Knight's shining example : CRICKET

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The Independent Online
"COME and watch exciting cricket. England A v Bangladesh at the National Stadium", proclaims a billboard at one of Dhaka's chaotic roundabouts, where traffic policemen try to prevent a swarm of rickshaws from ending in a mess of metal. The cricket may have been exciting for the Bangladeshis, but for England it is a game too far, though Nick Knight's 65 introduced a welcome measure of resistance.

Not that Aminul Islam was worrying. His century was the first by a Bangladeshi in three-day cricket. The square cut off Ian Salisbury that took him to three figures brought enormous cheers, but not one England player clapped.

They were unhappy he had not walked when edging Jason Gallian to Keith Piper late on Friday, but their reaction to the 100 was still petty.

Since Bangladesh won its bloody struggle for independence in 1971, the country has had to make do with living at the lower levels of international cricket. Acceptance into the big league is almost an obsession, but they have a long way to go.

This was their first three-day game against an international side for 10 years. The wickets, too, need to be improved. This wicket became much easier for the batsmen once it had shaken off the effects of Thursday's torrential rain, but it is still one of the slowest on the tour.

Bulbul, alias Aminul Islam, and Nannu - Minhazul Abedin - kept the score rattling along in the morning. One-hundred-and-nine came off the opening 23 overs with the new ball in particular flying to all parts. The third- wicket stand was worth 179 when Nannu's innings ended after he tried to cut Gallian.

After lunch Richard Johnson's ability to nip the ball back into the batsman earned him a couple of successes, including the wicket of Bulbul, whose return to the pavilion was greeted by firecrackers, dancing and drums.

After Akram Khan's declaration, a missed stumping gave David Hemp the chance to reach 50 in an atmosphere now similar to an end-of-season Championship match. The England players are clearly all very tired and they deserve their break.

BANGLADESH XI v ENGLAND A

(Dhaka, first day)

(Bangladesh XI won toss)

BANGLADESH XI - First Innings

Athar Ali ret hurt 18

Javed Belim c Knight b Chapple 39

Khaled Masud b Salisbury 7

Aminul Islam b Johnson 121

Minhazul Abedin c Piper b Gallian 81

Akram Khan lbw b Johnson 8

Enamul Hoque c Vaughan b Wells 25

Naimur Rahman not out 34

Extras (b11 lb10 w7 nb4) 32

Total for 6 dec (105.5 overs) 365

Fall: 1-62 2-98 3-277 4-293 5-300 6-365.

Did not bat: Saiful Islam, Anisur Rahman, Mohammad Rafiq.

Bowling: Chapple 14-2-50-1; Johnson 19-5-53-2; Stemp 14-1-48-0; Salisbury 20-3-53-1; Patel 10-1- 29-0; Vaughan 7-2-22-0; Gallian 13-0-45-1; Hemp 5-0-26-0; Wells 3.5-1-18-1.

ENGLAND A - First Innings

N V Knight not out 65

M P Vaughan c Khaled Masud b Saiful Isla 9

J E R Gallian b Enamul Hoque 20

D L Hemp not out 50

Extras (b3 lb1) 4

Total (for 2, 43 overs) 148

Fall: 1-34 2-72

To bat: *A P Wells, G Chapple, K J Piper, I D K Salisbury, R L Johnson, M M Patel, R D Stemp.

Bowling: Anisur Rahman 10-2-35-0; Saiful Islam 5-1-17-1; Enamul Hoque 11-0-40-1; Mohammad Rafiq 3-0-14-0; Naimur Rahman 11-0-31-0; Aminul Islam 2-0-5-0; Minhazul Abedin 1-0-2-0.

Umpires: Mohammad Asjhar, Sailab Hassain Tuti.

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