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Bangladesh stall England victory charge in first Test

First Test, Chittagong (day four, stumps):
Bangladesh 296 & 191-5 v England 599-6 dec & 209-7 dec
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave & BBC Sport website (from 0315 GMT); live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles; also live on Sky Sports
Match scorecard

Junaid Siddique keeps England at bay
England came up against stubborn Bangladesh resistance in the final session

By Harry Reekie

England moved to within five wickets of victory in the first Test after a trying fourth day against Bangladesh.

The tourists added 78 runs to their overnight total in the morning session in Chittagong, before declaring on 209-7 with a massive lead of 512.

Bangladesh then lost openers Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes before lunch.

But despite a wobble the hosts survived to 191-5 at the close, 321 behind, thanks to an unbeaten stand of 81 from Junaid Siddique and Mushfiqur Rahim.

England will surely wrap up victory and move 1-0 up in the two-match series on Tuesday, weather permitting, but the mere fact that Bangladesh have forced the game into a final day deserves credit.

Two wickets before lunch suggested the hosts might not survive but England's bowlers were unable to run through the order in the manner many had predicted.

The praise will rightly go to Siddique and Mushfiqur, whose stand showed the kind of determination and application their coach Jamie Siddons has been crying out for.

And although Alastair Cook's side remain in an incredibly dominant position, question marks still hover over some tactical decisions, most notably the selection of only four bowlers.


The presence of James Tredwell as a second spinner was sorely missed, particularly in a sweltering and wicketless final session.

Another talking point was the timing of England's second declaration, with everyone at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium pondering how long it would take on the fourth morning before Bangladesh were asked to bat again.

Matt Prior was caught in no time attempting a massive heave over the pavilion but it took almost an hour before the call from the dressing room arrived when Graeme Swann was caught switch-hitting.

It ensured the England lead was over 500 but with the highest fourth-innings total to win a Test in Chittagong only 317, the decision to eat further into the morning session seemed unnecessary.

Bangladesh immediately struggled in reply though. Kayes survived a peppering from Broad but a wicket always seemed likely.

Unsurprisingly Swann provided the inspiration when a ball from round the wicket gripped and bowled Tamim all ends up - a masterclass in off-spin bowling.

Finn then succeeded where Tim Bresnan and Broad had failed by catching Kayes' edge and suddenly the hosts were in trouble at the interval.

There followed a brief period of resistance as Siddique and Aftab Ahmed, both of whom departed cheaply and tamely in the first innings, showed admirable resolve in putting on a much-needed half-century partnership.

But again, just when it seemed the England bowlers were struggling for inspiration, Bangladesh's middle-order crumbled in a handful of overs.

Tim Bresnan strikes
Bresnan showed he is quickly getting to grips with reverse swing for England

Bresnan's reverse swing provided the initial spark, firstly by catching Ahmed's outside edge and then by skittling Mahmudullah all ends up.

Then Swann, who had been made to toil for the previous hour, trapped Shakib Al Hasan lbw - although replays showed the ball had only brushed the Bangladesh captain's glove as he attempted to sweep.

All of a sudden, England sniffed victory with the Bangladesh tail almost exposed but they reckoned without the resilience of Siddique and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur, who began what was an impressive stand under pressure.

The 22-year-old Siddique brought up his sixth Test fifty but it was his stubborn determination to simply occupy the crease alongside his diminutive partner that really boosted the hosts.

By the time the duo had battled their way deep into the final session, England looked resigned to a final day and even Prior's relentless bluster from behind the stumps started to be dampened.

The introduction of Jonathan Trott then served to illustrate that the frontline bowlers had truly run out of steam and the hosts deservedly survived to fight again on the final day.

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