Bell sees England home after bowlers struggle

Bangladesh 250-9 England 251-4 (England win by six wickets)
  • @stephenbrenkley

The first one-day international of the NatWest Series between England and Bangladesh last night was also the first cricket match to be televised in 3D. For that effect, of course, a screen was necessary. Watching the real thing it struggled to break out of one dimension.

England won convincingly enough, by six wickets in 45.1 overs. Ian Bell, on his return to the one-day side, made an impeccably pleasant, unbeaten 84. Bell does not do ugly. Andrew Strauss made his 22nd fifty in his 106th match. That England would chase down the 251 they required to win was never in the remotest doubt.

England, especially with the new ball, did not bowl with much distinction and against better sides that might have told. Their lack of incisiveness in the early part of an innings must be becoming less and less tolerable to the team's management. However, at this stage on the journey to the World Cup next year they are entitled to experiment with their bowling – which would explain why Mike Yardy once more bowled only five overs (for 15 runs) while Jimmy Anderson sent down 10 (for 74).

Bell has been out of the side for long enough. He brought about his own omission, of course, and if he is not flawless he has class. It is up to him now that he is back, albeit because Kevin Pietersen is injured, and he took nary a risk throughout his innings spanning 101 balls. England won with 29 balls left, their 20th consecutive victory against Bangladesh in all forms of cricket and Bangladesh's 14th successive one-day international defeat. They also finished without their wicketkeeper, Mushfiqur Rahim, who was hit in the eye and carried off by stretcher.

The tourists batted respectably enough in their allotted overs, though the crowd of 6,000 – for an international match, do not forget, at one of England's greatest grounds in high summer – might have wanted more. For a short while, with Tamim Iqbal resplendent, they looked like getting it.

Tamim is the sort of player who takes batting to another plane whatever cameras are present and he does not need the assistance he was given by England's new-ball bowlers.

Thereafter, Junaid Siddique made a well-appointed fifty, but the top scorer, improbably, was Raqibul Hasan. Improbable, because Raqibul had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket during England's tour of Bangladesh earlier this year.

He did so after a perceived slight by the selectors who omitted him from the World Twenty20 squad but flounced out on a high after making 107no for Bangladesh A against England. So yesterday's crisp 76 from 95 balls, before he, or more exactly his runner after the batsman had been hit on the foot, was run out was a resumption of the form.

But England's bowling was limited, unimaginative and most unacceptably inaccurate. Anderson finished well but started badly. Neither of England's one-day opening bowlers this summer has so far covered himself in glory. Both Anderson (seven wickets against Australia at 38) and Tim Bresnan (one at 263) have been desperately short of new-ball wickets. In the recent series, Australia never lost their first wicket for under 27.

Anderson has not been himself for most of the summer since his rest from the tour of Bangladesh. It is possible that his surprising omission from the XI that took all before it in the World Twenty20 has had a profound effect. But he has conceded more than 60 runs in four of the last six innings and, in a phrase, needs to buck up his ideas. The feeling persists that if there ain't no swing he ain't got that zing.

Bresnan, who took 2 for 40 yesterday, is a different case. He made admirable progress through the winter in South Africa and Bangladesh, showing that he had what it took to be an international all-rounder, if of the low key variety. But expecting him to use the new ball may yet be a step too far.

Before the present duo were introduced, England seemed already to have an established new-ball partnership in Anderson and Stuart Broad. In 27 matches together as England's opening bowlers they have taken a total of 79 wickets – not all of them with the new ball, of course – more than any other pair. Something, it seems, has to change.

Trent Bridge scoreboard

Bangladesh won toss


T Iqbal lbw b Broad 28/0/4/22

I Kayes c Morgan b Anderson 14/0/2/34

M J Siddique lbw b Yardy 51/0/5/70

R M Hasan run out 76/0/7/95

S Al Hasan c Anderson b Broad 20/0/2/36

†M Rahim c Wright b Bresnan 22/2/0/18

M Mahmudullah lbw b Anderson 4/0/0/7

F Hossain not out 8/0/0/9

*M B Mortaza c Bell b Anderson 5/0/1/5

A Razzak b Bresnan 3/0/0/4

Extras (b 1, lb 7, w 11) 19

Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 250

Fall 1-40, 2-70, 3-136, 4-186, 5-222, 6-234, 7-236, 8-243, 9-250.

Did not bat S Islam.

Bowling J M Anderson 10-0-74-3, T T Bresnan 10-0-40-2, S C J Broad 10-1-43-2, J C Tredwell 3-0-18-0, L J Wright 3-0-20-0, P D Collingwood 9-1-32-0, M H Yardy 5-0-15-1.


*A J Strauss run out 50/0/7/37

†C Kieswetter c Hossain b Al Hasan 32/1/3/40

I R Bell not out 84/0/6/101

P D Collingwood c Siddique b Al Hasan 33/0/1/49

E J G Morgan c Islam b Razzak 23/1/2/26

M H Yardy not out 10/0/0/18

Extras (b 5, lb 4, w 10) 19

Total (4 wkts, 45.1 overs) 251

Fall 1-75, 2-93, 3-173, 4-213.

Did not bat L J Wright, T T Bresnan, S C J Broad, J C Tredwell, J M Anderson.

Bowling M B Mortaza 6-0-30-0, S Islam 5-0-46-0, A Razzak 10-0-64-1, S Al Hasan 10-0-35-2, M Mahmudullah 8-0-41-0, F Hossain 6.1-0-26-0.

Umpires A Rauf & N J Llong.