Carnage at Chester-le-Street

England and Bangladesh resumed battle in the Second npower Test at Chester-le-Street, picking up exactly from where their scripts concluded six days prior at Lord’s. England were unchanged from the eleven who dished out their opponents’ second-heaviest-ever defeat at HQ the week before whilst Bangladesh made two changes. Both Lord’s debutants, Shahadat Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim, sat out for Tapash Baisya and Rajin Saleh – Rahim having injured his ankle walking down stairs prior to the game.

Winning his second toss of the series, Michael Vaughan was happy to insert the Tigers, before the visitors added their third consecutive double-figure opening partnership of the series until Steve Harmison, back on home ground, intervened. A brace of outswingers beat Nafis Iqbal’s outside edge before the opening batsman slashed a nervous drive to Andrew Strauss, diving to his right at third slip. Visiting skipper Habibul Bashar did well to deny a first-ball yorker, but soon afterwards Harmison broke the 90mph barrier and thudded the ball into the base of stumps.

Simon Jones swiftly followed Harmison into the wickets column of the scorebook as the ball seamed away from Mohammad Ashraful, kissing the outside edge on its way to Geraint Jones’ gloves to become the Kent gloveman’s fiftieth Test dismissal – and Rajin Saleh became the fourth wicket in quick succession as he fended Andrew Flintoff, via his thighpad, to Graham Thorpe at the veteran’s now-customary short leg position. Four became five in the minutes before the lunch break as Javed Omar, the only Bangladeshi to at all impress with 37 in the morning session, tickled Matthew Hoggard down the leg side to allow Jones to take a smart, tumbling catch.

Aftab Ahmed provided Jones with further catching practice as he flashed Steve Harmison behind, before Gareth Batty made his first on-field contribution of the series by taking an excellent diving catch at square leg, making ground to his left hand side before launching himself one-handed at Mohammad Rafique’s flick. Hoggard and Harmison induced two more outside edges, Tapash Baisya and Mashrafe Mortaza respectively edging behing until Harmison’s round-the-wicket approach slanted across Khaled Mashud, who again impressed down the order with 22 before becoming the Durham seamer’s fifth scalp – and the wicket-keeper’s sixth.

With the Tigers’ last stand provding eleven runs’ sustenance, the Bangladeshis stuttered to 104 all out, four below their Lord’s effort, and again failing to survive forty overs. Where Bangladesh stumbled early, England did likewise as Andrew Strauss left a straight delivery from Mashrafe to be rapped on the pads directly in front – this was as far as the similarity went. Michael Vaughan crunched four consecutive boundaries immediately after tea on his way to an imperious 44 from just 40 deliveries, replete with trademark cover drives and swivel-pulls before Mortaza struck, a pitched-up and swinging away delivery to Vaughan nicking the outside edge.

The remaining day’s play brought little cheer for the visitors, but plenty for the capacity 9,500 attendance at England’s newest Test ground as Trescothick and Bell added 155 at a run a ball for the third wicket, including two huge Trescothick sixes and myriad violent boundaries from the Somerset left-hander as Bell accumulated quietly at the other end, cruising to his third Test fifty in as many innings as his average eased to a Bradman-plus 192.

Trescothick perished as the day came to its close, clubbing Aftab Ahmed to Mohammad Ashraful on the long-off rope for 151, as Graham Thorpe joined Bell before stumps. There are four scheduled days to play, but the given an hour of Flintoff tomorrow morning and another Harmison burst, it will be a brave man to bet on play even extending to Sunday

Bangladesh 104
Javed Omar 37, Khaled Mashud 22
Steve Harmison 5-38, Matthew Hoggard 3-24

England 269-3
Marcus Trescothick 151, Ian Bell 57*
Mashrafe Mortaza 2-58, Aftab Ahmed 1-21

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