I saw a fair bit of today’s game in between the usual weekend errands, visiting mum and dad’s grave to commemorate their wedding anniversary, and dozing off during the Buttler / Bairstow partnership. It’s been one of those days.
England had their foot on the home team’s throat twice, and on both occasions let them wriggle out of it / had the game wrested away. Mahmadullah played very well for his 75, but it was undoubtedly the skipper, Mashrafe Mortaza, who played the key role with a belligerent 44, turning a likely score of 200 into nearer 240 and given the way the wicket played, it looked competitive. I have to say I was quite relaxed about it because I’ve always felt if the tail had made a pitch look easy, then so should a top batting line-up, and England are purported to have one of those.
Jake Ball bowled pretty well again, and that’s nice to see. Rashid was a little more ropey than Friday, but still got both of the key partnership makers with a variety of balls, including a filthy long-hop spanked straight down Moeen’s throat for Mossadek’s dismissal. Rashid will have days like these. As Rufus quoted on the comments, lifting a Geoff (not Keith) Lemon saying “leg-spinners never bowl a bad ball on Youtube”. Woakes is now taken for granted, and he took wickets up front. David Willey bowled tightly up front, but got a little stick later on. It just felt that England had let the hosts off the hook. 239.
I pause this piece to see how Newman managed to shoe-horn Eoin Morgan into his article…
Yet it was still wrong of an England captain to lose his temper in this way and the incident will provide a lesson for Buttler as he gets to grips with captaining the team in the controversial absence of Morgan.
And a snipe at Rashid…
Mahmudullah hit 75 before he was trapped by Adil Rashid, who has recovered well here in the first two one-day internationals from the bad feeling that surrounded his withdrawal from Yorkshire’s championship decider.
As I said, we’re the ones with an agenda. Remember that.
In his post-match interview Jos was disappointed that England hadn’t backed themselves to go at the target, and instead played timidly at the start. That might have had something to do with the way Jason Roy faced the threat of Shakib in the first over, when he looked like he read the bowling with all the success that I had of understanding Finnish on Friday. It was Vince who went first, to another windy drive (checked Michael Vaughan’s twitter feed), and then Duckett, to the obvious disappointment of the media who desperately want one of the newer players to really come off to allow them to knife Morgan more, drove airily and was bowled through the gate. Roy tried to play a positive shot off Mortaza and was nailed plumb in front, and Stokes followed suit. 26 for 4 and dire straits.
Bairstow, who the press are anointing as Morgan’s replacement followed up his run out for a duck with some mature rebuilding while Buttler played assuredly. Things looked to be sound and solid until YJB nicked off after a 79 run partnership. Mooen Ali played an awful shot to get out, but he’s Moeen, so the world will let him off. Then Buttler went – going across his stumps, being given not out, but on the supposed instructions of the dressing room, the decision was reviewed and Buttler went. The immediate aftermath will no doubt be poured over, but it appeared as though there might have been some over-zealous celebrations by the home team (someone on Twitter said he was sent on his way by a Bangla Haka) and Buttler lost it. This is becoming a bit of a trend from England, in that we do seem to become a little upset a little too easily, but Jos’s comment of “grown men acting like that” in the post-match nonsense with Nick Knight gave clear vent to what he thought about it.
England threatened a little thanks to mature batting by Adil Rashid (again) and Jake Ball’s belligerence, but it was always unlikely to win the match and so it proved. England lost by 34 runs and the series is 1-1. Then came the handshakes…
This may prove to be a little tastier a tour than imagined before the start. Bangladesh appear to be no-one’s fools on their own patch. It’s taken nearly 20 years, but these guys relish a fight.
On to game three in Chittagong on Wednesday.
We really are not being well served by the appearance of Dominic Cork on commentary. He’s truly woeful, and is there, I presume, to make Nick Knight look statesmanlike. What Nasser (who spouted some woeful old claptrap about captains having passion in the post-match interview) and Rob Key have done to deserve Cork’s company is beyond me. Athar Ali Khan is more than decent as a home commentator, while I really had to look up Jon Kent, to find out he has two more ODI caps than Mark Butcher but contributed the same amount of runs and wickets as Mark in those appearances. He’s OK, he’s not offended me yet. But Dominic Cork? Really?
Elsewhere India have stuck a massive score on New Zealand, with Kohli making another double-hundred and Rahane 188, putting the hosts in total control and New Zealand needing to play for a draw from a long way out. Australia were comfortably beaten on what looked like a snooze of an ODI in Port Elizabeth, on what looked another deadly dull PE pitch. It’s 4-0 to the home team, and the world shrugs its shoulders.