couple of days, England will be fine.
44th over: England 162-9 (Woakes 7, Finn 0) target 273 Woakes has been formidable for the past four months, but this is surely beyond him.
43rd over: England 161-9 (Woakes 6, Finn 0) target 273 Shakib was poor at the start of this innings, but he has had the last laugh – three of them in one over. And that catch, from Mominul, was phenomenal.
“Hey Tim,” writes Shammi Huda. “The last decade has been tough as a supporter of Arsenal fc and Bangladesh cricket…for the giddy highs there are always unspeakable lows, every silver lining has a cloud…but now, welcome to Tiger country! Great series commentary, look forward to Indian series.” Me too, but England may be dreading it.
Ansar sees off one ball but can’t cope with the next, clipping to leg and falling to a superb catch from Nominal at short leg. That was James Taylor-esque. It’s 161-9 and England still need more than a hundred. History is beckoning to Bangladesh.
Zafar Ansari, scholar and spinner, has to see off a hat-trick from Shakib, wit six men round the bat. He manages it, propping forward solidly.
Rashid, sent in ahead of Ansari after his first-innings heroics, has gone. Straight ball, stone dead, 161-8, and I am running out of exclamation marks.
Rashid given lbw first ball, and he looks a goner.
No doubt this time – Stokes b Shakib 25, flummoxed by the flight. England 161-7, sinking fast.
42nd over: England 157-6 (Stokes 21, Woakes 6) target 273 We already have a winner: Test cricket, again. The suspense is delicious.
Stokes survives, saved by the flick of ball on glove, which means he technically hit it. You couldn’t make it up.
Given lbw, he reviews. Looks outish…
Stokes goes down the track to Mehedi, fails to reach the pitch of the ball, and still lofts it over long-off. Immense.
41st over: England 150-6 (Stokes 14, Woakes 6) target 273 When the hundred came up, England were right on top. Now they are in a tight corner and a desperate scrap. Can Stokes, the dominant personality of the series so far, dig them out?
Stokes reprieved by Shakib off his own bowling – a tricky one, falling in front of him, but catchable.
40th over: England 149-6 (Stokes 13, Woakes 6) target 273 Stokes tries to live up to that last point with a slog-sweep off Mehedi, but it’s well stopped at square leg. With the lights on, Bangladesh need to keep up this momentum.
39th over: England 147-6 (Stokes 12, Woakes 5) target 273 Both batsmen are staying positive. Stokes will not go gently.
An email from Phil, who seems to have just the one name, like Beyonce. “With this first five batting order, England will get slaughtered by India. Changes need to be made, starting with Ballance and Moeen.” Ballance, for sure, but that seems a little hard on Mo, who made a crucial 60 at Chittagong. A 60 in this series is worth a hundred in most places.
38th over: England 143-6 (Stokes 10, Woakes 3) target 273 Woakes begins with a cool cover drive for three. But if one more thing goes wrong, England are surely sunk.
Bat, pad, pop, snaffle. Mehedi has yet another five-for, England are 139-6, and Bangladesh are now hot favourites.
An email from Jake Dodds. “A message from my Dad that I’m happy to share as it demonstrates both cleanliness and humour: ‘Just had quick shower, lost 2 wkts, if you count Ballance as a wicket.’”
37th over: England 137-5 (Stokes 9, Bairstow 2) target 273 Stokes survives an lbw appeal from Shakib, not that it bothers him – he then goes for a reverse sweep and misses, but gets away with it. And that’s drinks. Seldom has an hour belonged so utterly to one side: five wickets, 37 runs, mostly mayhem. But can Bangladesh finish England off, as they narrowly failed to do in Chittagong? The heart says yes, the head says probably.
36th over: England 136-5 (Stokes 9, Bairstow 1) target 273 Mehedi drops short and Stokes pounces with a stylish pull for four. He is happy to take up the gauntlet thrown down by Duckett.
35th over: England 129-5 (Stokes 3, Bairstow 0) target 273 Stokes chops out a two, then keeps out the rest and nicks the strike with a handsome back-foot push to the cover sweeper. England have the personality to rescue this – Stokes, Bairstow, Woakes, Rashid. The question is whether they have the skill.
“So,” asks John Starbuck, “is the sixth-wicket partnership going to rescue England again?”
34th over: England 127-5 (Stokes 1, Bairstow 0) target 273 Mehedi now has four wickets in this spell and ten in the match. The one that got Cook didn’t seem to do much, but Rob Key spots that it was a slower ball – an even-slower ball. Teenage kicks are not what they were.
No doubt this time, as Cook pokes straight to silly point and perishes to a juggling catch. That’s 127-5 and Bangladesh appear to be racing to their first Test victory over England. But Stokes and Bairstow, so effective together, may have other ideas.
33rd over: England 126-4 (Cook 59, Stokes 0) target 273 After surviving Shuvagata’s fifth ball, Cook plays and misses at the sixth. When Duckett was there, England were making a molehill out of a mountain. Now they’re making a minefield.
Cook survives by a whisker, again. Fabulous drama.
For lbw against Cook, who could be in trouble.
32nd over: England 124-4 (Cook 57, Stokes 0) target 273 So it’s a double-wicket maiden from Mehedi, who is having a spectacular debut series – 16 wickets at 17, and he is only 19. But Cook is still there and England have a near-reversible batting order…
Moeen has to go – it was clipping leg. Well bowled Mehedi, and that’s four wickets for 24 since tea. Another classic England collapse.
Mooen! Given lbw Mehedi. He reviews.
Gary Ballance’s nightmare continues as he somehow turns a long hop into a leading edge and hands a simple catch to the man at mid-off. Game absolutely on. Ballance’s Test career, not so much.
31st over: England 124-2 (Cook 57, Ballance 5) target 273 Cook trundles on.
30th over: England 118-2 (Cook 50, Ballance 5) target 273 So calm has broken out. But Bangladesh are still in with a very good chance.
“In answer to Ian Copestake and England supporters everywhere,” tweets Guy Hornsby, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?”
Cook plays a studious tuck into the leg side for two, and that’s his 52nd Test fifty – but his first of this series. Cometh the hour, cometh the Chef.
28th over: England 113-2 (Cook 47, Ballance 4) target 273 England break the chains, very gently, with three singles, all swept.
An unexpected request from Bill Walters. “Can the OBO page link to the match commentary tomorrow not include the match result please?” Ha.
27th over: England 110-2 (Cook 45, Ballance 3) target 273 Another maiden, from Mehedi to Balance. England are in danger of going into their shell.
An email from Michael Hunt. “Ignoring briefly that my phone wants to autocorrect ‘Duckett’ to ‘Sucker’,” he notes, “one thing very much in his favour has to be that ‘Duckett Wicket’ is sonically much more pleasing than the alternatives, no?” Yes, and so is Duckett whack it. He’s a cricketer who could have been dreamt up by Roald Dahl.
27th over: England 110-2 (Cook 45, Ballance 3) target 273 If Cook knows one thing after 135 Tests, it’s how to calm things down. He plays out a maiden over from Shakib which would have gone for 20 if Duckett had still been with us.
26th over: England 110-2 (Cook 45, Ballance 3) target 273 High drama in Dhaka: that may have been the moment this Test turned on. “Fine margins,” mutter the commentators, and although it’s a cliche, it’s never been truer. The one that got Root was only brushing leg stump; the one that didn’t get Cook was only just missing it.
It’s umpire Dharmasena, and he took a long time to raise the finger … and Cook survives – it was missing leg. Great review.
Given lbw, sweeping at Mehedi. He reviews.
25th over: England 108-2 (Cook 44, Ballance 2) target 273 In comes Gary Ballance, who’s been hopeless so far – though, to be fair, he is just as busy as Root, looking for singles, and he has already outlasted him.
“I can almost see,” says Ian Copestake, “how Guy Hornsby is feeling right now.”
Pinned lbw by Taijul’s arm ball. Root could have reviewed but didn’t, perhaps cowed by England’s abysmal reviewing earlier. He’s out for 1 and it’s game on.
24th over: England 105-1 (Cook 43, Root 1) target 273 Duckett is gone, but his spirit remains. Joe Root is instantly busy, shovelling into the gap at wide mid-on for a single, and Cook gets four more with yet another sweep. He’ll be reverse-sweeping before long.
First ball after tea, Duckett gets a grubber from Mehedi and he’s bowled. England 100-1. Still a fine innings and a great start to the run chase.
A tweet from Guy Hornsby. “I can’t even bring myself to say this is going well. Because, well, ENGLAND. As a 41-year-old man, we’ve been here many times.”
The tireless Dan Lucas is supposed to be in bed, but he seems to be keeping an eye on me. “The biggest moment for a young man from Northamptonshire since Matt Smith landed Doctor Who,” he repeats. “You mean my morning stint has been forgotten already?”
23rd over: England 100-0 (Cook 39, Duckett 56) target 273 Cook sees off Taijul, who has been the only threat. And that’s tea. England were as On It in that session as they were All Over The Place before lunch. Another 173 needed, and with 29 overs to go, they could just conceivably get there today.
22nd over: England 100-0 (Cook 39, Duckett 56) target 273 After reaching his fifty with a calculated stroke, Duckett celebrates it with a muscular one, pulling Mehedi for four to bring up the hundred at high speed. He has been terrific.
A canny little lap around the corner off Mehedi, and Ben Duckett has a fearless first Test fifty. The biggest moment for a young man from Northamptonshire since Matt Smith landed Doctor Who.
21st over: England 92-0 (Cook 39, Duckett 48) target 273 Taijul immediately makes Cook think, pinning him back on the crease with fullish deliveries when he should really be propping forward. Finally he sticks his right foot down the pitch and gets two with a watchful cover-push-drive.
20th over: England 90-0 (Cook 37, Duckett 48) target 273 Three singles from Mehedi’s over, and even he hasn’t managed a maiden today. The only person who has is Taijul, who has to come back on now, and does.
19th over: England 87-0 (Cook 35, Duckett 47) target 273 Cook eases a sweep away for another four off Shakib, who has one-day figures of 5-0-32-0.
“Greetings from Georgia,” says Paul Foley. “Yes, that one.’ 374 channels mostly of Russian TV – with a slab of ex-Soviet ’stans, and a smattering of others. There’s even an Arab version of Babestation. Arab Fun 2, seeing as you ask. I’m no expert, but on a cursory glance it appeared not particularly halal. But cricket? Sadly no. So thank you and the team for keeping me updated on this fascinating series.” Pleasure. “I’m hoping for a tie here, and then for Bangladesh to smash the Kiwis at Xmas and India in Feb.”
18th over: England 80-0 (Cook 29, Duckett 46) target 273 The runs keep on coming. Cook survives a lonely appeal for lbw from Mushfiqur behind the stumps, who was better placed than anyone to see that it was going down. And then Duckett nearly blows it, slicing a slog into the covers and just eluding the man racing in from the boundary. Puckett is not going to die wondering, nor should he.
17th over: England 75-0 (Cook 28, Duckett 43) target 273 Four singles as the openers make use of the spaces they’ve opened up with their decisive hitting. They need fewer than 200 now. Bangladesh are getting vertigo again.
16th over: England 71-0 (Cook 26, Duckett 41) target 273 Even Cook is sweeping for four now, as well as chopping out a cut for two. Chutzpah is catching.
Joe Haycock is looking ahead. “If Duckett succeeds here and scores a 100 (long way to go), and Ballance fails, what do England do for the first Test against India? Would then be very harsh to move Duckett but young Haseeb isn’t a middle-order player. Buttler?” Yes. They need right-handers. But they needn’t rule out moving Duckett: in India, it would be a compliment.
15th over: England 65-0 (Cook 20, Duckett 41) target 273 Six! From Duckett, who greets the returning Shakib with a gorgeous inside-out waft-loft over extra cover. He then misses a sweep, but he has 41 off 49 and has redeemed himself for that bad drop this morning.
14th over: England 51-0 (Cook 19, Duckett 34) target 273 Taijul, who did everything right except take a wicket, is taken off, mysteriously, as Mushfiqur turns to Shuvagata Hom. Cook waits for his moment, then cuts the last ball for four, utterly in character.
An email from Kimberley Thonger. “I’ve just stuck my wife’s last tenner on England getting to 250 for no wicket and then being skittled out for 266, losing the game. She’ll be dead chuffed with her winnings if I’m right.”
13th over: England 51-0 (Cook 15, Duckett 33) target 273 A couple of singles, and then Duckett pulls out the switch hit, for four. “Seriously good batting,” reckons Rob Key in the Sky commentary box, which has been better for the absence of the Eighties superstars. And that’s drinks, with England busy atoning for their omnishambles in the field.
“You have to wonder,” says Krishna Patel, “how much not having a decent opening partner has affected Cook’s own batting. Whenever he has had decent support (Lyth vs NZ, Ali in that one innings in UAE and Duckett today), Cook has never been the one to let his partner down. I’m loving how calmly he’s going about his business here.” Yes, he’s Mr Keep Calm and Captain On.
12th over: England 45-0 (Cook 14, Duckett 27) target 273 Tidy from Taijul as Duckett takes just a single, with another sweep. England have won the first set of this innings.
11th over: England 44-0 (Cook 14, Duckett 26) target 273 Cook clips Mehedi into the wide open space at midwicket for two. This opening pairing is threatening to make some sense. Like Hayden and Langer, they may both be lefties but they have nothing else in common, so they ask different questions of the bowlers.
10th over: England 42-0 (Cook 12, Duckett 26) target 273 Duckett isn’t having it all his own way. He just about survives a maiden from Taijul after cutting at thin air. And the Guardian auto-correct is determined to call him Puckett.
9th over: England 42-0 (Cook 12, Duckett 26) target 273 Duckett! The first ball of Mehedi’s over is lofted over midwicket for four. The second is swept well in front of square for four more. The third is pushed for a single into the covers. Great stuff and good thinking. There’s now no gully for Duckett, but there is for Cook, who plays and misses at a jaffa. A big hand, please, for Dan Lucas, the kind of guy who positively wants the 3.45am shift.
8th over: England 33-0 (Cook 12, Duckett 17) target 273 That’s enough of Shuvagata, reckons Mushfiqur, so Taijul Islam is called upon. He drops a bit too short and Duckett punch-cuts him to cover for one. The ball doesn’t seem to be doing too much too scary and these two are able to knock it around for four singles, middle-overs-of-an-early-2000s-ODI-style.
And that’s me done for the day. Tim de Lisle will be the man to take you through to the close.
7th over: England 29-0 (Cook 10, Duckett 15) target 273 The crowd is growing but they’re very quiet. You sense everyone on either side is nervous right now. Two singles from the over, the first of which sees Duckett equal his highest Test score.
6th over: England 27-0 (Cook 9, Duckett 14) target 273 We’re going to have off-spin from both ends as Mushfiqur makes his first bowling change early: Shuvagata is on fresh from having a bit of fun with the bat. He strays on to Cook’s legs and gets knocked round the corner for two, then sends a nasty little grubber just past the stumps and through the keeper’s legs for four byes. Under 250 needed now.
5th over: England 20-0 (Cook 7, Duckett 13) target 273 This is less inspiring from Duckett – back to back attempted cuts and misses then, when he does get wood on one, he’s dropped by Mahmadullah at first slip! It was a difficult chance at head-height, the ball coming through very fast and ricocheting away off the upturned fingertips. That was a lousy shot from Duckett though – the ball was far too close to cut.
4th over: England 18-0 (Cook 6, Duckett 12) target 273 Say what you like about Duckett: he’s got some nerve. He reads Shakib’s length perfectly and gets the first two boundaries of the innings with successive reverse-sweeps – both perfectly executed and all along the ground – through point. This is all going unsettlingly swimmingly for the tourists.
3rd over: England 7-0 (Cook 4, Duckett 3) target 273 Width again from Mehedi and Cook cuts him through cover-point for one. Duckett then has a fish at a low one outside off and will be glad to see it flash past the edge. He enjoys his survival by cutting for two.
On another note I really hope this is true. Did the ball come sailing down from over the stand?
@DanLucas86 great memories of Walshy. Caught my mate Morris Woodcock one handed behind the stand at Cheltenham Festival whilst eating a 99.
2nd over: England 4-0 (Cook 3, Duckett 1) target 273 Shakib from the other end. I thought it might be Taijul but no. There’s a short-leg, leg-slip, slip and short mid-on for Duckett and the first of these wears a full-blooded sweep square on the buttocks straight away. After just three balls the bowler comes round the wicket and Duckett pull-hoiks him to mid-on for his first run. Cook gets a single of his own to complete the over.
@DanLucas86 I think for a laugh, Eng should put on 43 for the 1st wicket, just to get our hopes up. It’s going to be 43/3 though, isn’t it?
1st over: England 2-0 (Cook 2, Duckett 0) target 273 Mehedi, to no one’s great surprise, is opening the bowling. His first ball is too wide and Cook gets England’s chase under way with a deft cut for a couple out to point. A couple of balls later the ball spits up like a slow-mo Joel Garner and Cook has to draw his bat away sharpish.
As an aside, happy birthday to this man. 52 today!
Interestingly, every innings in this series has been over in the 200s and you wouldn’t bet against that record continuing either way.
@DanLucas86 So no side will have scored over 300 and we are yet to have a Ton? Who wants to be a hero? Oh please Gary Ballance! #YORKSHIRE!
Bangladesh 296 all out. Despite cheeky 10th wicket stand they lost last 6 for 58 and have collapsed each innings of series. England need 273
67th over: Bangladesh 296 (Shuvagata 25) Shuvagata takes the shovel to the extreme, crabbing down on his knees and getting it fine over his shoulder. Ballance comes round and slides well to save one, which means Rashid can have a go at Kamrul… and all it takes is one ball. Rashid finishes with four for 52 and England will need to complete their highest successful run-chase in Asia to avoid defeat. This is set up very nicely!
A filthy long-hop from Rashid and Kamrul thwacks it straight up in the air. Down it comes and Rashid completes the job he started.
66th over: Bangladesh 293-9 (Kamrul 7, Shuvagata 22) Change of bowling: Moeen returns for Stokes. He has Kamrul Islam Rabbi lined up and, er, the No11 gets his first runs in his three Test innings by picking him from outside off and launching it way over cow corner for the first six of the innings. He follows this with a trio of textbook front- and back-foot defences. Couple of singles from the last two balls mean Shuvagata has the strike for the next over.
65th over: Bangladesh 285-9 (Kamrul 0, Shuvagata 21) Shuvagata once, twice, thrice – !!! – hoiks the ball out into the deep and declines a run. His side get four leg-byes via the ducking batsman’s shoulder in the interim – allowed as he’s taking evasive action I believe – down to fine-leg; more than the runs, it’ll bother England that the ball went through the top quite severely.
64th over: Bangladesh 281-9 (Kamrul 0, Shuvagata 21) No point in hanging about for these two. Shuvagata slams to mid-off and declines the run, and he’s rewarded when he crashes the next ball through cover for four. A single brings The Oxymoron on strike and he survives the remainder of the over.
“Might as well open with Root, as he’ll be in after 3 overs anyway,” reckons Simon Ward, looking ahead.
63rd over: Bangladesh 276-9 (Shuvagata 16) A single to Shuvagata, then Bairstow does well to collect one that both grubbers and spins past the outside edge. Rashid strikes with the final ball to take his figures to three for 49 – almost identical to Stokes’s three for 47 so far.
This is about the previous wicket, to clarify.
That’s 57 dismissals for Jonny Bairstow in the calendar year – a new England record!
Mehedi goes on the charge looking to slog a leg-break over mid-on but instead gets the thinnest nick to slip. England barely celebrate but they’ve bowled well to the tail.
62nd over: Bangladesh 275-8 (Mehedi 2, Shuvagata 15) Stokes continues and tries a yorker to Taijul, which the batsman digs out well and in fact sends tumbling, in a race against Gary Ballance, to the long-on boundary. The ball wins and that’s four runs. Ah and the sound has cut out on my TV, meaning it took me a moment to be certain that was that for Taijul. Here is Mehedi, who not only survives a run-out referral when backward-point threw down the stumps, but also picked up two as the ball ricocheted away. The lead goes beyond 250.
Chris Drew writes: “Given the likelihood of the match finishing in the next session, time to think about the first choice XI for the first Indian test?
Good ball from Stokes, a slightly full length and nibbling away from the left-hander, from round the wicket. Taijul looks to drive and nicks it to Bairstow, who takes well diving to his left.
61st over (part II): Bangladesh 269-7 (Taijul 1, Shuvagata 15) Three balls left for Rashid and the new man is Taijul Islam. Bit of a surprise that we haven’t seen Mehedi Hasan out with the bat yet as he’s meant to be fairly decent. He’s away with a single round the corner.
Here we go again. I’ll be with you for the next hour before Tim de Lisle gets up.
Fancy the canyon’s chances against most threats, to be honest.
@DanLucas86 I fear it’ll all be over within four days, and Bangladesh will level the series…England really have no hope now.
I like this. Simple, understated and in the classic spirit of the OBO.
“Morning Dan.” Morning, Phil Withall. “Surely the over hyphenation of cricket is a throwback to the origins of the sport. All those double-barrelled names were bound to find their way into the games terminology.” Shouldn’t that be “over-hyphenation”?
@DanLucas86 The only way this test could be more entertaining is if Sky to introduced KP to the studio with James Taylor & “The Big Cheese”
@DanLucas86 Hi Dan! Question: Why is Stokesy such a nob? Inquiring (Aussie) minds need to know. Cheers, Sarah (formerly UAE, back in UK).
61st over: Bangladesh 268-7 (Shuvagata 15) The 29th over of the session will be the last before lunch, then. Or rather half of it will: Rashid strikes and it spoken to by the umpires after giving the combative Sabbir a rather needless send-off. Bangladesh lead by 244. Another 30 makes them favourites if they’re not already. I’ll see you in 40 – that’s been a brilliant session of cricket.
The googly, I think, works for Rashid. Sabbir goes back, it keeps low and skids on, pinning him back in the crease and in front.
60th over: Bangladesh 267-6 (Sabbir 15, Shuvagata 14) It’s getting feisty out there now and Sabbir looks to get in on the macho game, playing a crunching cover drive up and over but short of the man at cover point. Shuvagata prefers the subtler approach, pushing his bat out and sending a deliberate edge wide of Cook and away for four to third man. Cripes, then Sabbir runs down the wicket and looks to seriously clobber it – it comes off the bottom end of the bat but still clears the bowler’s head and they get a couple. Oh and then the final – brilliant slower – ball takes the shoulder of the bat, but it drops just short of the charging bowler! Bangladesh lead by 243 and we will get one more over in.
59th over: Bangladesh 259-6 (Sabbir 12, Shuvagata 9) They’re dealing in boundaries at the moment. Shuvagata picks the length nicely and plays a delicate sweep, flat and behind square leg for four more very good runs, then goes more agricultural and crashes one through midwicket for the same. This partnership is worth 21 and, as they point out on Sky, 20 of those have come in boundaries. Bangladesh lead by 235 with five minutes or so before lunch.
58th over: Bangladesh 251-6 (Sabbir 12, Shuvagata 1) Shuvagata Hom, the new batsman, is no mug with the bat. He’s only played seven Tests but has a 50 (albeit against Zimbabwe) and his First Class average is a more-than-respectable 40. He gets a masterclass in cover driving from the non-striker’s end when Stokes bowls a low full-toss outside off-stump and Sabbir whistles it through extra-cover. That’s succour for the batsman, after Ben Stokes had words with him the ball before; I think just because he is Ben Stokes. Four more from the fifth ball! Back of a length and timed succulently behind point. After the failed review he gobs off again and the umpires get involved. Stokes looking like a bit of a [REDACTED] here.
Does any sport have as many hyphenated words as cricket?
There was no noise, there was no deviation on the ball, but there was daylight between it and the bat. Stokes looks a bit of a chump there.
Given not out but Stokes is so convinced he’s turning and celebrating before it’s even reviewed…
57th over: Bangladesh 242-6 (Sabbir 4, Shuvagata 0) I reckon Bangladesh will want another 60 here. They get four of them when Rashid drops short and Sabbir, who came heartbreakingly close to dragging his side to a brilliant win in the first Test, pulls hard through midwicket for the only runs of the over.
56th over: Bangladesh 238-6 (Sabbir 0) The lead is 214 – possibly tricky already but by no means one Bangladesh will be comfortable with and it’s starting to look a bit like England’s morning. That Ben Stokes has pushed it that way is little surprise. Wicket-maiden.
Ahem, see the 52nd over. A hint of reverse away from the batsman, on a good length and Mushfiqur pushes at it, away from the body. Through to slip it goes, where Cook holds a sharp catch.
55th over: Bangladesh 238-5 (Sabbir 0, Mushfiqur 9) Another belated change: Rashid for Zafar. His five overs yesterday went for 30, which isn’t a brilliant sign, although that was bowling to Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes. Rashid – who would also need to watch his back foot if the umpires were remotely bothered – tosses one up full and very wide of off-stump, so Shakib reaches and creams it to the cover boundary to move into the 40s, where this innings will remain for all eternity. Five down and England’s morning becomes a little bit less grim.
That’s a lovely ball from Rashid. A massive leg-break and Shakib unwisely looks to cut it out of the rough. A bottom-edge and down go the stumps.
54th over: Bangladesh 234-4 (Shakib 37, Mushfiqur 9) Stokes is breaking the tramlines with his back foot from round the wicket but the umpires aren’t calling the no-balls. The lost runs should annoy Bangladesh, although they might just want Stokes to get through his overs and through his spell on a very hot day: 36 degrees it said when I looked earlier.
53rd over: Bangladesh 232-4 (Shakib 36, Mushfiqur 8) Zafar continues and is once again shovelled away through extra-cover for four by Shakib. He’s bowled through the session and his length has got increasingly poor. Too short and cut against the spin for a couple more. I think this answers the following question:
@DanLucas86 I always feel guilty attempting to assess the performance of captains, but do you feel Cook is making the most, Dan?
52nd over: Bangladesh 226-4 (Shakib 30, Mushfiqur 8) This is going awfully for England: Moeen’s lone lbw appeal in his previous over would have been given out, hitting the top of middle, on review. We do have a much-needed change of bowling but it’s Moeen who’s being replaced – Stokes the new man. The batsmen see him off with the bonus of two singles, but the way they’re pushing away from their bodies doesn’t bode well for them if it starts reversing.
51st over: Bangladesh 224-4 (Shakib 29, Mushfiqur 7) Another drop! Again it’s a mighty difficult one as Mushfiqur mistimes it and chipped just through the fingertips of Finn, reeling backwards at mid-off. To add insult to injury, that brought up the 200 lead. Earlier Zafar went too full to Shakib and was driven to the cover fence. Um, Alastair? Alastair? You know you have other bowlers, yeah?
50th over: Bangladesh 218-4 (Shakib 24, Mushfiqur 6) Moeen round the wicket with a leg-slip, short-leg and slip – by now the standard field in this series. The bowler appeals, alone, for lbw against Mushfiqur but it’s probably bouncing too much. The captain celebrates with a reverse sweep for four – the bat travelling in an aesthetically glorious Baryshnikovesque pirouette before connecting.
49th over: Bangladesh 214-4 (Shakib 24, Mushfiqur 2) Four to Shakib, violently crunching an overpitched ball through extra-cover. He should be gone next ball though, sending a sweep high in the air and down the throat of Duckett at deep midwicket, but the beleaguered opener drops the simplest of chances! Mahmadullah then survives a review making this something of a frustrating over for England.
In fact is straightens from outside leg. England lose one of their two reviews.
Given not out, but it’s straightened from leg and there’s no inside edge…
48th over: Bangladesh 208-4 (Shakib 19, Mushfiqur 1) Shakib goes back and wafts a cut out to point, where Stokes does a backward roll in fielding the ball. Impressive, but on another note Shakib is looking increasingly restless and, as such, loose out there.
47th over: Bangladesh 207-4 (Shakib 18, Mushfiqur 1) Utterly brainless from Shakib, who comes charging at Zafar and looks to slog it over long-on – where there is a man back for eff’s sake – and misses just as he did to get out in the first Test. This time though he misses it, as does Bairstow, and Bangladesh get four of the least-deserved byes in Test history. The next ball is a full-toss and he has a walk, and a heave, again, slapping a single to mid-on. The umpires refer a run-out shout final ball when Stokes throws down the stumps from backward square, but Mushfiqur is comfortably home. That’s drinks.
Imrul scored 71% of his runs behind square, illustrating the difficulty of playing at the ball; instead deflecting the runs late. #BanvEng
46th over: Bangladesh 200-4 (Shakib 16, Mushfiqur 0) England have pushed the door ajar and to no great surprise it’s Moeen who has done so, removing the set batsman. Imrul looked a touch wobbly this morning, unlike yesterday. Out comes the captain to play out the rest of a fine (for England) wicket-maiden.
Live by the sweep etc. Full and straight from Moeen, Imrul misses his big effort and I reckon that’s hitting either middle or middle and off.
45th over: Bangladesh 200-3 (Shakib 16, Imrul 78) Short-leg is no more for Zafar, who looks to have bowled a perfectly respectable maiden until Shakib top-edges a sweep very fine – to fine leg and skipping away for four, in fact. 200 up and Bangladesh lead by 176.
Nigel Richardson writes: “I agree with your preamble that England deserve to lose for their complacency, that of the admistrators in shoehorning a tour to Bangladesh into a schedule as a warm up to India. If you have to rest players for a Test match then you are clearly playing too many matches. It annoys me but I’m still up at 4am to watch it so I’m the sort of person who’s validating their decision. More pressingly, is it acceptable to finish off the bottle of wine I started last night at this time? It’s still dark…”
Important life decision.
Kick on for inebriated cricket watching (& hollering), or like sensible human?
We already know the answer.
44th over: Bangladesh 196-3 (Shakib 12, Imrul 78) It already feels like England need a change, albeit not at this end as Moeen is offering far more control and far more threat than Zafar. Mo said before this match that he’s concentrating on bowling maidens and that’s how the wickets will come and that’s looking exactly the case. The batsmen look much more cautious against him.
“Morning from beautiful, downtown Mauritius,” begins David Gaskell, who should be feeling smug even if he isn’t. “Isn’t hoping Bangladesh win, a bit patronising too? They seem on the verge of becoming a top rank side. Much against my expectations before the tour, I would now certainly pay to watch Bangladesh in England. Talking of Sky, were some of the commentators offered the chance to stay at home because of security concerns? No Gower, Beefy, Naz, or even Bumble. Don’t tell me Chittagong is more dangerous than Accrington. Maybe the broadcaster just ‘wanted a look’ at other commentators?”
43rd over: Bangladesh 194-3 (Shakib 11, Imrul 78) Sweep mania! Reverse from Imrul, looking to do something different, but Rashid is out there at deep point sweeping up. Then a few balls later he misses one and it shoots away for four byes, for the third time today. In between, Shakib looks to send a slog to Chittagong but can only drag it to midwicket for a single, then misses with the same but the appeal for lbw is turned down as it struck him a good 30 yards outside off.. I might have overstated the case with “mania”.
42nd over: Bangladesh 187-3 (Shakib 10, Imrul 76) Must have been a quick bathroom break for Mo as he’s back on the field and continuing his spell. Immediately he creates a chance for Root at first slip but it’s another tough drop, a lovely ball that drifts in and straightens taking the edge of Imrul’s bat and flying to Root’s right, where he dives but puts it down. A really difficult one, that but it does feel like a wicket is coming – Imrul looks far less secure than last night.
41st over: Bangladesh 184-3 (Shakib 9, Imrul 74) Moeen goes off the field for something or other and Zafar continues, albeit from over the wicket this time. He thinks it’s worked straight away when Imrul tries to sweep out the rough and the ball loops up to Cook at leg-slip. It was off the shoulder though and the celebrations are quickly cut short.
Even 200 is going to be a tough ask for England.
40th over: Bangladesh 181-3 (Shakib 8, Imrul 72) And again: four byes as one keeps low and scoots through poor old Bairstow’s legs to the straight boundary. There are elongated cries of “catch” when Imrul top-edges a sweep but it reaches the man in the deep on the bounce.
39th over: Bangladesh 176-3 (Shakib 8, Imrul 71) You know I was wrong about that lbw appeal in the last over: it was just pad first and wasn’t turning all that much; as such it would have hit the top of off. Four byes take the lead to 150, with too much turn, too much bounce and too much leg-side direction taking it away from Bairstow’s gloves and down to the rope. Zafar just hasn’t quite hit his straps yet this morning. Shakib gives him the charge and misses the ball down the leg side but it’s too far away from Bairstow to create a stumping chance.
38th over: Bangladesh 169-3 (Shakib 7, Imrul 69) It is interesting to see how the quicker balls from the spinners are generating more turn, in contrast to English conditions. Anyone want to explain that one? Another lbw appeal when Moeen fires one into the pads from round the wicket and England consider the review, but eventually decide against it. The right decision from Cook, I reckon, as it was turning too much and would have been umpire’s call on clipping off-stump at best.
37th over: Bangladesh 167-3 (Shakib 6, Imrul 68) Technically a drop by Cook when Imrul turns one round the corner and the captain, at leg-slip, sticks out his right mitt at full stretch; couldn’t cling on this time though and it was barely even a chance. Three balls and a single later, Shakib clumps one into short-leg Ballance’s shoulder on the full – again, not really a chance. It might not be the right line for lbw but Zafar is bringing those close catchers into play very nicely.
All these Sky adverts are making me wonder: is there anything worth watching on TV at the moment? The new season of Better Call Saul is miles away.
36th over: Bangladesh 165-3 (Shakib 5, Imrul 67) Imrul is beaten by a nice off-break from Moeen. Of the two bowlers we’ve seen today it’s Mo who looks to be getting the most turn, but then that’s hardly surprising for the senior spinner. He asks the question for lbw a couple of balls later, but it’s sliding past Shakib’s leg stump by a decent way.
35th over: Bangladesh 164-3 (Shakib 5, Imrul 66) Round the wicket from Zafar but the line he’s bowling looks a touch too leg-side to bring lbw into play I reckon; it’s a matter of inches though. Imrul adds one to his score and one to his lead with a shovel into the leg side, before Zafar goes a touch too full and on off this time, and Shakib drills it back down the ground to long-off for four.
34th over: Bangladesh 159-3 (Shakib 1, Imrul 65) Shakib plays out a maiden with absolutely no fuss.
“Morning (from Tanzania!) Dan.” Morning (from Kings Cross), Tim Miles. “I saw Esben in London last year…I had no idea I was potentially watching a fellow OBOer at the time, exciting stuff! Makes you wonder how many other times you see them without realising doesn’t it? No? Just me then….
33rd over: Bangladesh 159-3 (Shakib 1, Imrul 65) It’s Zafar Ansari from the other end, carrying on from last night when he took his first two Test wickets including one with the very last ball of the day. That slog sweep from Mahmadullah looks more and more brainless with every replay – certainly the 50 wasn’t worth the risk. Zafar has half a shout for a bat-pad catch but it was crucially missing the former half of that. Shakib gets off the mark with a shovel round the corner for one.
Speaking of Zafar, here’s more from Will Macpherson: “Yeah, I guess the great nonsense is not playing a warm-up in India, and the schedulers treating this as a warm-up. But Strauss and the coaches and the players just have to work with what they’ve got. And that means a bit of rest and rotation.
32nd over: Bangladesh 157-3 (Shakib 0, Imrul 64) Imrul should be gone second ball, I reckon! Bairstow whips the bails off just as he lifts his foot after leaving one from Moeen and – with minimal replays I might add – I think his foot was in the air. The umpires don’t bother with the review though and Imrul cashes in with a top-edged cut over gully for four.
Moeen Ali is warming up. We’re about to begin!
And on Room 237 and The Shining, Jesse Linklater writes: “Which part do you mean? Because the man-bear-pig (pig-bear-man?) definitely has Wendy’s eyes.”
It doesn’t, does it? I felt those observations were overreaching more than a bit.
An email comes in and it’s from this parish’s very own award-winning Will Macpherson.
“Dan, you’re definitely wrong about England ‘deserving to lose’ for having a look at other players.They have 7 Tests in 62 days. If Broad plays all 7, he will be done for for good – he has definitively been rested, nothing else. He will be rested for another Test in India i would guess.
Storms are forecast for about 3pm local time, which is 7am GMT by my reckoning. But then by my reckoning I had to get up an hour earlier than I needed to, while all my flatmates were getting ready to go out.
Cripes, I’ve been startled by an email! “Hello from Shanghai Dan,” begins Alex Butler, which explains a bit. “How much of a mistake was it to not blood Hameed in these conditions? With the abject nature of our top order he must be a shoo-in for the India tests and he seemed able in the warm up matches. Since Ballance’s grinding days seem over surely there is room for slow accumulation in that top order?”
Yes I agree. The original plan was to play Haseeb as an opener but Duckett impressed in the ODIs – to go with some astonishing numbers for little old Northants last season – so the selectors changed their minds. Which, in my humble opinion, was a mistake, although no one expected the spinners to dominate quite this much. I’d have had Duckett at four and dropped Ballance, and I said that before it was fashionable.
Away from cricket, this is quite a sad story: that of one of England’s oldest rugby clubs who are in dire peril.
Morning folks. Well this is fun, isn’t it? As in, a big flan in the face for anyone who tells you that Test cricket is (a) boring or (b) dying fun. As in, no one even really minds if it’s over inside three days fun. As in, worth getting out of bed at 3.30am to follow fun. As in, worth getting out of bed at 12.30am* and on the night tube from Brixton to have the pleasure of OBOing fun.
You would think three of the four possible results could still happen here – all four if the rain suddenly turns torrential and washes out a day, bringing the draw into play. Bangladesh lead England by 128 runs with seven wickets in hand. If they can add another 120 then it’s going to be a thrilling fourth innings on this spinning pitch. If they can add another 150 then you would make them the very strong favourites to record one of the great Test wins – their first over England.
A historic victory for Bangladesh, and a crushing defeat for England before they head off to even more taxing territory. As the home side celebrated joyously at the fall of the last wicket, Steven Finn, the dismissed batsman, stood there wondering why his request for a review was being ignored – there were no reviews left. This somehow epitomised a session in which England went from hopefulness to hopelessness in record time.
Needing an unlikely 273 for victory, England had managed to race to 100 for nought at tea with Ben Duckett delivering his best yet and Alastair Cook looking on admiringly. Suddenly anything was possible. Well, yes. Sadly for travelling supporters, who numbered about the same as the number of the employees of the England and Wales Cricket Board in Mirpur, this included England subsiding to 164 all out in the space of an hour and 50 minutes.
• Partnership of 99 with Adil Rashid includes third-umpire intervention • ‘They thought they had burgled a wicket. They did not say much afterwards’
There was one moment in another riveting day which must have left every cricketer of Test/county/ club/village/Observer XI standard in a state of some bewilderment. In the afternoon Sabbir Rahman, who bowls occasional leg-breaks, was summoned up as a potential partnership breaker and he proceeded to bowl a couple of deliveries that would have had the captain of the Observer XI casting around for some respectable alternative.