England wary of sharks behind minnows

First Test: Bangladesh duly dispatched by lunch - but that wayward first morning is where the Ashes focus lies
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It all went pretty much as planned. England took the five wickets they needed to win the First npower Test in 17.5 overs and 90 minutes of the third day, long enough to allow the authorities to save part of a small fortune in ticket refunds but about a day short of allowing a rational defence of Bangladesh's fitness as a Test nation.

It all went pretty much as planned. England took the five wickets they needed to win the First npower Test in 17.5 overs and 90 minutes of the third day, long enough to allow the authorities to save part of a small fortune in ticket refunds but about a day short of allowing a rational defence of Bangladesh's fitness as a Test nation.

The result of the match and the series has never been in remotest doubt since the moment the schedule was arranged. Only in the event of bad weather were the tourists ever to avoid a 2-0 Test defeat and, in all probability, a 6-0 reversal in the triangular one-day tournament.

This, however, was worse than feared. This defeat by an innings and 261 runs was the 10th heaviest in Test history, the second heaviest at Lord's and Bangladesh's third heaviest, which is going some since they have now lost 22 matches (from 37) by an innings. It puts into horrible perspective their sole, uplifting victory against Zimbabwe as recently as January, when they won by an enormous 226 runs.

England did what they had to do. Apart from a dozen ragged overs with the new ball on the first morning after they had asked the opposition to bat, Michael Vaughan's team were fully in control of proceedings. The gulf in ability was so huge that it was possible to fear for the safety of the visiting batsmen. Not to put too fine a point on it, they looked scared.

From England's viewpoint, those opening overs may have been the most important of the match. Bowl like that on the opening morning against Australia in July, and the game and the Ashes will have disappeared up the Murray Darling before lunch.

Vaughan sounded as if he knew it, saying: "We didn't hit our straps, it's important we do against better opposition."

England could have won much as they wanted. Indeed, Vaughan referred to different options: batting on and on to register a record score or declaring early and becoming the only side to lose one wicket in winning a Test (in 1924, England lost two wickets in hammering South Africa by an innings). As it turned out, Vaughan could have declared with England on 268 for 1 and still have won by an innings.

The fact that he could talk in such dismissively measured terms illustrated both England's desire to win ("to get it done and dusted") and the woefulness of their opponents. Crushing though the defeat was, Bangladesh took the match further than they might have done yesterday.

Resuming at 90 for 5, they were 96 for 8 within nine balls. Aftab Ahmed struck a lovely extra-cover drive to get the scoreboard moving, flicked two off his legs and was then plainly leg before to the final ball, an inswinger, of Matthew Hoggard's first over.

Stephen Harmison then swiftly dispatched Mohammad Rafique, who offered a limp bat outside off stump and was caught low behind, and Mashrafe Mortaza, who was bowled when the ball slowly rebounded on to leg stump off his pads.

Rafique thus became the 19th batsman to register a pair in a Lord's Test and if it is any consolation he joins auspicious company in Ian Botham, John Wright and Alan Knott. Botham had his pair in 1981 and famously went on to win the Ashes.

It put Harmison on a hat-trick, which he seemed to have achieved when Anwar Hossain played crookedly and was struck on the pad with the ball homing in on middle stump. Hariharan Krishna, standing in his maiden Test, turned down the appeal.

There followed Bangladesh's highest stand of the match and their third highest ever for the ninth wicket. Anwar, in company with the admirable Khaled Mashud, busily gathered 58 in 98 balls. It was approaching the stage when Vaughan must have been thinking of giving Gareth Batty his first bowl in a home Test (the captain confirmed as much) but then it ended. Anwar drove at Simon Jones, the best England bowler in the match, and was conventionally caught at first slip by Marcus Trescothick.

Shortly afterwards, Khaled, having survived an appeal for a catch behind, was snapped up by Graham Thorpe round the corner.

Thorpe does not always look sprightly in the field these days and on some days looks agonised but he has taken two smart catches close to the bat in this match. It will have to come into the reckoning when the side is announced for the Second Test on Tuesday morning.

This overwhelming victory should be followed by something similar at the Riverside, no matter who England pick, and they will probably stick to the original squad for that match after discussing Thorpe's future plans to coach in Australia and Ashley Giles's hip injury. Matthew Maynard will not be foolish enough to think it will always be like this.

It was officially announced yesterday that Maynard has been appointed as assistant coach to England teams. He officially retired as a professional player only last week after missing a month because of pneumonia.

This represents a swift elevation for a man who has never done full-time coaching and although he has a Level Three certificate, there are many skilled operators around with Level Four credentials. This post has not exactly become notorious for stretching the England and Wales Cricket Board's jobs advertising budget to breaking point, or indeed stretching it at all.

Maynard has benefited from his close association with England's coach, Duncan Fletcher, during Fletcher's time at Glamorgan. He has a more outgoing personality than Fletcher and their skills may complement each other. But it is obviously an advantage to have played for Glamorgan in their Championship-winning side of 1997.

Maynard was the captain and Steve James, the prolific opening batsman, is currenly ghosting a book for Fletcher. Maybe some of the other 17 players who represented Glamorgan in the Championship that summer could be helped out with regard to their future employment prospects. Nor, of course, has it been any enduring hindrance to have gone on the last rebel tour of South Africa, as Maynard did. Many of that little troupe now have nice little numbers.

The important thing is whether Maynard is the right man for the job and he will have his work cut out in addressing how England's batsman should play, to name but two, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, over the coming months.

The 17.5 overs bowled yesterday meant the ECB offered half-price refunds on tickets. Any fewer than 10 overs and they would have returned the lot. It is a generous but understandable gesture which might cost nearly £200,000. Maybe the players will offer to fork out for next year's insurance policy.

npower Test scoreboard

England won toss

Bangladesh - First Innings 108

(M J Hoggard 4-42)

England - First Innings 528-3 dec

(M E Trescothick 194, *M P Vaughan 120, A J Strauss 69, I R Bell 65*)

Bangladesh - Second Innings

(Overnight 90-5)

Aftab Ahmed lbw b Hoggard 32

(Trapped on crease by ball nipping back; 60 min, 33 balls, 6 fours)

ÝKhaled Mashud c Thorpe b Flintoff 44

(Fended sharply lifting short ball to short leg; 117 min, 84 balls, 5 fours)

Mohammad Rafique c G O Jones b Harmison 0

(Edge to keeper pushing at ball away from body; 2 min, 1 ball)

Mashrafe Mortaza b Harmison 0

(Yorker on to leg stump via batsman's pads; 1 min, 1 ball)

Anwar Hossain c Trescothick b S P Jones 13

(Edge to first slip driving at full-length delivery; 70 min, 43 balls, 1 four)

Shahadat Hossain not out 2

(6 min, 3 balls)

Extras (b1 lb4 nb14) 19

Total (194 min, 39.5 overs) 159

Fall (contd): 6-96 (Aftab Ahmed), 7-97 (Mohammad Rafique), 8-97 (Mashrafe Mortaza), 9-155 (Anwar Hossain), 10-159 (Khaled Mashud).

Bowling: Hoggard 9-1-42-2 (nb7) (5-1-20-1, 4-0-22-1); Harmison 10-0-39-2 (nb5) (3-0-14-0, 7-0-25-2); Flintoff 9.5-0-44-3 (nb2) (6-0-35-2, 3.5-0-9-1); S P Jones 11-3-29-3 (6-2-12-2, 5-1-17-1).

Umpires: K Hariharan (Ind) and D J Harper (Aus). TV replay umpire: J W Lloyds (Eng).

Match referee: A G Hurst (Aus).

Man of the match: M E Trescothick.

England win by an innings and 261 runs.

Second Test: The Riverside, 3-7 June.

NatWest Series: 16 June: England v Bangladesh (The Oval); 18 June: Australia v Bangladesh (Cardiff); 19 June: England v Australia (Bristol); 21 June: England v Bangladesh (Trent Bridge, D/N); 23 June: England v Australia (Riverside, D/N); 25 June: Australia v Bangladesh (Old Trafford); 26 June: England v Bangladesh (Headingley); 28 June: England v Australia (Edgbaston, D/N); 30 June: Australia v Bangladesh (Canterbury); 2 July: Final (Lord's).

NatWest Challenge: 7 July: England v Australia (Headingley); 10 July: England v Australia (Lord's); 12 July: England v Australia (The Oval).

The Ashes: 21-25 July: First Test (Lord's); 4-8 August: Second Test (Edgbaston); 11-15 August: Third Test (Old Trafford); 25-29 August: Fourth Test (Trent Bridge); 8-12 September: Fifth Test (The Oval).

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