Monday, 24 October 2016

Chittagong

Ah test cricket again at last!  But it's only Bangladesh so it should be a doddle!  Oh yes!

Backtrack for a bit, the team selection.  Firstly Moeen Ali moved up to bat at five allowing not one but two spinners to play.  Adil Rashid was picked again which is good because I like watching him bowl, even if he does lack control.  And veteran Gareth Batty got another cap, his first since 2005!  I like this selection, reward for an honest pro, i hope he does well.  Our seamers are strong too, Broad and Woakes along with the world's best all rounder Ben Stokes.  Bairstow retains the gloves and that is the bottom half of the team sorted.  Cook and Root were obvious selections but it was a bit of a surprise to see Ben Duckett picked to open and Gary Ballance is very lucky to retain his place.  The team is freshened up, players have a chance to stake a claim for the tour of India.  Doesn't matter who we pick does it?  We'll beat Bangladesh.  Or will we?

England won the toss and chose to bat.  The ball turned from the first over, our top order was wrecked by spin!  Thankfully Ali and Bairstow rescued the inning and England posted a decent 293.  Bangladesh batted well in home conditions and threatened to take a lead but Stokes knocked the tail over.

Once again the top order got in trouble but this time it was Stokes who got the runs with support from Bairstow again.  A target of 280+ should be way out of reach on the fourth innings but no! Bangladesh dig in again and at the end of day four the match was on a knife edge.  Bangladesh require 33 runs, England need two wickets.  In the end Bangladesh made 11 and Stokes knocked the last two wickets over, England had too much class and won a really good test match.

The two teams go again on Friday, Cook has hinted there may be some rotation so they can have a look at a couple more players ahead of the Indian leg of the tour.  England shouldn't take Bangladesh for granted.

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