TMS are finishing off as 5 live sports extra prepares to go all F1 crazy -
the TMS podcast
will be available soon. While
F1 qualifying has begun,
the rest of the office is buzzing as my colleagues limber up to bring you every kick of today's live football and rugby. We'll be back with the cricket tomorrow morning - play starts at 0330 GMT again - thanks for your contributions today, we hope you can join us again for day three. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday...
Well, England can be very satisfied with that day's play - they scored at a good rate that allowed them to declare nice and early, and are already halfway though Bangladesh's first innings. The Tigers' hopes rest squarely on Tamim playing a big, big innings tomorrow.
From Anon, via text:
"Derek (1051), picking players with monosyllabic names is a deliberate policy to placate ex-cricketers who have to write newspaper columns and blogs"
From Alex, ashamed of his unfaithfulness, TMS inbox:
"I've just been watching some of the IPL... It's no Test match is it? I don't know why I bothered really, although it's satisfying seeing Warne being hit all over the park. Anyway I promise I will never leave TMS again! Please let me back into the gang"
England - and Tamim - leave the field to generous applause from the contingent of travelling England fans.
CLOSE OF PLAY (DAY TWO) - BANGLADESH TRAIL ENGLAND BY 445 RUNS 1051 - Ban 154-5 (39 overs)
Last over coming up. Finn keeps it tight - despite the Matt Smith suggestion earlier, he reminds me a little of footballer Jack Cork (who's a lot shorter than the 6ft 7ins Finn). A no-ball prolongs the over, Tamim turns one off his legs for his 13th four, but he finishes the day 81 not out as Bangladesh end on 154-5, still 445 runs behind.
From Derek, Scarborough, TMS inbox:
"Just wondering - is this the first England Test team where the majority of the players have surnames of only one syllable?"
1046 - Ban 149-5 (38 overs)
Shahadat Hossain is Bangladesh's nightwatchman, he's on the card at 11 but has a Test-best score of 40. He prods forward, gets an inside edge onto his boot and the helmeted Captain Cook claims a catch at silly point. The umpires confer - and consult the third ump. The slow-motion replay from the bowler's end suggests it hit the ground... but the stump camera suggests it didn't! A long delay... and more replays... and there's enough doubt in the third umpire's mind to give him "not out". Wicket maiden.
1039 - WICKET - Shakib b Swann 1 - Ban 149-5 (37.2 overs)
Swann to the nervous-looking Shakib, bowls him!
1037 - Ban 149-4 (37 overs)
Broad takes a rest and Finn returns, hoping to improve on his first three-over spell. With only four front-line bowlers in the side, they'll all have to pull their weight, particularly as Broad was struggling with a back injury going into the game. Debutant Finn is England's 647th Test player (Carberry gets number 646 on alphabetical order), although they clearly didn't get a shirt for him ready in time - he doesn't have his number 647 under the three lions on his shirt. Still, this is a better over from the Middlesex man, a maiden indeed, as Tamim is playing for stumps.
1033 - Ban 149-4 (36 overs)
Swann still has two close fielders in for Shakib - with a lead of 450, he might think he should have more men around the bat for a new batsman - and he sends down another maiden.
From Bill from Kent (obviously), via text:
"Where's Tredwell now that we REALLY need him?"
1030 - Ban 149-4 (35 overs)
Shakib finally guides a single to get off the mark from his 12th delivery faced. It looks like England are having trouble keeping the ball dry, it's been hot and sweaty for them all day. Broad, bowling round the wicket, beats Tamim's forward prod with one that leaves him late - that'll encourage England a little.
1026 - Ban 148-4 (34 overs)
The giant Steve Finn is doing plenty of knee-stretches in the deep, will he get another trundle tonight? I'd be tempted to give KP or Colly a couple of overs, personally. Swann keeps it tight and sends down a maiden to Tamim.
From Scoopster on 606:
"Agreed, Tamim looks class. When will we ever learn though about playing six frontline batsmen? We should be trusting Swann, Broad and Bresnan. How else are they going to progress as batsmen? It's such a cowardly approach and really frustrates me"
1023 - Ban 148-4 (33 overs)
We're approaching the scheduled 1030 GMT close of play, but as England's over-rate is much slower than Bangladesh's (because of their dearth of spinners), we've still got six overs left after this one. Broad raps Tamim on the pad and raises both hands in appeal, Umpire Hill shakes his head and Hawk-Eye agrees - the ball was clearly going down leg. The batsmen trot through for a leg bye. Tigers trail by 451.
From Colin Pugh, TMS inbox:
"I agree that the names on the shirts is an excellent idea, It would help the supporters (especially the younger ones) become more familiar with the players they are supporting. I am all for tradition but it makes perfect sense and we can't remain in the dark ages forever! On another matter, Cook's decision to select only one spinner out of four bowlers was as bad a decision as Bangladesh to put in England in to bat yesterday"
1019 - Ban 147-4 (32 overs)
Swann in for his 11th over, Tamim pokes a single but Cap'n Shakib is yet to get off the mark.
1017 - Ban 146-4 (31 overs)
Broad bangs in a couple of bouncers to Tamim, who takes his score to 76 with a single. And bizarrely, I've been subjected to a foul-mouthed tirade via text (complaining that his previous message wasn't published) from someone whose message WAS
From Nick from Brighton, via text:
"On the contrary to the comment made that player's names should be on the shirts, I feel this would only ruin the tradition and the image of Test cricket which has been played for years. One-day cricket is more up to date and faster so in some ways I can agree to names being used then"
1012 - Ban 145-4 (30 overs)
New batsman Shakib Al Hasan defends his first ball.
1009 - WICKET - Mahmudullah c Collingwood b Swann 51 - Ban 145-4 (29.5 overs)
Mahmudullah sweeps, gets a top edge (or a glove) into the air, Colly takes the catch at slip and England have ended a stand of 94.
From Mal Wallace, TMS inbox:
"Names on the back of shirts in Test cricket? Let's keep some things sacred!"
1008 - Ban 145-3 (29 overs)
With Bresnan taking a bit of a hammering, England have to go back to Stuart Broad. Mahmudullah nudges a single and Tamim tickles a four through third man.
From Bar, Northumberland, TMS inbox:
"Mark and Hannah (0938) may be onto something - Peter Davison got a wicket with his first ball as The Doctor..."
Hey, I remember that episode! Was a big fan of Davison back in the day as he was indeed a cricket-loving Doctor.
1002 - Ban 140-3 (28 overs)
After a single from Tamim, it's still The Mahmudullah Show. He's completely overshadowing his partner, bashing another four and delicately leg-glancing a single to bring up his third Test fifty from 54 balls - he has one century too.
0959 - Ban 134-3 (27 overs)
Mahmudullah is looking in great touch - leg-glancing Bresnan for two, slashing a four past point and then smashing four more past square leg.
0954 - Ban 124-3 (26 overs)
Mahmudullah comes down the wicket to Swann, and that's a textbook lofted drive, over the sightscreen for six! A single takes him to 35.
0951 - Ban 117-3 (25 overs)
Tamim forces a single past the tumbling KP at gully. KP has a bit of a stretch, will he get a bowl? I hope so, if only for the sake of the England over-rate. Mahmudullah nicks the strike.
From Chris Potter, TMS inbox:
"On the contrary, Finn has bowled with good rhythm, good action and well enough for a first bowl in Test cricket. Never seen him bowl before and he looks a decent bowler"
0946 - Ban 115-3 (24 overs)
Simon Mann makes a good point on TMS - he would like to see players' names on the back of their shirts in Test cricket, as they are in ODIs and T20s, for player identification purposes. He's sure it's possible, given that both teams have big lettering on the front of their shirts... the team sponsors, of course. Swann's over yields a single to Tamim and a cover-driven four by Mahmudullah.
From Craig, expat, Auckland NZ, via text:
"This Tamim is class, he's only 20 and looked good against India and NZ! Good on the Kiwis for beating the Aussies"
0942 - Ban 110-3 (23 overs)
Tamim stands up to angle Bresnan past the slips for four, then works it past mid-on (Captain Cook is encumbered, having donned shin pads earlier) and they jog back for an easy two. England's "bang-it-in" seam bowling tactics from earlier aren't working as well as the ball gets older. A single takes Tamim to 68.
From Jobson15 on 606:
"Finn deserved a place. Tredwell should be playing, we really didn't need seven batsmen, we need five bowlers"
0938 - Ban 103-3 (22 overs)
After a drinks break which may have given England time to ponder their tactics against this pair, who have added 52, Mahmudullah is watchful against Swann and plays out a maiden over.
From Mark & Hannah in Birmingham, TMS inbox:
"Is it just us or does new boy Steve Finn look a bit like Matt Smith? Perhaps he should henceforth be referred to as Doctor Who?"
0931 - Ban 103-3 (21 overs)
Mahmudullah forces Bresnan for three through the covers, the lightning-quick Carberry gives chase and a great sliding stop prevents the boundary. The singles are starting to flow easier for the Tigers - and given that they barely needed their sixth batsman, maybe England are regretting not choosing a second spinner to share the load?
0927 - Ban 98-3 (20 overs)
Tamim sweeps Swann against the spin, but makes good contact and that's his ninth four. Then he gets after Swann even better and powers it to the mid-wicket boundary for four more. His first 60 runs have come in 62 balls, and he's the quickest Bangladesh batsman to reach 1,000 Test runs.
0923 - Ban 90-3 (19 overs)
Bresnan switches ends and returns in place of the slightly wayward Finn, but the increasingly assured Mahmudullah steers him for a comfortable two.
From middle_stump on 606:
"Looks like he's Finn-ished before he's started. Terrible bowling from Finn. Then again, he should never have played. Tredwell should be out there. Another glaring error by the selectors"
0919 - Ban 88-3 (18 overs)
Mahmudullah tries to reverse-sweep Swann but can't connect and is struck on the body. A more orthodox shot brings him a single to deep mid-on - Swanny keeps it tight against Tamim, only conceding a two through mid-wicket off the last ball of the over.
From Ben, London, TMS inbox:
"I was going to ask if anyone could shed some light on why Cook's only employing two slips when he has a lead of 520-odd, but then I saw where Finn was bowling and realised it was a redundant question"
0915 - Ban 85-3 (17 overs)
Tamim whips Finn off his legs for a well-run three, Mahmudullah forces a single to leg, and Tamim helps another loose delivery to fine leg for four - that's his fifth Test fifty (he also has two centuries).
From Toby on a train, via text:
"On my way to all day Beer Festival in Brighton, excited! The Tigers have been awful so far, and there will be the usual cries of 'waste of time'. However, remember that Sri Lanka and India were both awful for 10+ years too, and look at them now! Banga will come good in the end"
0909 - Ban 77-3 (16 overs)
Mahmudullah steers Swann for a single, the Tigers are going at more than four an over here. Tamim slog-sweeps and misses, Prior whips the bails off as a reflex action, but he pinches the strike with a single off the last ball.
From Iain from Edinburgh, in Doncaster, TMS inbox:
"Trying to enjoy peaceful TMS and text commentary, but mother-in- law is moaning about post footy traffic in Doncaster. I knew I should have stayed in Edinburgh. What is the penalty for matricide?"
Probably double the usual penalty if you commit it tomorrow, considering it's Mothering Sunday...
0906 - Ban 75-3 (15 overs)
Mahmudullah steers Finn for another four, then slashes the Middlesex man between second slip and gully for four more. (And thanks to the five or six of you who have written in suggesting that Swann should bowl exclusively in one-over spells... but no more please!).
From Richard, stuck at work in Gerrards Cross, TMS inbox:
"Mark, if the Bangladesh batsman are finding the English seamers hard to deal with on a flat wicket with no help off the seam or in the air like in Chittagong, how on earth are they going to deal with the potential swinging conditions of Lord's in May or a bouncer friendly wicket at Old Trafford?!"
0901 - Ban 66-3 (14 overs)
Mahmudullah is off the mark with a cover-driven four off Swann, he and Tamim add some ones and twos.
From Matt, via text:
"Great start to the day down here in sunny Bristol. Would love to see the Scots, Italians and Welsh to win for it to be a perfect day!"
0857 - Ban 59-3 (13 overs)
Captain Cook dons some shin pads, and there's a double change in the bowling as the lanky but unshaven Steve Finn is given his first over in Test cricket... his first ball is just outside leg stump and Tamim helps it down to fine leg for four. The left-hander clips another four through mid-wicket, but Finn is showing some good pace.
0852 - Ban 51-3 (12 overs)
Corky on TMS is scathing about Aftab staying at the crease for a while after Umpire Tucker gave him out (presumably he doubted that the ball hit his glove, which it appeared to) - and he praises Bell for moving to his right once Aftab had moved to sweep in order to take the catch. New batsman is Mahmudullah.
From Ben in Abingdon, via text:
"Just woken up, meant to watch from the off, very angry. Luckily my trustworthy fat ginger cat has proven his worth by jumping onto my bed and sinking his claws into my feet, pain is only temporary. Bangladesh all out for 218, follow on and out for 212. Finished by day 4 morning"
0849 - WICKET - Aftab c Bell b Swann 1 - Ban 51-3 (11.4 overs)
Graeme Swann, England's sole spinner, into the attack with his off-breaks. There's a short leg and a slip in - Tamim nudges a single, then Swann's remarkable knack of getting a wicket in his first over crops up again as Aftab prods to short leg where Ian Bell takes a good catch.
From Mat in Wallingford, Oxon, TMS inbox:
"England winning, Australia losing, sunny morning, about to go fishing, a Lambing Live special is on TV later. What a day!"
0846 - Ban 50-2 (11 overs)
Aftab is off the mark with a push to extra cover, Tamim swings and misses at a couple of slower balls from Broad but brings up the fifty with a single. However, there's not much applause - Simon Mann on TMS notes that Bangladesh crowds don't seem to clap fifties much, for either side.
From Beth in Bolton, via text:
"Do you think there's a chance England could bowl them out in this session so I have something good to dwell on before my first ever driving lesson?"
0842 - Ban 48-2 (10 overs)
Swann is warming up his shoulders at first slip, but it's still Bresnan for the time being as Tamim blasts his fourth four between gully and point, then hooks his fifth boundary past long leg. He ain't scared of no bouncers.
0838 - Ban 40-2 (9 overs)
Broad strays down the leg side, the effervescent Tamim flicks him off his hip for six over the tall Steve Finn at fine leg! A single off the last ball ensures he keeps the strike. He has 23.
From Ex-Pat Tim (Christchurch NZ), TMS inbox:
"Your commentary is a life-saver! The Black Caps v Aussie game is on and my wife is refusing to stop watching American Idol! Thanks heaps"
No probs, Tim. The Kiwis have just won by 51 runs.
0834 - Ban 33-2 (8 overs)
Tamim will flash at anything short, and crashes another square-cut four when Bresnan drifts with his line. The Yorkshire seamer then pings in a bouncer which is called as an aerial wide by Umpire Tucker, and Tamim rotates the strike with a leg bye. Aftab is the first right-hander of the Bangladesh innings, he lets the last ball go by.
0829 - Ban 27-2 (7 overs)
Broad finishes his over from before tea with a predictable bouncer to new batsman Aftab Ahmed.
...and while F1's on, please please please put "CRICKET" as the first word if you're texting in
as otherwise we won't see it amid all the F1 texts. Thanks.
Without wanting to sound patronising towards the Tigers, this is proving all too easy for England at this stage. Meanwhile, the Aussies are seven down in Wellington and need more than nine an over.
From Dave, Gloucester, TMS inbox:
"Surely Rob in Northants (0751) needs to put the DVD in the computer and let his son watch it on there, and follow live text on his phone whilst watching the cricket on TV? Not that I condone this type of parenti... hang on, the Dora DVD needs changing"
0809 - WICKET - Siddique c & b Broad 7 - Ban 27-2 (6.5 overs)
Tamim punches Broad hard to gully, but Kevin Pietersen can't hold on despite getting both hands to the chance. They run one. But it's all over for Siddique as he struggles against a short ball and pops up a comfortable catch to the beaming blond bowler. And when a wicket falls in the over before tea, thou shalt take tea immediately...
0806 - Ban 26-1 (6 overs)
Siddique gets a thin edge just past the diving Carberry at backward point for his first boundary. Not that England (or indeed the BBC) are taking the result of this match as a foregone conclusion, but the powers that be here at BBC Sport Website Towers are already hoping for a finish in fewer than five days, so my match-report colleague Harry and I can be redeployed elsewhere on the rota...
0802 - Ban 22-1 (5 overs)
Tamim again opens with a single, Siddique tries to force a slower ball off his legs but can't connect cleanly. But he's finally off the mark with a confident off-driven three past the bowler. Tamim again unleashes a fierce square cut, that's four more.
From David Arrowsmith, TMS inbox:
"As an Englishman in Wellington watching the Aussies getting comfortably beaten by the Black Caps, news of England's score in the Test makes the day just get better'"
They're six down now - Southee has bowled Hussey...
0757 - Ban 14-1 (4 overs)
Tamim rotates the strike with a leg bye, but will be pleased to be off strike as Bresnan is also finding a murmur of swing against Siddique - it's always worth putting your back into it to see what you can get with the new ball.
0753 - Ban 13-1 (3 overs)
New batsman Junaid Siddique has to duck away from a couple more fiercely hostile deliveries from Broad.
Former Surrey and England batsman Mark Butcher on TMS:
"That was painful to watch with Broad and Kayes - that was like watching a heavyweight step into the ring with an ingenue from a lower weight division"
0751 - WICKET - Kayes c Prior b Broad 4 - Ban 13-1 (2.4 overs)
After a single from Tamim, Broad bangs in a trio of fierce bouncers, the first whacks Kayes on the helmet grille and sails away for four "leg" byes, the second one he can only fend off with his gloves, and the third one he gloves up and away for Prior to take an easy catch running away to his right.
From Rob, Northants, TMS inbox:
"Mark, me and my two-and-a-half-year-old son got up 30 minutes ago. We've played with some Postman Pat toys, so thought it would be good for to put the cricket on TV. He's got other ideas and has slammed in a Postman Pat DVD. Thanks to live text he's got away with the naughty step!'"
0748 - Ban 8-0 (2 overs)
Tim Bresnan to share the new ball, Captain Cook is leading from mid-on with Swann at first slip, Colly at second, Trott at third. Bresnan is right on the money straight away, until the last ball when Kayes hangs his bat out and lifts it over gully for four.
0744 - Ban 4-0 (1 over)
Broad's first ball is short and wide, Tamim square-cuts it just wide of the leaping Michael Carberry at point for four! Wow! He tries to slam the second delivery to leg but can't beat the man at mid-on - steady on Tamim, you're not playing Twenty20 now.
So, where will Cook field now he's captain? Stuart Broad will unsurprisingly take the new ball to Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes.
So, Bangladesh have just over half-an-hour to bat before tea, which is due at 0810 GMT. ("We've got 38 overs left in the day, so even with England's slow over-rates, we may finish on time", notes Simon Mann on TMS). It'll be my first look at the giant Steve Finn, who's making his Test debut - England clearly have seen something special in him, given that he was only brought into the squad as cover but has already leap-frogged Liam Plunkett and Ajmal Shahzad in the reckoning.
From Roger in Denmark, TMS inbox:
"Any ideas what fielders say to their skipper after he puts the opposition into bat and then sees them score 600; Something along the lines of, 'Good call, Skip!'"
Former Bangladesh all-rounder Athar Ali Khan on TMS:
"It's not going to be easy for Bangladesh, they've got to survive the initial burst from Broad before tea"
0730 - WICKET - Bell c Rubel b Shakib 84 - Eng 599-6 declared (138.3 overs)
Bell drives at Shakib, and is dropped by Rubel Hossain running in and diving forward from long-off! But two balls later, Bell attempts a similar lofted drive to that which saw Collingwood dismissed and it's well taken by Rubel just inside the rope. There's a moment of hesitation while the umpires make sure Rubel didn't touch the rope as he took the chance - but Bell is out and Captain Cook calls England in.
0727 - Eng 597-5 (138 overs)
New batsman Matt Prior is the non-striker, and gives Bell some instructions from the dressing-room. A single takes Bell to 82, there's the rare sight of a slip in for the new batsman, who takes aim with a reverse sweep to his third ball but can't beat the man at point.
0723 - WICKET - Collingwood c Tamim b Razzak 145 - Eng 596-5 (137.2 overs)
Colly goes for another massive six, straight this time, but finally perishes as he's caught just inside the rope at long-off.
0722 - Eng 595-4 (137 overs)
Simon Hughes and Athar Ali Khan on TMS are wondering whether Bell's sudden aggression is a sign that he's been given a time limit to reach his century before England declare. He has 80, Colly is resplendent on 145 after punching another four through cow corner, and lifting a six over the rope in the same region. Shakib taking a pasting.
0718 - Eng 583-4 (136 overs)
Colly has a massive swing at Razzak and hits a huge six into the stand at long-on. At this rate, England may well declare before tea. Bell slog-sweeps for two to mid-wicket, then unleashes another of his cover drives which are a thing of beauty when he's on song. (Is there any cricket shot more aesthetically pleasing than a well-timed cover drive?) He then goes aerial, a big hit over the bowler's head and that's four more. Meanwhile,
in Wellington, the Aussies are now five down against Vettori's Kiwis
- Mike Hussey is now batting with the bear-like James Hopes.
From Robert Eminson, TMS inbox:
"We may have enough runs already but no harm batting on a bit and using up the allocated 5 days. I can't see any rain and it will do the "batting" confidence a world of good"
0710 - DROPPED CATCH - Eng 565-4 (135 overs)
Naeem Islam, who had a spell off the field yesterday, walks off again. Colly blasts one straight back at the luckless Shakib, who can't hold on. A hard chance, but still a chance. The England pair keep pushing singles at well, while Colly shows his intentions by hoisting a lofted drive over the bowler's head for six. (This is already England's highest Test score against Bangladesh). Drinks break time.
0707 - Eng 553-4 (134 overs)
Bell steers a single, Colly guides a two down to the naughty corner at square leg where the aforementioned Shahadat redeems himself somewhat with a great run, stop and throw to cut off a boundary. Bell reverse-sweeps for two, he has 66.
From Sleepless in South Lancashire, TMS inbox:
"I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing your '4000' graphic, Mark - it doesn't come out too often!"
I don't have one, I'm afraid... but I'm still very proud of the "bad light" and the "umpire review" ones which I asked our designers to make specially!
0703 - Eng 547-4 (133 overs)
Cap'n Shakib replaces the erratic Shahadat, who ought to be despatched to the naughty corner of the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium considering his bowling and fielding in this session. Bell and Colly pick up some more easy singles.
0656 - Eng 535-4 (131 overs)
Corky is predicting a declaration at tea as Bell tries an ungainly hoick to leg but doesn't connect. The ones and twos keep flowing, and cynics might suggest England may already have enough runs not to have to bat again.
0652 - Eng 530-4 (130 overs)
Colly tries to reverse sweep, the ball spoons up into the air and Sunderland's biggest fan has to use his football skills to kick the ball away when it looks like it might squirm onto the stumps. Colly sweeps, and profits from some comedy fielding from Shahadat on the long leg boundary as he lets the ball go through his legs like an errant schoolboy. "That sums up Bangladesh cricket for me at the moment," notes Corky on TMS. "Shahadat bowled two half-volleys at the end of the last over, then he's let that one through." A better piece of fielding, this time from Rubel, restricts Colly to a single- then Bell nicks the strike. This stand is worth 119.
0646 - Eng 524-4 (129 overs)
Shahadat is still having no-ball problems, Bell uses his feet well to prod a single and then Colly late-cuts well to bring up his 10th Test century with a single. Not to be outdone, Bell unleashes the shot of the day, an exquisite cover drive to bring up his 23rd Test fifty, and repeats the shot, straighter this time, to move on to 57.
0640 - Eng 513-4 (128 overs)
Colly leg-glances Razzak, keeper Mushy doesn't even get a glove on it and that's four. Then, Colly slashes at one wide of off stump, they run three but Junaid Siddique stops the ball an inch from the rope. Was he touching the rope? No, so Colly stays on 99, and that's the century partnership. Bell punches a quick single, Colly has to be quick off the mark - Bell wouldn't have been popular if he'd run his partner out on 99.
Simon Mann on TMS:
"We had an earth tremor this morning - you don't really want to be on the eighth floor of a Bangladesh hotel when that happens"
0637 - Eng 505-4 (127 overs)
Bell works Shahadat for a double off his legs and then a single to point, he's up to 47. A single takes Colly to 92.
From Manfred, Abu Dhabi, via text:
"This gloating over England's success is all very well but see the opposition. Chippenham 1st XI could beat the Bangles on a good day"
0633 - Eng 501-4 (126 overs)
Bell reverse-sweeps Razzak for a single, finally Colly has a single to become "Mr 4,000". He has 4,000 Test runs at an eye-catching average of 44.44. Bell then steps well outside leg stump to give himself room to blast the spinner through extra cover for four - that's him past 3,500 Test runs. He attempts another reverse sweep off the last ball but misses, it's through the struggling keeper for a bye.
0629 - Eng 494-4 (125 overs)
Single from Bell, no-ball from Shahadat, Colly looks for 4,000 but can't get it off the square.
0624 - Eng 492-4 (124 overs)
Abdur Razzak to continue his over-the-wicket negative line to the two right-handers. Colly and Bell push ones and twos - the Durham man is one short of 4,000 Test runs.
0620 - Eng 488-4 (123 overs)
In desperation, the Tigers turn back to pace in the form of Shahadat Hossain, who's not bowled today. Colly has a couple of sighters before striding down the wicket to club a single.
Bangladesh's fielders trot back on, not looking too enthusiastic.
From Dave, deepest darkest Somerset, TMS inbox:
"Shame Swanny's not likely to get in as I reckon he could plunder a Test century against this attack in no time. Colly could be on for beating his best Test score of 206 here though - who's with me?"
From John in Victoria, TMS inbox:
"Just tuning in to TMS to find that England are on top and the Bangles are under pressure. If there's ever a time to shout 'Come on Ian Bell, fill your boots!' then this is it. Oh and Cooky: declare an hour after tea and let the tired Bangles batsmen have it with both barrels!"
One other item of interest from the world of cricket - if you weren't aware,
the Indian Premier League started yesterday,
and there was English interest as Owais Shah scored 58 not out helping the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Deccan Chargers in the opening game. Previously on the now-defunct Setanta, the IPL is being shown on ITV4 and YouTube this year.
From Anon, via text:
"I'm not sure how many wickets down we will be (I will guess 7) but I can see England batting for all of the second session and then for up to an hour into the third. Assuming thats how it plays out I can see 650-700 being scored. 213 more runs in about 3 hours of aggressive batting"
Right, a good session for England - keep listening to TMS for more about
projects in Bangladesh, but we're going to take a short break for a bite to eat, back with you soon.
Simon Mann on TMS:
"Paul Collingwood has become England's new 'cockroach' - Australia used to call Mike Atherton 'the cockroach' as no matter how many times you stamped on him, he always came battling back"
From Adam, north London, via text:
"It's amazing how I feel part of a unique group - awake with all you lovely people, enjoying some success for a change"
0534 - Eng 487-4 (122 overs)
Razzak to conclude the morning session with its 32nd over - if we can't credit Bangladesh with anything else (as their bowling and fielding hasn't been much cop), their over-rate has been superb. Bell edges a single, Colly helps a wild delivery down the leg side for a single, bashing it away like a croquet player. Razzak is bowling over the wicket, Ashley Giles-style, well outside leg stump, and a rather negative over ends the session (113 runs for one wicket). That's lunch, folks.
0530 - Eng 485-4 (121 overs)
New bowler, same action as Naeem Islam replaces Mahmudullah for his first bowl of the day, and he's also bowling round the wicket to the two right-handers. When a fielder is moved away from the short third man area, Colly gets his reverse sweep out of the locker - they run two, but a wild, wild throw goes through the legs of two Tigers fielder and they can run a third. Next ball sees Bell paddle-sweep and miss, Mushfiqur appeals for a catch behind more in hope than expectation. Bangladesh, by contrast, are up the creek without a paddle (or a sweep). I make it 0530 - but the umpires are going off a different clock as we're going to get another over in.
0526 - Eng 481-4 (120 overs)
Colly dabs Razzak for two, then they scamper two more, a great throw spears in from the boundary and Colly has to dash to make his ground. They check with the third umpire but he's in. A single takes him to 82 - Bell has 35, and we should get one more in before lunch.
From Andy, Worksop, Notts, via text:
"Will Cook do an Atherton and declare at a set score, with a player set for a century?"
0521 - Eng 474-4 (119 overs)
Mahmudullah switches to bowling round the wicket, but it can't stop Bell and Colly picking off singles at well. The off-spinner even sends down a no-ball - pretty much unforgivable for a spinner? My colleague Harry and I think so. Mind you, he also thinks Mahmudullah looks like actor Eric Bana (hair-wise)...
Shamim Chowdhury on TMS:
"England are not taking any undue risks - they have their minds set on a big total"
0516 - Eng 467-4 (118 overs)
Colly nudges a two and a single off Razzak, Bell blasts a couple of fours as England wake the crowd up and the fifty partnership is reached.
From Wes from Wrexham, via text:
"Can't believe I'm up at 5, to watch Ian Bell in Bangladesh. Am I that sad or just a cricket fan to the max?"
0512 - Eng 455-4 (117 overs)
Mahmudullah sends down a legside wide, while even the cameraman appears to be getting a little bored, panning round the England supporters in the crowd. The last ball is another rank legside long-hop, which Bell puts away for four. ("That was such a poor delivery, Bell didn't really have a stroke ready for it," notes Mark Butcher on TMS). Lunch is fast approaching.
0508 - Eng 450-4 (116 overs)
Shakib shuffles his field as Colly and Bell keep pushing Razzak for singles. This is becoming rather like the middle overs of an ODI.
0504 - Eng 446-4 (115 overs)
Colly knocks Mahmudullah for a single to take his score to 70.
Former Middlesex and Durham seamer Simon Hughes, aka "The Analyst", on TMS:
"In the politest sense, I don't think England need 600 - 500 or 550 will probably be sufficient"
From Craig, TMS inbox:
"Colly is like a fine wine... he just keeps getting better with age!"
Ah, but unlike some fine wines, he does travel well!
0457 - Eng 444-4 (113 overs)
Colly and Bell continue to find the gaps against Mahmudullah, Bell opening the face well to shepherd a well-run three through extra cover. A Colly single brings England to quadruple Nelson - 444-4 - and Simon Hughes on TMS is disappointed that no England players watching from the boundary are superstitious enough to lift their feet up while the side remains on that score.
0453 - Eng 439-4 (112 overs)
Shakib (0-105 from 31 overs) finally allows himself a rest as fellow slow left-armer Abdur Razzak takes over - it was he who claimed the prize scalp of Kevin Pietersen yesterday. Colly helps a loose delivery down to fine leg for two, carves a couple more and nurdles one off his legs in typical Colly style.
0450 - Eng 434-4 (111 overs)
Mahmudullah's bowling fairly tidily today, Colly and Bell pick up a single apiece.
From an anonymous male crew member, via text:
"Just flown into New York and have worked out why we are doing well in Bangladesh! It's because there are no [name of airline deleted] cabin crew ladies distracting the team like they normally do on England tours!"
0447 - Eng 432-4 (110 overs)
Shakib has been bowling all day, this is his 31st wicketless over and he's already gone for more than 100... Couple more singles added. Pedestrian, but effective.
From Syedul Hussain, TMS inbox:
"My family are from Bangladesh - I am an avid England cricket fan... My dad and dad-in-law are coming over later to watch the game... It should be amusing!"
0445 - Eng 430-4 (109 overs)
Mahmudullah is quickly through his over - at least with the majority of overs bowled by spinners, we won't have to mess around with extra time to get the 90 overs bowled each day. A single takes Colly to 59 - Bell has 11.
0442 - Eng 429-4 (108 overs)
Two singles plundered from Shakib. Game slipping away from Bangladesh every minute.
0437 - Eng 427-4 (107 overs)
Mahmudullah has almost a one-day field for Colly, with several men back on the fence. Mushfiqur lets a bye slip through his gloves down the leg side, Bell telegraphs his sweep shot again for a single.
From Tom, East London, via text:
"I'm sure I've got this the wrong way round, I should be getting up for the cricket and not settling down for it as I'm getting home. Still, a bacon sandwich and eight hours of cricket is a fine finish to the night!"
0431 - Eng 425-4 (106 overs)
Shakib rattles through a quick over, just one single to Colly, and it's time for a drinks break.
From Mark, Kuala Lumpur, TMS inbox:
"I was once bowled to by 'The Analyst' during an inter college game at Durham University a long while ago. He didn't seem that fast then, so I am surprised anyone is slower than him"
0429 - Eng 424-4 (105 overs)
A mischievous emailer yesterday suggested that Bell would be the perfect man to get "those difficult runs between 400 and 600", but the Warwickshire batsman has already grabbed his first boundary, lofting Mahmudullah over mid-off. Another couple of singles added - and England have plenty of batting to come.
0425 - Eng 418-4 (104 overs)
Colly and Bell keep pushing the ones and twos against Shakib. Bell rather telegraphs his paddle-sweep shot but the bowling is meat and drink to the England pair.
0423 - Eng 412-4 (103 overs)
Mahmudullah finishes the over as new batsman Ian Bell sees off his first two balls.
From Mohammed in Al Ain, via text:
"8am in UAE. Bets on wickets down at declaration? I'll say 5"
(Mohammed did text that prediction in before Cook was out, I hasten to add)
0419 - WICKET - Cook c & b Mahmudullah 173 - Eng 412-4 (102.4 overs)
First bowling change of the day as Rubel is replaced by his personal nemesis from yesterday, Mahmudullah (who stupidly threw the ball in hard and cracked Rubel on the knee when he wasn't looking). We haven't seen his off-spin since before tea yesterday. Colly reaches his 20th Test fifty (from 76 balls) with a well-run two, and is energetically pushing ones and twos. "Bangladesh need a miracle - they're just walking around aimlessly," notes Corky on TMS. Well, they may not have a miracle but they have a wicket - Cook pops a low catch straight back to the bowler.
0415 - Eng 407-3 (102 overs)
After an exchange of singles, Colly goes aerial by hoisting Shakib over long-on for six! A good way to help England past 400. Suddenly, after a slow start to the day, England are in gear as Colly adds a two and a leg bye means that's 11 from the over.
From Rob in Sussex, TMS inbox:
"Having spent the last six hours writing a very boring essay (and going nowhere it seems!) I thought I'd take a break and send you guys an email! Have been waiting anxiously for the Test to start having exhausted the songs on my ipod! I think 550-600 before tea is what Cook will be looking at. I'm looking forward to seeing how Finn will do, saw him play against Sussex last year and was very impressed. Will be listening till the end as ever"
0411 - Eng 396-3 (101 overs)
Another firm push back past the bowler brings Cook four more. (His career-best in first-class cricket is 195 - although he did score 214 for Essex against Australia in 2005, but that game was not ruled to be first-class). A single takes him to 172, Colly does likewise to reach 39.
0407 - Eng 390-3 (100 overs)
Cook creeps up to 167 with a single off Shakib. If you've fallen back asleep, you're not missing much here.
From Chris in Bournemouth, via text:
"What would a Viv Richards or majority of players of his era think of a need for wearing a helmet to face this kind of bowling?"
I think in the modern era, some batsmen are just used to wearing a helmet come what may - especially since the UK law that under-18s must do so. Even in the team I play for (at a very low level of social cricket), my friend Nick Scott once batted for an hour against quick bowlers in a helmet, swapped it for a cap when the spinners came on and then immediately top-edged a slow off-spinner into his eye and had to go to hospital... He's always worn a helmet ever since.
0403 - Eng 389-3 (99 overs)
Rubel hits Cook on the pad, that's worth a shout... but not out. Replays show it pitched in line, hit him just on the line of off stump - Simon Hughes (aka "The Analyst") on TMS thinks it would have missed off stump, Hawk-Eye suggests it might have just clipped the wicket. (Dominic Cork, a firm member of the fast bowlers' union, insists it was out - while also insisting that The Analyst could bowl faster than the Bangladesh seamers, as could Bob Willis). Just a single from the over.
0400 - Eng 388-3 (98 overs)
Colly is watchful against Shakib, eyeing up that long-on boundary but curbing any thought of a wild charge down the pitch. When he does use his feet to the left-armer, he gets an inside edge onto the pad and it pings just past the short-leg fielder who was ducking for cover.
From Woodzeebeck, somewhere near the Vietnam-Laos border, TMS inbox:
"I'm looking forward to the coverage today. So you're not on your own at this early hour"
0356 - Eng 388-3 (97 overs)
That's a peach of a shot from Cook, seemingly little more than a forward defensive but it rockets past the non-striker for four - his 15th. Still no swing for Rubel - Cook aims a bloodthirsty pull but pulls it onto his pad and it trickles back to the bowler. (By the way, if the "play is due to start at 0330" is still showing at the top of this page, give yourself a manual refresh and it'll vanish).
From David, Spain, TMS inbox:
"Not sure what you're doing by appearing to link our gallant captain with the Eurovision Song Contest.
The BBC's recent profile
identified him as an ex-Bedford Music Scholar. Chalk & cheese, I'd say"
0352 - Eng 384-3 (96 overs)
Are England fully awake yet? The gentle opening to the day's play continues as Colly can't get Shakib off the square for much of the over. He prods a single, Cook finally forces one off his legs to the mid-wicket sweeper, and his highest Test score is warmly applauded by some knowledgeable England fans at the ground.
From Uwais Ahmed, TMS inbox:
"This second day morning session would have been a lot more interesting if KP was still around. England are well ahead of the game but cannot bring myself to watch Cook and Colly at this time of morning. Bed... Cook and Colly... bed... Cook and Colly... umm...?"
0348 - Eng 382-3 (95 overs)
Colly turns Rubel off his legs for four, sending a passing bird flying for cover. The Durham man then carves a single through the covers, but Cook is still stuck on 160.
From Greg Twomey, Niigata Japan, TMS inbox:
"I'm going to wait until England bowl and Bangladesh bat till I draw too many conclusions. That said, Bangladesh were rubbish yesterday. They have to look at what Sri Lanka successfully did not so many years ago to bridge the gap with the other nations"
0345 - Eng 377-3 (94 overs)
Cook forces Shakib to leg but straight to a fielder - then he swipes and misses. That's a maiden over. How aware do you think players are of such landmarks?
From Anon, via text:
"Pipsqueak (0339) - Cookie must have realised he would have some serious time at the crease and wanted to avoid helmet rash. Hence the bouffant hairdo!"
0343 - Eng 377-3 (93 overs)
Rubel the Slinger beats Cook's outside edge for possibly the first time in his innings. But the England skipper pushes a quick single through the covers to reach 160, which equals his highest Test score.
From Nick, Offshore Gulf of Mexico, TMS inbox:
"What a welcome return for KP yesterday! Let's hope for a double century for Captain Cook and a 600+ score?"
0339 - Eng 376-3 (92 overs)
Despite overcast conditions, Bangladesh continue with their spin attack as captain Shakib Al Hasan comes on to toss up his slow left-arm spin. A single takes Cook to 159 - if he gets to 204 he'll get to 4,000 Test runs, while Colly would reach the same figure if he gets 91.
From Pipsqueak, via text:
"He may be closing in on a double century but could Cookie please go the barbers first?"
0335 - Eng 375-3 (91 overs)
Rubel gets England back under way with a no-ball to Paul Collingwood, who's on 32 overnight. A tame start.
Right, after a bizarre experimentation with part-time bowlers for the last two overs last night, Rubel Hossain will resume proceedings for Bangladesh, with a new ball which is only eight overs old.
So, what do you think England can expect today? Can Captain Cook push on towards 200? He's only two behind his highest Test score of 160 - do you think England have a declaration target in mind, or are we getting ahead of ourselves? Let us know your thoughts by emailing email@example.com
(with "For Mark Mitchener" in the subject line - some amusing spelling variants turned up yesterday), or texting 81111
(in the UK) or +44 7786200666
(worldwide). And, at the risk of repeating myself, it's really important that you put "CRICKET" as the first word on your texts
- as otherwise they'll drown unnoticed in the huge numbers we get for Formula 1 and football. I thank you.