Whisper it quietly, but there’s a game on here. If England were reasonably pleased with their first day efforts, then Bangladesh will be much the happier with day two. England only added 35 to their overnight score, which having lost Woakes first ball of the day was probably around about what they might have hoped for. 293 might not an imposing total, but given the turn and bounce available they’ll have been fairly content with their efforts.
Tamim Iqbal clearly likes batting against England though, and having already scored two centuries against them seemed likely to make it a third as he batted through most of the day, accumulating in a more restrained style than was seen in 2010. It was hard work, as it has been for all the batsmen so far, but it provided the platform and the stability to give his team the chance not just to match England, but to go past them. Mahmadullah and Mshfiqur Rahim both gave good support, while much now rests on the shoulders of Shakib Al Hasan. However, there is still some batting to come, Mehedi Hasan at nine is considered an all rounder.
For England, they toiled hard, but they never looked to be on top, except early on when Moeen dismissed two in an over, one of which from a terrific delivery that bit on the surface. Moeen did what Moeen does – bowl some unplayable stuff amongst pretty ordinary fare. Likewise the returning Gareth Batty, often too short, often too wide, but it was he who picked up Tamim with a nice change of pace that had him playing back when forward might have been the better option.
Indeed, it was the seamers who looked the greater threat, Broad in particular went through his range of variations, sometimes in a single over. While he went wicketless, he was also extremely tight, and in a low scoring game that in itself is valuable.
Much will depend on how the wicket plays over the next couple of days. Should it deteriorate from here Bangladesh will need a useful lead given they’re batting last. But it didn’t appear any different to day one today (perhaps it shouldn’t either); this is a war of attrition. At the moment Bangladesh have the upper hand. But only just, and that can change in an instant.
Day Three Comments below