Trott helps to settle selection dilemmas

Bangladesh A 202 & 131-3 England 281-7 dec: Fallen star hits timely century to make case for playing in first Test

Some people might remember Jonathan Trott. Scored a hundred on Test debut to help win the Ashes, intense chap, takes an age to steady himself at the crease, South African by origin, English by adoption, receding hairline.

For a few months late last year, Trott's star was so far in the ascendant that it could no longer be seen from Jodrell Bank. It has gradually fallen to earth. On this tour, Trott has sometimes appeared a troubled soul, not sure of his place in the world any more, uncertain of what he has done wrong.

He scored a hundred here in Chittagong yesterday on the second day of England's only match before the first Test begins on the same Divisional Ground on Friday. It was a virtuous but unspectacular innings, obtained comfortably against a low-key attack and by its end, through no fault of its creator, it was no longer considered first-class. But any time at the crease for a batsman beginning to doubt himself, not least four days before a Test match, is welcome. Kevin Pietersen would agree. Trott was not about to waste this opportunity.

During the course of the day, England's team for the big match appeared to become clearer. In Bangladesh A's second innings, James Tredwell wheeled away for 18 overs and took two wickets to add to the 27.2 and six of the first day. He was not doing it to spare the others.

Earlier this winter, Trott started the tour of South Africa as the coming man for whom seemingly nothing could go wrong. But then, indiscernibly, it did. Test runs ceased to flow in South Africa and by the time he got to Bangladesh he was out of the one-day side for the new kid on the block, Craig Kieswetter.

"I thought I did OK in South Africa, but it's the ups and downs of being a cricketer," he said. "If you look at the number of good days, it's probably a bit less than the bad days, so you just take what you can get and make the most of the opportunities. There are a few things I could do a little bit better."

Trott may have to open on Friday if the selectors decide they need five bowlers and that five batsmen will do.

Both the end of his innings yesterday and its context were the subject of some contention. This had been billed as a first-class fixture, much to the pleasure of those bemused by England's constant recent insistence on playing 13 or 14-a-side matches as preparations for Test series (blame the itineraries).

But yesterday morning Bangladesh A asked England's permission to replace their injured left-arm seam bowler Syed Rasel. England agreed, understandably not wishing to weaken opposition who were already barely adequate for purpose. Immediately that was done and the substitute Mahbubul Alam bowled in a match for which he had not been selected, the status was lost.

Trott duly reached his hundred and retired after 134 balls. The umpire indicated he had been retired not out but this was a clear misinterpretation of law 2.9(c). Players may be able to mess with the status of a match during its course but the laws cannot be altered. If he was not ill or injured, and had no other "unavoidable cause" when he terminated his innings, he was out.

But consternation was caused. The phone in the scorers' box hardly stopped ringing. Trott and Ian Bell batted pleasantly at the start when the ball was doing more than they might have preferred, Bell (47) being easier on the eye before he was the victim of a dodgy leg-before verdict. Matt Prior (73 not out) hit some sweet strokes. Could No 6 beckon?

England declared, their opponents batted with generally more rigour than in their first innings and Raqibul Hasan made another steadfast 50. He will be there for the Test.

Bangladesh A v England Chittagong scoreboard

Chittagong (Second day of three) Bangladesh A lead England by 52 runs with seven second-innings wickets remaining

Bangladesh A won toss

BANGLADESH A First Innings 202 (Hasan 107no; Tredwell 6-95)

ENGLAND First Innings

Overnight 68-3

......... Runs......... 6s......... 4s......... Bls

I J L Trott retired out......... 101......... 0......... 14......... 134

I R Bell lbw b Mehrab Hossain Jnr ......... 47......... 1......... 4......... 67

†M J Prior not out ......... 73 ......... 1......... 8 ......... 71

T T Bresnan c R Hasan b M Alam ......... 9 ......... 0......... 0......... 15

J C Tredwell c S Hossain b M Alam ......... 0 ......... 0......... 0......... 6

L E Plunkett not out ......... 8......... 0......... 2......... 6

Extras (b 1, nb 16)......... 17

Total (7 wkts dec, 58 overs)......... 281

Fall: 1-7, 2-60, 3-64, 4-160, 5-200, 6-249, 7-253.

Did not bat: A Shahzad, S T Finn.

Bowling: R Islam 13-1-68-1, D Mahmud 13-3-54-1, N Hossain 4-0-13-0, M Hossain Jnr 12-0-59-2, M Alam 9-0-38-2, M Ashraful 6-0-41-0, R Hasan 1-0-7-0.

BANGLADESH A Second Innings

......... Runs......... 6s......... 4s......... Bls

J Siddique lbw b Pietersen ......... 37......... 0......... 4......... 115

S Rahman c Davies b Tredwell......... 23......... 0......... 4......... 44

M Hossain jnr c Cook b Tredwell ......... 4......... 0......... 1......... 11

R Hasan not out......... 50......... 2......... 4......... 96

*M Ashraful not out ......... 14......... 0......... 3......... 23

Extras (lb 1, nb 2)......... 3

Total (3 wkts, 47 overs)......... 131

Fall: 1-41, 2-49, 3-102.

To bat: S Hom, †S Hossain, S Rasel, R Islam, D Mahmud, N Hossain, M Alam.

Bowling: Bresnan 8-1-10-0, Shahzad 7-1-20-0, Plunkett 5-0-19-0, S Finn 5-0-15-0, Tredwell 18-6-50-2, Pietersen 4-0-16-1.

Umpires: Anisur Rahman & Sharfuddoula.

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