MIRPUR // Graeme Swann, whose six wickets were vital for England, praised Bangladesh for their efforts in taking the second Test to yesterday's final session. The tourists won by nine wickets, but that does not tell the full story of a match in which England were facing the prospect of a lengthy run chase.
"It has been hard work, the weather coupled with the pitches ... they're as flat as you get, especially this wicket," said Swann, whose wicket haul included five in the first innings. "Bangladesh proved time and time again that they are an improving side and they've made us work exceptionally hard. It's testament to them that they've pushed us all the way in this series." England's captain, Alastair Cook, guided his side to victory with a measured 109 not out in an unbroken 167-run stand with Kevin Pietersen, who finished on 74 not out. That came after a morning which saw the tourists' target swell to 209 in a minimum 55 overs - steep enough to make victory anything but a foregone conclusion,
James Tredwell took the honours with the ball, finishing with four for 82 as the Tigers made 285 all out. "Tredders has had an exceptional game in his first match. I've told him the pitches aren't all as flat as this," said Swann. "It bodes well that we have two spinners who play together and complement each other." Just prior to lunch Bangladesh might have fancied setting a sterner chase in fewer overs, but they lost their last two wickets in 10 deliveries either side of the break, with their captain Shakib al Hasan the last man out, four short of a century that would have been richly deserved.
"We had high hopes but we made some silly mistakes and that cost us the game," he said. "It would have been very good to draw against England but we're really happy with how we played. We fought back very well." England started the morning 95 behind and hoping to knock over the Bangladesh tail But, as has been the case for much of the series, the Bangladesh lower order had different ideas. The nightwatchman Shafiul Islam started by edging Tim Bresnan between wicketkeeper and slip but soon settled, hitting Swann for back-to-back boundaries.
He rode his luck with a couple of aerial sweeps and started to become a genuine concern for the fielding side. Shakib, meanwhile, took Stuart Broad's first over for 11 on his way to a controlled half-century. The new ball almost brought Broad the breakthrough when he dug one in short and Shafiul mis-hit high into the leg side. Jonathan Trott, who dropped a sitter at point on Tuesday, made good ground in the deep and took a diving, one-handed catch only to see the ball pop out as he hit the ground.
Shafiul finally fell for 28 in the next over, top-edging Tredwell to give Trott a much simpler catch. Naeem Islam tempered his natural aggression for half an hour before losing patience to feed Pietersen at mid-on and hand Tredwell a second success. That made it 259 for eight but Shakib's efforts ensured Bangladesh eked another 26 runs for the last two wickets and kept England waiting until after lunch to bat. The target of 209 was high enough to put doubts in the minds of England's batsmen, but after losing Trott at 42, Pietersen joined Cook at the crease, and they did the job with plenty of time to spare. * PA Sport
Bangladesh 419 & (overnight 172-6): Tamim Iqbal c Broad b Swann 52 Imrul Kayes b Broad 4 Junaid Siddique c & b Tredwell 34 Jahurul Islam b Swann 43 Mahmudullah c Prior b Bresnan 6 Shakib Al Hasan st Prior b Tredwell 96 Mushfiqur Rahim b Broad 3 Shafiul Islam c Trott b Tredwell 28 Naeem Islam c Pietersen b Tredwell 3 Abdur Razzak lbw b Finn 8 Rubel Hossain not out 0 Extra: (3lb, 5w) 8 Total: (all out, 102 overs) 285 Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-86, 3-110, 4-130, 5-156, 6-169, 7-232, 8-258, 9-275, 10-285. Bowling: Stuart Broad 16-2-72-2, Tim Bresnan 13-2-34-1 (1w), James Tredwell 34-8-82-4, Steven Finn 9-3-21-1, Graeme Swann 30-7-73-2. England 496 & (2nd innings): Alastair Cook not out 109 Jonathan Trott run out 19 Kevin Pietersen not out 74 Extras: (2b, 4lb, 1nb) 7 Total: (for one wicket, 44 overs) 209 Fall of wicket: 1-42. Bowling: Shafiul Islam 6-0-22-0, Abdur Razzak 15-0-67-0, Shakib Al Hasan 8-0-31-0, Mahmudullah 7-1-38-0, Rubel Hossain 4-0-26-0 (1nb), Naeem Islam 4-0-19-0