Bangladesh v England, 1st Test, Day Three

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This is a compelling test match. We can discuss the quality of the surface, we can discuss the lack of crowds, we can discuss the quality of our spin bowling, or we can discuss who is in the comms box. But as a game of cricket this is a really good one, and the match has turned towards England because of the contributions of Ben Stokes in particular. Stokes will score centuries, has scored centuries, that will not be anywhere near as vital as this 85 here. That would have been enough for one person alone, but this was allied to a bowling spell this morning that limited Bangladesh to just 248 when the hosts could have been expected to take a lead given their overnight position.

I’m strangely neutral on Ben Stokes. It might be the product of the environment that he is in, or the rush to appoint him the new Flintoff/Botham. He’s not in their bowling class, but he’s a much better bat than Freddie, and probably around Botham’s class in my view. But there’s something about the abrasive personality that doesn’t wash with me. But that hardly matters. I wasn’t ever starting the Graham Gooch fan club, but loved every one of his runs when made for England. Stokes is someone I want in my team, rather than against me. In watching his innings today the big shock was when he got out. He’d looked supreme from the time I’d started to watch, and Jonny Bairstow was, once again, his partner in solidity. Stokes was simply superb, and while Ian Watd has called him the “heartbeat” of the team (which usually happens when Joe Root fails), it’s more that he’s our fireman at the moment. Getting us out of sticky situations, with his fellow officer Bairstow.

I’m a bit awry with sleep patterns at the moment, so missed most of the first two sessions, which is where the crux of the action seemed to take place. Sky have not as yet shown me the highlights, so I can’t comment on it, but once again England’s top order collapsed. The fact we have a very long batting line-up (Batty, at 11, had a first class hundred just a few months ago), doesn’t excuse the fact this is happening far too often. Stokes is a top player, so is Bairstow, but you can’t keep relying on this to happen. We go to India next, we go to Australia next year, and we are 80 for 5, it’ll take some stones for Stokes and Bairstow or Ali to keep us above the water. So when James Taylor said, as he just has on Sky, that this day has gone according to plan, he’s talking out of his hat. Cook, for all the plaudits he gets, is needed more than ever, so it may be impertinent of me to comment that he has one century in his last 14 test matches. Cook’s 263 last year may be a once in a lifetime Asian condition monolithic innings, but we need him to really stand up. Odds were stacked against him in this test, coming out with hardly any match practice. Hopefully he needed the run out. Duckett has not made a case yet, but of course he needs time before he starts getting the James Vince treatment. That is being reserved for Gary Ballance, who the media cohorts could not wait to turn on when he dismissed, with the tweets flying (Stocks in an early reprise of his Compton campaign, perhaps?). Joe Root had a failure, which seems to be magnified when he’s at three for some reason.

The cognoscenti believe we have enough. The line to take has been set. Lose this and we will be undertaking a post-mortem on English spin bowling. That there is an obvious deficiency in that department has not come a surprise. It is not Batty or Rashid’s fault they have been selected. Broad can go games without looking like a bowling terror, but that seems fine. However, if you are a spin bowler not running through “only Bangladesh” then there are serious questions to be asked. Swann covered up a multitude of sins when he was in his pomp, and we had an able deputy in Monty (who would walk into this team if he were anywhere near where he was 10 years ago). Now we have what we have. As I said, it’s not their fault they’ve been selected. That Rashid doesn’t seem to be able to have a bad hour without some piling in who should know better is symptomatic of where we are now.

OK, enough from me. Comments on today’s play here, and also for thoughts during the 4th, and possibly final, day from Chittagong. It has been a compelling game, and it may yet have a sting in the tail. I don’t think, despite Jonny’s confidence, that it is in the bag yet, but yes, England are most certainly favourites.

Comments below.

By way of an update, I thought I’d just do some basic stats on how you can extrapolate success in your first test with the potential for a long career with England. I think we all hope that Ben Duckett is the answer, but his first test has thrown up scores of 14 and 15. Of England’s top 20 run-scorers in history, just four did not pass 20 in their first test (Gooch, infamously; Stewart – although he had one knock and was 0 not out when we won in Kingston in 1990; Sir Len Hutton (0 and 1); and Nasser Hussain (13 in the same test as Stewart, and thus one innings).

Of the top 20 run scorers 10 made half-centuries in their debut match, three made centuries, one made it in their first ever innings (Strauss). Cook, Gower and KP all made two scores of 50 or more in their first test. Players to have made 14 in their first test innings? Peter Such and Alan Mullally!!!! Those with batting reps to do it include Rikki Clarke and Darren Maddy. CB Fry made 15 on his second innings.

The most amount of innings between a debut and a half century was Alec Stewart, who took 10 innings. Of the 10 that didn’t make 50s on their debut, Gooch took five innings, Boycott four innings (debut score of 48), Athers took five (a century, also made 47 in his second innings), Cowdrey took five innings (and made a hundred in the sixth), Hutton made a hundred in his third innings, Barrington a 50 in his fourth, Hussain a fifty in his sixth, Vaughan in his seventh and Botham in his fifth.

A good rule of thumb therefore, is if you don’t get to 50 in your first five innings, you might be struggling for a test career. Just three of our top 20 did that.

 

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54 thoughts on “Bangladesh v England, 1st Test, Day Three

  1. Metatone October 22, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    Thoughts:

    1) If Bangla had played some Test matches more recently, England might be in more trouble – which says to me that unless the top order get it together sharpish, we could well be in trouble against India.

    2) Rashid is not Warne, it’s time to accept that he’ll never be an option for “bowling dry.” Either pick him as an attacking option, or just move on.

    Like

    • metatone October 22, 2016 / 12:20 pm

      Incidentally, I’m unimpressed with this era of commentary where people think bowling dry is the only valid strategy when batsmen are set.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus October 22, 2016 / 12:27 pm

        We could do multiple pieces on commentary. What makes Atherton a really decent presence behind the mic, and what makes Cork and Knight a total disaster? Why do people take to Robert Key as a commentator, but think Lovejoy needs to cut down on his appearances? Is it all personal taste, or is it some “thing” we can’t put our finger on.

        Lots of people here think James Taylor has “it” with the punditry, yet I thought his pro-England, pro-mates comment that it had “all gone to plan today” and then wittered on about Alastair Cook’s huddle was “too close to my former team-mates” stuff. Our batting patently hadn’t gone to plan, and to say otherwise is just a nonsense.

        Who knows, one day we’ll have a piece or two on it….

        Like

      • Mark October 22, 2016 / 12:50 pm

        Any one in the media who talks slavishly about Cook is just an ECB Pravda merchant. He has done nothing in this test match. He has been irrelevant.

        As for the lack of Bangladesh test matches. That’s the plan of the big 3. Starve the little countries of matches. Makes it less likely for the big boys to slip up.

        Like

      • Tuffers86 October 23, 2016 / 11:29 pm

        @Dmi

        I’ll tell you why. Atherton and Bob Key are pretty much devoid of any snobbery. I bet if you stuck them in several different situations with people from all sorts of backgrounds, they can adapt. A bit like social chameleons. And let’s face it, both are beta and are minus the ego. Key has been great, but I’ve always been a fan of his.

        Cork and Lovejoy can’t do it. They either get too full of themselves if they perceive to be superior or become confrontational if challenged. I doubt either has much empathy. I doubt either are schooled in rational (in the philosophical sense) thought.

        Knight is the interesting one. I can’t put my finger on his foibles and failings.

        Like

  2. SimonH October 22, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    “we go to Australia next year, and we are 80 for 5, it’ll take some stones for Stokes and Bairstow or Ali to keep us above the water”.

    It’s worth pointing out Australia aren’t in great shape either. There’s a real chance for SA to push them into something of a crisis if the Saffers can get their best team on the park (minus ABDV who’s already out injured) and perform on their imminent tour. Australia’s batting looks flaky and their bowling one injury to Starc short of looking pretty threadbare. I think Australia have lost something like 9 of their last 11 under Smith’s captaincy and a hiding in India in February looks probable. They really need to win this home series and/or the following one against Pakistan. We’re used to Australia dominating at home but if there’s one team not intimidated by playing in Australia it’s SA and Pakistan should have the bowling to trouble Australia if their batsmen can post enough runs. Could be some cracking games there!

    The Australia-SA series starts on November 3rd.

    Like

    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) October 22, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      I didn’t notice Sa were going to Oz – excellent! On Starc, I’m amazed he’s survived the last Ashes series when he looked like a horse about to be shot. You do wonder about the longevity of his career given his history…

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus October 22, 2016 / 1:23 pm

      I’m saying it’s probably easier to perform these recovery acts at home and in places like Cape Town where we might have more supporters, than in Brisbane or Perth etc, or against “only Bangladesh” than Australia.

      But points are well made, except Australia still are pretty formidable at home. Let’s see.

      Like

      • SimonH October 22, 2016 / 3:48 pm

        Re Keeper99 and Starc’s injury – his latest injury was a freak gash to his leg and not connected to his ankle injury that he had in England.

        More generally, though, Australia don’t have a good recent record keeping their younger pacemen fit.

        Like

  3. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) October 22, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    Spin is a double-edged weapon for England at the moment as we struggle to both bowl it or play it (if indeed that is even a double-edged sword – never mind). Not something likely to be changed of course as the height of an English summer is to be increasingly devoted to white ball cricket.

    Rashid and Ali can both bowl great deliveries but struggle to deliver great spells, although I like the attitudes of both. Frustrating to see Ali’s length so scattergun when his three wickets came from a particular length. I wasn’t against the selection of a wizened, er, wise old-school county offie, but was very disappointed with Batty. Just wasn’t the fizzing shoulder rotation you need from offies at this level and he looked very pedestrian. Sadly, the presence of Mehedi makes England’s choices of spinner look very conservative despite the presence of our best leggie for decades.

    While clearly this is a turning track, one of the interesting features of the game is how the danger of spin is dependent quite strongly on a particular speed of bowling and the hardness of the ball.This has allowed seam, or rather swing, to come into the game when the ball is softer.

    A real oddity that, at a time when we have such riches in all-round and seam bowling talent, we struggle with specialist batsmen, spinners, fast bowlers and wicket-keepers. Part of this could be addressed by playing Bairstow as a specialist number 4 but a subsequent negative impact on his form could have serious consequences for the team.

    For now, the pattern of England performance seems dependent on the seamers taking turns to deliver inspired performances with the ball, while the lower-middle order bail out the top order with the bat when Root fails (and sometime when he doesn’t). Maybe good enough for Bangladesh and Windies in the next 15 months or so, but not for India or Australia on their own patch and maybe not for the Saffers at home.

    Interesting comments re Ballance. I suspect his stubbornness about his technique plus his mediocrity in the CC before his recall will count against him as his and England’s performances are dissected. I felt today was one of the decisive moments when even luck seemed to desert him and I’m not expecting more than the next Test from him this winter.

    Like

  4. LordCanisLupus October 22, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    I saw a Twitter exchange about Alastair Cook, which made me think. Fun Fact. If Cook continues scoring centuries at the rate he has in the past 40 test matches, he will take 215 more test matches to pass Tendulkar’s century total!

    If the ECB had their way, that’s about 5 years of test matches!

    Like

    • Escort October 22, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Like

    • pktroll (@pktroll) October 22, 2016 / 8:29 pm

      Ever since Cook’s blow out in the back to back Ashes series, I’ve considered his record from the first test of that home 2013 series compared to what went before. It is always something that I find useful to bring up here when people get the hump with the lionisation of him.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus October 22, 2016 / 10:36 pm

      Having been on the right side of history in ditching Kevin Pietersen, his dignified captaincy of England is a rebuke to the gaudy and mouthy of sport. There is the small matter of Cook becoming the youngest to reach 10,000 Test runs, which he did this year. But just as impressively — and predictably — he did not use the birth of his second child as a reason to miss the terror-clouded tour of Bangladesh.

      Unlike Eoin Morgan, who deserted the one-day team, Cook returned from the maternity ward to lead from the front.

      Jonathan McEvoy. Take a bow…..

      Like

      • Mark October 23, 2016 / 7:27 am

        That’s not an award……More like a proposal of marriage.

        Cook has done nothing this year to warrant any kind of award. This smacks of ECB brown nosing. (A common trait at the Mail and most of what used to pass as cricket journalism) I guess a lot of free tickets and corporate hospitality are wanted by mail executives?

        Ian Wooldridge was a notorious old soak. Another one of the (how hard sportsman sing the national anthem is an indication of how they will perform Brigade.) Usually written from his beach side bar in South Africa. A worthy trophy for the Ian Wooldridge award would be an empty Gin bottle.

        Like

      • Escort October 23, 2016 / 11:51 am

        I always liked Wooldridge and the fact that he liked a drink is neither here nor there.

        Like

      • Rooto October 23, 2016 / 5:04 pm

        A bit late to this, but I have to point out that Cook was not “on the right side of history” over KP. KP’s presence, albeit sporadic due to injuries, would have improved England’s results over the last 2 years.

        I’ll also point out, a little unnecessarily, that anyone who uses the phrase “on the right side of history ” is clearly a twat.

        Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol October 23, 2016 / 7:29 am

      That is bloody shocking.

      Like

  5. Topshelf October 22, 2016 / 11:03 pm

    I thought I’d do the same exercise for the top 20 overall Test run scorers.

    4 scored tons on debut (Miandad and Clarke in 1st ever inns, Cook and Younis 2nd), but 9 did not score 50 or more on debut.

    Only 4 of the 20 took more than 5 innings to register a 50, but it’s not a bad list – Kallis, Sangakkara, Steve Waugh and Inzy. Kallis and Inzy had to wait for their 8th innings for their 1st 50. Amazingly, Steve Waugh took 42 inns to get to 100!

    Ben Duckett can take comfort he’s already done better than Waugh, who mustered scores of 13,5,8,0,11 in his 1st 5 innings. Gavaskar sets the standard, with 4 50s and 4 tons in his first 10 innings at 82.9!

    However, from what I’ve seen, Duckett has looked a bit of a mess. He apparently is rated as a player of spin, but I’m not sure that getting leg-side of the off-spinner, exposing his stumps and trusting his eye is a recipe for long-term success. It may well work on English pitches, but with the ball spinning this much I can’t see it working for long.

    As for Stokes, he was awesome today. Personally, I really like him, he plays cricket exactly like I dream I could. Never could stand Gooch (I’m a Gower man), but I cheered every run of his 154*. As may have come up here before, you shouldn’t have to like someone to want them in your team…

    As to the match itself, I would think we do have enough. Not because our spinners have impressed (they’ve been about as expected), but because we have the ability to use reverse swing much better than Bangladesh.

    On this pitch, even our spinners should be able to get the job done with 275 runs to play with. But as long as Cook uses his seamers wisely to keep a lid on the run rate early, and the spinners pick up a few wickets, we should have enough runs in hand when the ball starts to hoop to finish Bangladesh off if the game gets that far.

    I realise that I’m largely basing my argument on this crop of English spinners and Cook’s game management, but we live in hope!

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus October 23, 2016 / 12:22 am

      It was a theory I started looking at with Vince. The 2011 team had players who all hit the ground running. Even Morgan. So looked at top 20 England men.

      Like

  6. Rooto October 23, 2016 / 6:03 am

    **Tom Harrison on TMS lunchtime ‘interview’ alert.**

    Like

  7. Rooto October 23, 2016 / 6:24 am

    On Morgan: “Once we’d offered the choice it was right to stick by it. He’ll be welcomed back with open arms… A captain’s decision might be different (from other players)”

    On schedule: “agreed many years ago”. 5 tests in India because the fans want it.
    “Warm up games haven’t been of the quality we’d like” (to defend the squeeze of tests pre-Xmas)

    “Bringing narrative in all 3 formats… No neutral fixtures” – both real quotes, amazingly.

    “We’re talking about collective selling of rights.”
    TBC…

    Like

    • thebogfather October 23, 2016 / 6:32 am

      Yay! Everything is ok, cos Mr Suit and his ‘management speak for dummies’ says so #CricketUnleashed

      Like

    • Mark October 23, 2016 / 7:46 am

      He really is an empty suit isn’t he?

      “because the fans want it.” ha ha ha The fans want a lot of things but they don’t get them. Why single out this?

      “Bringing narrative in all 3 formats… No neutral fixtures” WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Did he come up with it by himself or did a public relations intern write it for him?

      “We’re talking about collective selling of rights.” So Sky will keep all live cricket. So much for City cricket spreading the word………. It all about money and screw tomorrow.

      Durham: “hugely complicated… Main objective is to protect NE cricket.”…………..How do your actions protect NE cricket? Do you prefer protecting Hampshire cricket?………..

      Do you actually think these answers up yourself or do you just regurgitate agreed talking points? When is Yorkshire going to pay back the money they have borrowed from Mr Graves?

      Why aren’t you employed at the pound shop?

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus October 23, 2016 / 11:38 am

        We’ve got the World Cup in 2019, hopefully bringing a new audience, and that’s a perfect platform on which to build this new, different way of presenting cricket to an audience in the UK.

        If it is on Sky, behind a paywall, how is this going to bring in a “new audience”?

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus October 23, 2016 / 11:43 am

          Meanwhile Shiny Toy being Shiny Toy!

          Yes. Every test match would have to be a pink ball test, and players will be out there for 8 hours a day. Sure Shiny Toy would have stuck to that in his playing days.

          Like

  8. Rooto October 23, 2016 / 6:45 am

    Day/night “After the Aus NZ test went so well…”. ??? Aggers later questions this, thank god.
    “We don’t want our 1st experience to be an Ashes test… err, that’s not why we did it”
    “One round of CC will be day/night”. “Will the eng players be available?”, “Don’t know yet”, “wtf!”. Last one not a direct quote.

    “Going to talk with platforms and US sports about how it is consumed, before next rights deal”

    Durham: “hugely complicated… Main objective is to protect NE cricket. …We have to send a message about precedent. … In 12 months they could be off and running, debt free. Having ODIs is a positive outcome for them. We’re very comfortable cwith it.”

    T20: “those details will be coming out over the next few months. We’re trying to make everyone comfortable.” What’s your vision? “My vision isn’t important. Blah, blah blah… families, small window, following WC, sustain excitement.. And that’s the vision”
    “Make sure the Blast grows in this great central position. It’s the one everyone wants to win” ( he said that!)

    Can cricket be accessible? “Of course. Many options. Opening up those communities who can’t access cricket through the current profile.”

    Aggers didn’t grill him exactly, but he still got more nervous, spoke more quickly and became more opaque with marketing speak as he went on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • d'Arthez October 23, 2016 / 11:00 am

      Also, included on the D/N round of fixtures in the County Championship is this gem: “It is also one of few rounds where England’s Test specialists are expected to be available. Plans to stage the games in August were rejected as not all teams are scheduled to play at the same time and, in the ECB’s words, “equitability is deemed important”.

      Tell that to Yorkshire, and Somerset, who both may feel they have missed out on the Championship courtesy of “equitablility”.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus October 23, 2016 / 11:02 am

        Playing day night cricket in June, when it gets dark at around 10pm is another little gem.

        Like

      • Mark October 23, 2016 / 12:10 pm

        Do these people at the ECB ever look out of the window? It’s still light in the UK in summer at 9.30pm Day night cricket will really be day/DAY cricket. Oh, with wettness on the ground.

        The only difference is office workers can go along at 5.30 and get pissed up in hospitality. The really reason for the change. Adds nothing to the game itself.

        Like

  9. Rooto October 23, 2016 / 7:03 am

    It occurs to me that the ECB, rather worryingly for a national governing body, cannot compare that there is cricket going on outside of the England team. CC, for example, used to just carry on all summer independent of test matches. Central contracts and wage inflation have made this less sustainable than ever. Now the counties are being squeezed into smaller and smaller boxes *between* England matches, which are ever more numerous. A lot of these problems are self inflicted.

    So the details will be coming out over the coming months? I bet they will!
    I am not comfortable with the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rooto October 23, 2016 / 7:04 am

      First sentence: “cannot comprehend”. Sorry.

      Like

  10. Rpoultz October 23, 2016 / 7:58 am

    One the OC favourites said he spoke well on there….

    Like

    • nonoxcol October 23, 2016 / 8:10 am

      I’m getting good at this guessing game. Especially where that junior lackey is concerned.

      Like

      • SimonH October 23, 2016 / 9:11 am

        Don’t think it’s who was meant but another OC favourite:

        Comprehensively shredded in an ensuing discussion about Durham.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rpoultz October 23, 2016 / 9:13 am

        Yep that’s the one I was referring to

        Like

      • Rooto October 23, 2016 / 9:33 am

        Ironic turn of phrase by Miller. By the time the conversation turned to Durham and T20, Harrison was essentially just churning out platitudes and empty business phrases.
        One choice of words that spoke to me was “comfortable”. The kind of word you use when you know you’ve done the wrong thing, but your conscience can accept that, for whatever reason. A bit like I’m comfortable with taking the car to the shops when it’s drizzling.

        Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol October 23, 2016 / 9:09 am

      Did you enjoy Lucas’s OBO preamble today, Simon? The flame will be kept alive….

      Like

      • SimonH October 23, 2016 / 9:53 am

        Compton and Stokes can’t apparently play in the same side? One all-rounder is a better all-rounder than another if you ignore one’s batting? What’s not to like there?…..

        Let’s not let the game pass without some mention of Ravi’s two diabolical third umpire decisions (against Sabbir and Rashid). Dharmasena’s been copping plenty of deserved flak but at least he only gets one look at it.

        Like

  11. d'Arthez October 23, 2016 / 10:05 am

    Bangladesh giving England a real fight (it is anyone’s game at the moment, at 206/5), despite not getting Test cricket for 15 months. West Indies have finally struggled past 200, 9 down, just needing another 48 to avoid the follow on again.

    Seriously, I’d rather see Bangladesh in England next year than West Indies. Bangladesh may struggle, but that is because they don’t get the opportunity to improve. West Indies get plenty of opportunities, but refuse to improve (mainly due to organized and structural incompetence at the WICB).

    Like

    • d'Arthez October 23, 2016 / 10:23 am

      West Indies duly fail to reach the follow on mark, and are all out for 224. With Holder, batting at 9 having run out of partners – just a first innings deficit of 228. Pakistan will bat again. It is likely that the main reason why Pakistan are not enforcing the follow on is to simply give the bowlers a bit of a rest.

      At the same time, Bangladesh are 224/5, just needing 62 more runs for a famous victory that will see them banned from Test Cricket indefinitely, if past performance rewards (by the ICC and some national boards) are anything to go by …

      Like

  12. LordCanisLupus October 23, 2016 / 10:06 am

    At this point I would like to thank the ECB for keeping my blood pressure in check. Pre 2013-14 I’d be pacing the room, getting more and more angry, raging at this nonsense.

    But no. I’m calm, Thanks a lot, ECB.

    Like

  13. LordCanisLupus October 23, 2016 / 10:30 am

    If Batty somehow takes five wickets and England win, oh to see Paul Newman’s face.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus October 23, 2016 / 11:20 am

      Moeen Ali, who took two wickets in this innings, did not bowl in the evening session. Supposedly our number 1 spin option. Not a part-timer.

      I mean, sometimes you just have to shake your head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH October 23, 2016 / 11:28 am

        Every one of his wickets in this match has been a left-hander. India are likely to have at most one left-hander in their top eight.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus October 23, 2016 / 11:32 am

          That’s as maybe, but you can’t take wickets if you aren’t bowling.

          Like

      • Mark October 23, 2016 / 12:03 pm

        But, but…….. Cook is the greatest captain since Mike Brearley and Ian Chappell combined. So assuming they pick up these last 2 wickets tomorrow morning this will be up there with great captains performances of the past. Well, according to the f*** wits who write cricket journalism in England it will be.

        Like

  14. d'Arthez October 23, 2016 / 10:44 am

    Looks like England will scrape to a victory. 52 runs to get, but just three wickets left. Sabbir Rahman is batting with the tail, and the tail has not exactly been good at batting for Bangladesh.

    So I expect Sabbir to go for his shots now, and perish too soon to take the game close.

    Like

    • d'Arthez October 23, 2016 / 11:25 am

      So, this Test is going to day 5, as Cook insists he wants to bowl a quick, when the light is too bad for that. Of course that is his right. This is to the advantage of England, as the quicks will be refreshed tomorrow morning

      But assuming England do get these two wickets tomorrow (and with the new ball around the corner, Sabbir Rahman is facing a stiff task to shepherd the tail), this will hardly be a “comfortable victory”, as the winning margin will be 32 runs at the most.

      One thing the ECB might have learned from the Test that Ballance is not the answer in the middle order.

      Like

  15. northernlight71 October 23, 2016 / 12:01 pm

    Someone should lock James Whitacre in a dark room and simply play “Ian Bell IanBell Ian Bell” to him over and over again.

    Or just locking him in a dark room would do. With Harrison, Graves and Giles Clarke. Oh, and Lovejoy. To keep them entertained.

    Like

  16. d'Arthez October 23, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Umpire Reiffel strikes again! Luckily, it won’t affect the outcome of the Pakistan – West Indies game.

    Like

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