x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Flying Finn the hope for Ashes

Steven Finn cemented his position as England's great fast-bowling hope by taking a five-wicket haul for the second successive match yesterday.

MANCHESTER // Steven Finn cemented his position as England's great fast-bowling hope by taking a five-wicket haul for the second successive match yesterday. The angular paceman sent five Bangladesh batsmen back to the pavilion in a 40-ball period yesterday as Bangladesh were bowled out for 123, sending the visitors spinning to defeat by an innings and 80 runs. Finn returned figures of five for 42 yesterday to add to the nine wickets collected in the first Test at Lord's. He is expected to spearhead the attack when England defend the Ashes in Australia later this year.

"I was quite fortunate to get five-for as I thought the other guys bowled well and the pressure they built helped," he said. "But by no means am I kidding myself that things are going to be easy, it is up to me to continue to put performances in." Pakistan are up next for England in a four Test series starting next month and Andrew Strauss, the England captain, is relishing the examination they will provide before the Ashes series.

"We want to face the best quality side from Pakistan as possible," he said. "That is better for Test cricket in general and Pakistan cricket. It is going to be a good test for us prior to the Ashes." Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach who is rarely shy to criticise his team when they have under-performed, praised the quality of England's bowling. "The conditions and the swing were too much for us today and Swanny [Graeme Swann] bowled beautifully yesterday," the Australian said.

"They bowled beautifully in both of those sessions. But it was James Anderson who tore the heart out of us. Finny may have taken five in the end but it was Anderson who did the damage with his swing bowling. He would have taken wickets against any team in the world with that first spell." @Email:lthornhill@thenational.ae