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Jonathan Agnew column

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent, Lord's

Bangladesh batted with great confidence on the fourth day of the Lord's Test to continue a terrific game for them against England.

The only time their batsmen have really encountered problems was when the weather turned against them on Saturday. They fought hard again on day four when many people would have expected them to fold after being asked to follow on.

The type of resistance that Tamim Iqbal provides is unusual because he bats so positively. He produced a very exciting innings, full of character and there was a great celebration when he reached his century - it showed exactly how much it meant to him.

As a coach, you would want to rein him in a little. When he is over the euphoria of this innings he will have to knuckle down a bit, and he can do that without losing his natural flair.

Tamim Iqbal
Tamim hit 103 off 100 balls in for Bangladesh at Lord's

He has a terrific eye and is a lovely, carefree character. Many of these Bangladesh players remind me of Sri Lanka the way they were before they got Test status, playing in a free, naive way.

Their techniques are based on playing a natural game, but you do have to tighten up as Sri Lanka have discovered.

Imrul Kayes played a more measured innings alongside Tamim, and then we saw Junaid Siddique and Jahurul Islam rallying round as well.

For England, Steven Finn continues to look a very good prospect but I have to say they will encounter more problems with just four bowlers in their attack.

Tim Bresnan looks well below being a Test-class new-ball bowler, and though we can bear in mind that Stuart Broad and Graham Onions are ahead of him in the reckoning, this is not proving to be a great match for Bresnan.

James Anderson is still feeling his way back into Test cricket, and is delivering some lovely balls at high speed going across the left-handers but most of the batsmen are not good enough to edge those. He needs to be swinging it back into the left-handers, and at the moment he has lost the knack of doing that.

The day really belonged to Bangladesh. What they have shown is much more discipline with the bat than we have seen in the past, and that is precisely what we were looking for when the series started.

They still have a very hard final day in front of them but if they score another 150 it would leave a target of about 250, and England might not have time to chase that sort of score. A draw would be a shock result given the assumption this would be a straightforward victory for Andrew Strauss's team.

The second Test is quickly upon us on Friday. At Old Trafford, I hope the Yorkshire fast bowler Ajmal Shahzad gets a game as many of us would like to see him play a Test.

Surely England can get away with five batsmen and Matt Prior batting at six. There is not really anything among the Bangladesh bowlers for England to be worried about.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's Oliver Brett



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see also
Tamim century gives Tigers hope
30 May 10 |  England
England v Bangladesh day four photos
30 May 10 |  England
England break Bangladesh resolve
29 May 10 |  England
Bangladesh make England struggle
28 May 10 |  England
Trott century puts England on top
27 May 10 |  England
Bresnan targets all-rounder role
25 May 10 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
Bangladesh in England 2010
10 Jul 10 |  Cricket


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