Records tumble as England march on

England 391-4 Bangladesh 223 (England win by 168 runs)
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The Independent Online

A remarkable week of one-day cricket finished in style yesterday evening when Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood took England to their highest limited-overs score. Both batsmen scored centuries against a toothless Bangladesh bowling attack in the fourth match of the NatWest Series, and England's total of 391 for 4 was the second biggest in the 2,252-match history of one-day cricket.

A remarkable week of one-day cricket finished in style yesterday evening when Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood took England to their highest limited-overs score. Both batsmen scored centuries against a toothless Bangladesh bowling attack in the fourth match of the NatWest Series, and England's total of 391 for 4 was the second biggest in the 2,252-match history of one-day cricket.

At one stage it looked as though Michael Vaughan's side would become the first team to post a total in excess of 400, but a decent last over prevented England breaking Sri Lanka's world record score of 398 for 5 against Kenya in 1995-96.

The sight of Strauss, Collingwood and Marcus Trescothick flaying the tourists' bowlers all around the ground would have done little to ease the anxiety currently surrounding Australia's haunted side. But England did not have it all their own way. Mohammad Ashraful, fresh from an astonishing match-winning century against Australia on Saturday, gave Vaughan plenty to think about with an exhilarating innings of 94 off 52 balls.

Javed Belim, with 59, also offered spirited resistance, but when Ashraful was bowled behind his legs by Collingwood Bangladesh's attempt to turn the match into a contest quickly faded.

It was the medium pace of Collingwood that allowed England to complete a 168-run victory, when he followed up a career-best score of 112 with bowling figures of 6 for 31, the best by an Englishman.

This performance placed the Durham all-rounder in exalted company. Viv Richards is the only other player to have achieved this feat, when he scored 119 and took 5 for 41 against New Zealand in 1986-87.

Chris Tremlett, on his England debut, gave cause for optimism after an excellent opening spell. The lanky Hampshire seamer took wickets with consecutive balls in his fifth over and was desperately unlucky not to complete a hat-trick. Shahriar Nafees and Tushar Imran had failed to cope with the steep bounce Tremlett extracts from the pitch and Ashraful's first delivery deflected off his bat and into the ground. The ball bounced and landed on top of the stumps, but, amazingly, failed to dislodge the bails.

Ashley Giles completed 10 overs on his return from injury and his performance, along with Tremlett's four wickets, will have given England great encouragement.

Once Strauss and Trescothick had given England a blistering start the result became a formality. This allowed the centurions to fearlessly go for their strokes and 210 runs were added in just 150 balls.

Strauss's hundred, his second in one-day internationals, came off 100 balls and contained 12 fours. But the England opener's century appeared pedestrian compared to that of Collingwood, who decided to take the aerial route, and reached three figures off the 77th ball he faced. Both batsmen were helped by a lightning fast outfield, an excellent batting pitch and ridiculously short boundaries.

At times it was hard not to feel sympathy for the tourists. On three occasions Collingwood swept to leg and on each occasion the ball crept over the boundary for six. One-day cricket is a game designed for batsmen, but cricket is at its best when bowlers and batsmen are given an even chance. On this occasion, however, it wasn't a contest.

Trescothick started the mayhem when he began walking down the pitch and heaving the Bangladesh medium pacers over mid-wicket. Strauss played a slightly more conventional innings, preferring to wait for the bad balls to come. And the Middlesex opener did not have to wait long for inviting deliveries to arrive against a bowling attack that failed to show the discipline it had during Saturday's victory over Australia.

Strauss cut and pulled the seamers for four on each occasion they bowled short, but he did have two lucky escapes before reaching 30. Australia will be looking for flaws in the left-hander's technique before the Ashes and they may have found one outside off stump.

When Strauss drives at length balls in this area he occasionally edges it towards fourth or fifth slip, and it was in this area that Shahriar Nafees grassed hard chances when he was on 21 and 28. The fact that Trescothick edged a delivery from Nazmul Hossain through first slip would not have gone unnoticed either, but in one-day cricket fielders are quickly removed from these positions.

Following this piece of good fortune Trescothick cut loose, taking 23 runs off a Tapash Baisya over. The Somerset opener looked set for his fourth hundred in as many innings against Bangladesh until he top-edged a slog at Nazmul and was caught at cover.

The one concern for England was that Vaughan was forced from the field with a suspected groin strain. The England captain spent the final 30 overs of the match having the injury iced and could be a doubt for tomorrow's match against Australia.

Top 10 England one-day scores

1 391-4 Bangladesh

(Trent Bridge) 2005

2 363-7 Pakistan

(Trent Bridge) 1992

3 334-4 India

(Lord's) 1975

4 333-9 Sri Lanka

(Taunton) 1983

5 325-5 India

(Lord's) 2002

6 322-6 New Zealand

(The Oval) 1983

7 320-8 Australia

(Edgbaston) 1980

8 307-5 India

(The Oval) 2004

9 306-5 West Indies

(The Oval) 1995

10 306-5 Pakistan

(Karachi) 2000

Top 10 England one-day batsmen

167* R Smith (v Aus, 1993).

158 D Gower (v NZ 1983).

152 A Strauss (v Bangl, 2005).

142* W Athey (v NZ, 1986).

142 G Gooch (v Pak, 1987).

137 D Amiss (v Ind, 1975).

137 M Trescothick (v Pak, 2001).

136 G Gooch (v Aus, 1989).

131 K Fletcher (v NZ, 1975).

130 D Gower (v S Lanka, 1983).

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