Sorry Bangladesh slaughtered
16 Jun 2005
By: Neil Pickup
England's fine run of form continued in the opening game of the NatWest Series at The Oval as Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss eased to their 191-run target in less than half of their alloted overs.
John Lewis made his ODI debut as England were unchanged from the side that memorably blitzed Australia in the Twenty20 International at the Rose Bowl on Monday. There was one change in the hosts' batting line up as England abandoned the Geraint Jones Experiment and restored Andrew Strauss to the top of the order for only the second time in ODIs , whilst the Bangladeshi ODI side showed three changes from the eleven that subsided in the Second Test at Chester-le-Street - Tushar Imran, Khaled Mahmud and Nazmul Hossain coming in for Rajin Saleh, Anwar Hossain and Tapash Baisya.
Lewis' ODI career began in much the same way as his maiden Twenty20 match, his first over costing ten runs before cutting into the brittle Tigers top order. Javed Omar played across the line to trap himself in front of the wicket before Mohammad Ashraful prodded his first ball into Andrew Flintoff's reliable hands at second slip. Nafis Iqbal followed soon afterwards, caught behind off Lewis, before Steve Harmison struck three times to reduce the visitors to 76-6.
Tushar Imran chopped onto his own stumps before Habibul Bashar flashed a wild cut shot to Jones and Mashud fiddled one behind down the leg side but Aftab Ahmed, Bangladesh's biggest success story of the tour to date, and Mohammad Rafique doubled the team total with an array of flashing boundaries and well-timed singles.
Rafique hit Paul Collingwood for six over midwicket, whilst Aftab collected a maximum off the Durham medium pacer to go alongside a six he hooked off Andrew Flintoff. It took the veteran Darren Gough to break the seventh wicket liaison, when Rafique scooped the Essex seamer straight to Harmison at fine leg. Aftab followed soon after, run out courtesy of Kevin Pietersen, before Khaled Mahmud became the second golden duck of the innings as he flapped a limp hook shot off Harmison to square leg.
Mashrafe Mortaza and Nazmul Hossain added 31 for the last wicket, a combination of improvised slashes and scampered singles based on unorthodox footwork, setting England 191 to win should the showers that had dogged the morning's play relent for long enough.
It took less than half - precisely one ball less as first Marcus Trescothick and then Andrew Strauss laid into a painfully unthreatening Bangladeshi attack, Trescothick's ninth, fastest and most meaningless ODI century as the Somerset left-hander celebrated his 100th game with a 76-ball ton replete with 16 boundary fours. Strauss ended unbeaten on 82, an innings that included a pulled six over midwicket off Nazmul - England easing home without ever looking flustered.
Bangladesh move on to Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, for their initial match-up against Australia on Saturday before the series begins for real the following day, England and Australia facing off at Bristol's County Ground - the talking is almost over.
Aftab Ahmed 51, Mohammad Rafique 30
Steve Harmison 4-39, Jon Lewis 3-32
Marcus Trescothick 100*, Andrew Strauss 82*
England win by 10 wickets
CricketWeb player of the Match
Marcus Trescothick (England) - 100*