Ruthless England show no mercy

Bangladesh 104 - England 269-3
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The Independent Online

Stephen Harmison and Geraint Jones added their names to the list of players who have benefited from Bangladesh's contentious tour of England, as the second Test followed a similar pattern to the first at Lord's. Harmison, the fast bowler whose broad shoulders carry the bulk of England's Ashes hopes, starred with his fifth five-wicket haul in Test cricket, while Jones became the sixth England wicketkeeper to take six catches in an innings.

Bangladesh's first-innings total of 104 in 39.5 overs, and the manner in which England's batsmen plundered the bowling, suggests the performance of the tourists was as pitiful as the one they produced on the opening day of the series when they were bowled out in 38.2 overs for 108. But this was not the case. The visiting batsmen attempted to play in a more responsible fashion but simply had no answer to Harmison, who took 5 for 38.

After England had dismissed the visitors in less than three hours, Marcus Trescothick showed the same ruthless streak as the bowlers, scoring his 12th Test hundred and taking his side to a lead of 165 by the close. The Somerset opener was not the only batsman to use his time at the crease wisely. After the early loss of Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan treated the crowd to 53 minutes of glorious stroke-play and then Ian Bell posted his third consecutive Test half-century.

Vaughan's driving was superb, with the majority of his nine boundaries going down the ground. But it was a lack of concentration, or over-confidence, which caused him to drive loosely and edge a good delivery from Mashrafe Bin Mortaza through to the keeper.

Vaughan's departure failed to upset Trescothick, who continued to feast on the less than testing fare aimed his way. In the past he has been guilty of losing his wicket to a reckless shot, but for the second time in a week he maintained control and waited for the bad balls to come his way.

Trescothick's innings contained several trademark cuts and drives, and on reaching three figures he chose to open his shoulders. Mohammad Rafique's left-arm spin was struck powerfully into the new media centre and by the close he was treating his innings as practice for the one-day series which follows this one-sided contest.

The left-hander moved from 100 to 150 in 29 balls, thus increasing the chances of England fulfilling Vaughan's desire to win this game in two days. At Lord's England declared on 528 for 3 in the final session of the second day and had reduced Bangladesh to 90 for 5 in their second innings by the close. An earlier declaration can be expected today.

A healthy crowd enjoyed Trescothick's pyrotechnics before he slogged Aftab Ahmed to long-off, but it was the sight of Harmison - the local hero - returning to his best that gave them most pleasure. England's spearhead started the collapse in the sixth over of the day when Nafees Iqbal edged a catch to Strauss at third slip.

Habibul Bashar played two atrocious pull shots in the first Test and he appears to be preoccupied with the shot. As soon as the Bangladesh captain took guard Vaughan positioned a deep square leg, a sure sign that his bowlers were about to test this stroke out.

But Harmison fired in a yorker that knocked back his middle stump. Simon Jones turned 27 for 2 into 34 for 3 when he found the outside edge of Mohammad Ashraful's bat to give Geraint Jones his first catch of the day.

Andrew Flintoff had Rajin Saleh caught at short-leg and this left Matthew Hoggard, with 149 wickets, as England's only bowler yet to take a wicket. Hoggard's final figures of 3 for 24 flattered him but he looked a relieved man when he strangled Javed Belim down the leg-side to become the 16th England bowler to take 150 Test wickets.

After lunch Harmison returned to mop up the tail, claiming his fifth victim when Khaled Mashud edged a sixth catch through to Jones.

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