Alastair Cook, the England captain, was delighted with Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter as England wrapped up a 3-0 one-day international series victory with a 45-run over Bangladesh in Chittagong yesterday. Kieswetter's maiden international ton (107), which followed a century by Morgan in the last match, helped Cook's side ease to another comfortable win.
"Morgs [Morgan] has been exceptional and to see Craig at the top of the order and respond with a century has been terrific," said Cook. "When anyone scores a hundred it's impossible to drop him." However, Andy Flower, the England coach, was slightly more cautious when asked about Kieswetter's future with the team. "It was very nice to see him get in and score some runs," Flower said. "I thought the way he managed his innings was very impressive and that will stand him in good stead in the future."
Another thing Flower has been impressed with is Cook's captaincy in the absence of Andrew Strauss, who was rested for the Bangladesh tour. "I think he's started every well but each time he speaks, each time he walks on to the field he looks more confident," Flower said. "In the second match when [the paceman] Stuart Broad went down with bad back and he had to juggle his bowlers. He handled that every well."
One batsman who did not hit the heights of Kieswetter and Morgan was Kevin Pietersen, whose 22 yesterday continued a run of disappointing knocks. "He's very concerned that he hasn't scored heavily here so far. He's very hungry to do well," said Flower. "I still believe that he will score heavy runs for us soon." Kieswetter, who made a total of 23 runs in the first two ODIs against Bangladesh - his first two international matches - said: "It was nice to get some runs finally.
"I thought I didn't pace my innings well in both games and didn't get the results." Kieswetter's first 50 took 80 balls, but the second half of his century was far more in keeping with his style, as he blasted 50 off just 41 deliveries in an innings which included nine fours and three sixes. Morgan and Paul Collingwood both made 36, while Cook scored 32 and there was also some explosive late hitting from Luke Wright.
He scored an unbeaten 32 off 13 deliveries as the tourists posted 284 for five having lost the toss. Bangladesh's reply suffered from the regular fall of wickets in the bottom half as they went from 204 for five to 228 for nine before closing on 239 with one wicket in hand. Tim Bresnan was the pick of England's bowlers, taking four for 28. England's ODI debutant, Ajmal Shahzad, was handed the new ball and, just as he did on his Twenty20 bow against Pakistan in Dubai last month, responded with a wicket in his first over as he dismissed Tamim Iqbal, caught by Bresnan.
In other news, the MCC yesterday announced they have decided against bidding for either of the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises. The owners of future franchises are expected to be unveiled on Sunday, less than a week before the start of the third IPL season. It had been reported the MCC might bid, and the chief executive Keith Bradshaw yesterday confirmed the issue was given serious consideration. But an MCC statement this afternoon read: "MCC has today confirmed that it was not part of the bids that were lodged in Mumbai for the two new Indian Premier League franchises.
"The MCC committee had met earlier this week at Lord's to discuss its potential involvement with an IPL franchise," the statement added. "The MCC committee has further decided that its best position lies in a broader relationship with the IPL as a whole." * With agencies