England gorge but we are left feeling queasy

Test cricket is cheapened as Collingwood feasts on easy pickings before Broad and Swann tuck into Bangladesh batting

For long enough yesterday, Test cricket was cheapened. There was a veritable feast of England runs and Bangladesh wickets, both offered up as if on a golden platter. The tourists could hardly avoid gorging themselves and it was enough to induce a distinctly queasy feeling in anybody watching the second day of the First Test. It was far too much of a bad thing.

Only in the evening did Bangladesh compete briefly on anything approaching level terms. It was then that Tamim Iqbal, with a racy 81 not out, and Mahmudullah, presenting himself at the crease as a Test batsman should, supplied reasons not to issue a writ against the International Cricket Council, challenging their temerity in calling this a Test as part of the Future Tours Programme.

In most places where it is played, the longest and purest form of the game is fighting for its existence and unless something is done shortly it may be too late. This match was a travesty for most of its opening two days and anybody watching who had popped in from an Indian Premier League match would have wondered what all the fuss was about. The cricket was as dire as T20 at its worst without the bonus of dancing girls.

England finished the day 445 runs ahead. In their total of 599 for 6 declared, Alastair Cook took his overnight 158 to a career-best Test score of 173, Paul Collingwood scored his 10th Test hundred at will and Ian Bell did pretty much as he pleased in making 84. They will never score easier runs unless it is in Dhaka during the Second Test later this week.

Bangladesh were haplessly reduced to 51 for 3 by playing the short ball with the inadequacy of men dodging an assault from their wife's handbag. By the close they reached 154 for 5.

The crowd grew throughout the day – the local population virtually ignores 9.30am starts – and it is to their credit that they are so entranced by the status of their side as a Test-playing nation that they tend to ignore the reality of their standards. England's fans, who made up around 20 per cent, might have known what to expect.

The game is littered with discrepancies between the sides: England and everybody else were bounced from pillar to post by West Indies through the 1970s and 1980s and were then led a merry dance by Australia. But Bangladesh have been playing what is purported to be Test cricket for nearly 10 years now and have demonstrated no discernible progress.

True, they gave India a contest for half the match at this ground in January but they ended up losing by 113 runs. True, they scored 408 in response to New Zealand's 553 in Hamilton in February but they lost that match by 121 runs as well.

It is probably too far down the road for them to be deprived of an elevation that was too easily won and there is no doubting that it fills this country with pride. Sometimes that seems to be the sole point of it. Maybe it is enough. But their first mistake here was plain stupid. Having won the toss on a surface which is so rarely lively, they decided to bowl. It was a suicide note. There was a minuscule amount in the pitch to start with and Bangladesh did not have the seam bowling to exploit it. The spinners, four of them, posed almost no threat.

If the players are fed up, they show little sign of it. The hosts keep going, their fielding yesterday improved in parts. There was a certain coyness about England, however, and they did not bat as they would have done against anybody else.

Cook, who must have fancied going on to 200 and beyond, was out making a hash of a pull against a rank long-hop. By then Collingwood was cruising along and in time he changed gears, sashaying down the wicket and driving straighter than he often does.

Bell was more measured, though his timing was usually impeccable, and he unleashed the reverse sweep often, as if he knew this was the opportunity to hone it. Collingwood and Bell put on 184 for the fifth wicket. Having had his fill Collingwood, whose first Test hundred it was for a year and 20 innings, holed out to long off.

Eschewing the opportunity of a hundred, Bell did something similar and England called it a day. They had stuffed themselves and they must have worried about being able to move.

But Stuart Broad unleashed the bouncer almost immediately. First Imrul Kayes top-edged a hook, cramped for space and never in position, and then Junaid Siddique got himself into a terrible tangle to a lifter, which went lamely back to the bowler. When England ask Graeme Swann to bowl, it is almost like ordering a wicket on demand. Again, he struck in his first over (for the 12th time), having Aftab Ahmed snaffled off a paddle at backward short-leg.

Relief came through Tamim who batted with enviable freedom against attacking fields, cutting, clipping and pulling ferociously. It also came through the introduction to the attack of debutant fast bowler, Steve Finn, who conceded a glanced four off his first ball in Test matches and four more in his first three overs.

The fourth-wicket partnership reached 94 before Mahmudullah, until then rectitude personified, misjudged a sweep and was caught at slip. In the final over, Shakib Al Hasan gave Swann his third wicket when he played a grotesque smear and was bowled. Shakib is 23, he bowls most of the overs, he bats with a flourish at six. It must all get too much sometimes.

Chittagong scoreboard

Bangladesh won toss

England – First innings (Overnight 374-3)

*A N Cook c & b Mahmudullah (283 balls, 410 min, 16 fours, 2 sixes) 173

P D Collingwood c Tamin Iqbal b Abdur Razzak (188 balls, 293 min, 10 fours, 4 sixes) 145

I R Bell c Rubel Hossain b Shakib Al Hasan (105 balls, 147 min, 9 fours) 84

†M J Prior not out (3 balls, 9 min) 0

Extras (b6 lb9 w3 nb11) 29

Total (for 6 dec, 138.3 overs) 599

Fall (cont): 4-412 (Cook), 5-596 (Collingwood), 6-599 (Bell).

Did not bat: S C J Broad, T T Bresnan, G P Swann, S T Finn.

Bowling: Shahadat Hossain 17-2-73-0; Rubel Hossain 19-0-96-1; Shakib Al Hasan 34.3-4-133-1; Naeem Islam 12-1-43-0; Mahmudullah 23-1-78-2; Abdur Razzak 31-1-157-2; Aftab Ahmed 1-0-2-0; Tamim Iqbal 1-0-2-0.

Bangladesh – First innings

Tamin Iqbal not out (115 balls, 170 min, 13 fours, 1 six) 81

Imrul Kayes c Prior b Broad (9 balls, 10 min, 1 four) 4

Junaid Siddique c & b Broad (17 balls, 17 min, 1 four) 7

Aftab Ahmed c Bell b Swann (6 balls, 20 min) 1

Mahmudallah c Collingwood b Swann (64 balls, 80 min, 7 fours, 1 six) 51

*Shakib Al Hasan b Swann (20 balls, 28 min) 1

Shahadat Hossain not out (4 balls, 12 min) 0

Extras (lb7 w1 nb1) 9

Total (for 5, 39 overs) 154

Fall: 1-13 (Imrul Kayes), 2-27 (Junaid Siddique), 3-51 (Aftab Ahmed), 4-145 ( Mahmudallah), 5-149 (Shakib Al Hasan).

Still to bat: †Mushfiqur Rahim, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain.

Bowling: Broad 10-1-30-2; Bresnan 10-1-47-0; Swann 14-5-40-3; Finn 5-1-30-0.

Umpires: A L Hill (NZ) and R J Tucker (Aus).

Third umpire: Enamul Haque.

Match referee: J J Crowe (NZ).

Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
Arts and Entertainment
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Life and Style
The racy marketing to entice consumers to buy Fairlife, which launches in the US next month
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital