England complete comfortable win

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The Independent Online

England duly completed an eight-wicket victory with a session to spare over Bangladesh, a one-sided outcome that masked a struggle to prove their superiority in the first npower Test.

Steve Finn's nine wickets on his home debut and Jonathan Trott's first-innings double-century underpinned a success which came despite the rusty efforts of several others, apparently finding it tough to reattune themselves to the demands of five-day cricket.

In the end, all was right with the world for England supporters as returning captain Andrew Strauss (82) and Trott helped their team canter home with a second-wicket stand of 80 in front of a crowd approaching 10,000.

On a day when MCC broke with recent tradition by allowing spectators to roam the outfield during lunch for the first time in more than 35 years, brighter skies - absent while Bangladesh lost their last five wickets this morning - appeared on cue to help England hasten past the 160 they needed.

If there was a significant crowd caveat - hundreds missed much of the first session in queues reported to be half-a-mile long as turnstile arrangements failed to cope - there were a few more when it came to England's below-par performance.

Only four of the team were involved in this month's glorious ICC World Twenty campaign, yet it seemed they were not the only ones who failed to bring their A game to the Test arena.

James Anderson, by his own admission, and Tim Bresnan, by common consent, were short of their best in a four-man attack; England's cricketer-of-the-year Graeme Swann failed to take a wicket for the first time since Headingley in last year's Ashes - and as Trott dominated the first-innings 505, only Strauss also managed to post a half-century.

Bangladesh by contrast deserved honourable mention, not just for second-innings centurion Tamim Iqbal's breath-taking strokeplay and Shahadat Hossain's five-wicket haul first time round but for the support generally forthcoming through the ranks.

The cruel statistic remains nonetheless that they have still won just three of 67 Tests, and avoided defeat in only six others.

But either their progress is beginning to take hold, or England have been even more off-colour than was evident. Finn struck three quick blows on the final morning - but still England's victory push was held up by Bangladeshi determination.

Up the pecking order on his home ground and given his favourite pavilion end, the 6ft 7in seamer took three wickets in 15 balls to put his name on the honours board and earn match figures of nine for 187.

Yet Bangladesh - having followed on before lunch yesterday - still managed to turn a start-of-play 328 for five into a lunchtime 382 all out, leaving England 73 overs to knock off the arrears.

Sixth-wicket pair Junaid Siddique (74) and Shakib Al Hasan safely negotiated 40 minutes against a second new ball, in awkward conditions under heavy cloud cover.

Finn could claim no great credit either for the ball that made the first breakthrough, Shakib cutting a long-hop fiercely but straight to Eoin Morgan in the gully.

Junaid's departure came from a slightly more deserving delivery yet was probably again more of a reward for Finn's previous efforts, the left-hander checking a drive on the up for an easy catch at short extra-cover.

The end of his 162-ball stay opened the way for England to dispose of the tail and knock off the runs required with minimal pressure on time or wickets resources.

There was no argument with Finn's third success, Mushfiqur Rahim caught behind when he edged a very good ball which bounced and left him from a perfect line.

But England were still not quite through Bangladesh.

Mahmudullah remained as a near frontline batsman, and Rubel Hossain a well-organised number 10.

Finn needed a rest after a spell of eight overs, and it did not help when Bresnan failed to hold a stinging chance above his head at third slip when Mahmudullah flashed at Anderson.

Bresnan (three for 93) made up for that slip, though, by having Rubel edging low to first slip - trying to pull the bat away - and then finishing off the innings on the stroke of lunch when Mahmudullah aimed a slog but could only edge behind.

The sun broke through after lunch to greet what proved a near valedictory second innings for the hosts, Strauss set up for a rush of early boundaries by poor length and direction from Shahadat and debutant Robiul Islam.

Strauss edged through Junaid's fingers off Mahmudullah on 28, as the spinners came on to slow the inevitable.

But despite Alastair Cook's departure lbw pushing forward to Mahmudullah and Strauss then going caught behind cutting at his opposite number Shakib with victory already assured, Bangladesh had finally run out of resistance.