Taxes and death appear to have been joined in life's list of certainties by England victories against Bangladesh. Some day, presumably, Bangladesh will prove this to be nonsense but last night here in Dhaka it looked as likely as one of the parties declaring in their election manifesto that they would not only repeal income tax but had discovered a way to live forever.
Bangladesh came so close to beating England for the first time that they would have been entitled to think it will never happen. That they were denied by an Irishman will have been of no consolation. Eoin Morgan, Dublin born and bred and adopted by England only two years ago, played gloriously in an unbeaten innings of 110 from 104 balls. Apart from all else he offered a masterclass in keeping your head while all about you are losing theirs.
When England tumbled to 229 for 8 after losing three wickets for six runs in 11 balls they still needed 32 to win. The pitch was slower than Dhaka traffic at a roundabout and it seemed that the series was destined to be tied at 1-1. But Morgan played the last part of his innings as he had played the rest of it, which meant judging the percentages. He knew when – and more importantly how – to hit boundaries and when the moment came for the denouement he provided it in a blaze of hitting with a four propelled down the ground and a six swished over square leg.
In managing the pursuit, Morgan became the first player to score one-day hundreds for two different countries. His 115 for Ireland was against Canada three years ago. This was of entirely different hue and without it the English would not have survived and Bangladesh knew it.
The innings contained the usual array of Morgan reverse sweeps and otherwise he prodded and pushed into gaps to keep the scoreboard rotating in England's favour. The innings was not flawless and had he been given out lbw on either five or 13 when he survived shouts against Mahmudullah it would have been Bangladesh's day.
Morgan might have been suffering from the jubilation of the moment when he said: "Everything went to plan. We said we were going to take it to the powerplay in the last couple of overs. We needed 60-something to win with 10 overs left which is perfect."
England came much closer than that to mucking it up. The contest was always likely to be close after Bangladesh, put in for the second time in the series, mustered 260 for 6. They batted with much more discipline than in the first match and England's spinners were not quite at their best. This was forgivable: Graeme Swann has been in supreme fettle lately, James Tredwell was winning his first cap, replacing the injured seam bowler, Ryan Sidebottom. Mushfiqur Rahim's 76 was neatly paced.
The start was not what the tourists required. Craig Kieswetter, the new batting sensation of a week ago, was out cheaply for the second successive innings, departing second ball after being dropped off the first. Kevin Pietersen looked prepared to accumulate until walking across the crease and becoming the first of Abdur Razzak's three leg-before victims.
Paul Collingwood was out sweeping and too many of England's bats were on the horizontal plane rather than the vertical yesterday. Alastair Cook judged his innings perfectly but four balls after striking his first six in international cricket (from the 1,155th delivery he had faced) he edged a back-foot forcing shot to Mushfiqur Rahim.
The stand that followed between Morgan and Matt Prior seemed to have made yet another England victory against Bangladesh a formality. But Prior, working across the line, was out with 10 overs left and there followed an example of the collective madness that can afflict cricket teams when the going suddenly gets tough.
It would be hard to separate the injudicious strokes played by Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan and Swann but they would form an impressive top three of such misjudgements. Tredwell was much more level-headed in his brief, seven-ball stay and Morgan, it was to transpire, had the matter under total control.
Second ODI: Dhaka scoreboard
England won toss
T Iqbal c Cook b Broad 30/0/4/25
I Kayes c Collingwood b Swann 63/0/4/113
A Ahmed b Bresnan 4/0/0/5
†M Rahim c Wright b Bresnan/76/0/5/88
*S Al Hasan c & b Swann/14/0/2/13
M Mahmudullah b Bresnan/28/0/1/36
N Islam not out 18/0/2/14
S Shuvo not out 14/1/1/6
Extras (b 4, lb 2, w 7)/13
Total (6 wkts, 50 overs)/260
Fall: 1-46, 2-54, 3-146, 4-166, 5-211, 6-235.
Did not bat: Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain.
Bowling: T Bresnan 10-0-52-3, G Swann 10-0-52-2, S Broad 6-0-34-1, P Collingwood 5-0-26-0, L Wright 9-0-38-0, J Tredwell 10-0-52-0.
*A N Cook c Rahim b Al Hasan 60/1/7/61
C Kieswetter c Kayes b Islam 4/0/1/2
K P Pietersen lbw b Razzak 18/0/2/27
P D Collingwood lbw b Razzak 7/0/0/17
E J G Morgan not out 110/2/8/104
†M J Prior lbw b Razzak 42/0/4/58
L J Wright b Al Hasan 7/0/0/11
T T Bresnan lbw b Mahmudullah 0/0/0/3
G P Swann b Al Hasan 2/0/0/3
J C Tredwell not out 2/0/0/7
Extras (b 4, lb 3, w 2)/9
Total (8 wkts, 48.5 overs)/261
Fall: 1-5, 2-52, 3-68, 4-108, 5-198, 6-223, 7-224, 8-229.
Did not bat: S C J Broad.
Bowling: S Al Hasan 10-2-32-3, A Razzak 10-0-52-3, M Mahmudullah 7-0-30-1, S Islam 6.5-0-55-1, S Shuvo 3-0-14-0, R Hossain 6-0-30-0, N Islam 6-0-41-0.
Umpires: Nadir Shah (Bangl) & R J Tucker (Aus).
England lead three-match series 2-0.