Day One (July 28, 2004):
Tough day for BD lads after losing the toss and being sent in at Headingley, the most swing and seam friendly ground in England. Overcast conditions also made life difficult.
Bangladesh crashed to 99 for 5 at lunch before a partnership of 78 between Enamul Haque (30) and Nazmul Hossain (33) helped us reach 230 not long after tea. Shamsu Rahman was the only batsmen among the runs with a gritty and mature 68 after batting at number 4.
Reckless shots from Aftab Ahmed, Nafees Ahmed and Dhiman Ghosh saw them throw away their wickets after getting small starts.
England replied to be 2 for 95 at stumps with Cook and Henly back in the pavilion. Cook showed his class in the first over smashing Rajib to the mid wicket boundary 3 times. Cook made a total of 45, including 11 boundaries. He was dropped at second slip in the 3rd over of the innings which certainly hurt the Bangladesh cause. The bowlers will have to work well on day 2 to keep England in check.
Day Two (July 29, 2004):
England moved from 95 to 147 before losing Somerset County?s leading run scorer James Hildreth, who was smartly caught by Dhiman Gosh off the bowling of Nadif Chowdhury. This started an amazing period of play where Nadif and Enamul Haque jnr bowled in tandem for 22 overs. During this period England lost 5 for 10. Nadif bowled a spell of 11 overs 5 wickets for 6 runs, while Enam bowled 7 maidens in 11 overs to ensure pressure was built from both ends.
Luke Wright and Adam Harrison then added a 114 in a magnificent partnership that ensured England just established a first innings lead of 39. The last three wickets fell in the space of 3 overs for 0 runs.
Bangladesh rued 5 missed chances, 2 each by Nafees Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim and 1 to Nafees Ahmed in the slips. It was not until Nadif was moved to first slip that a catch was taken in this region, taking a brilliant catch off a slashed top edge from Luke Wright off the bowling of Enamul Haque. Had Bangladesh held early chances from Alistair Cook and Ravi Bopara, England may have struggled to reach 150.
Bangladesh then returned to the crease and Nafees Iqbal made a positive start to lead BD to 1 for 52 from 10 overs at tea. Nafees Ahmed was out LBW to a good ball from Cusden in the early overs. Nafees Iqbal then threw his wicket away again chasing a wide ball shortly after tea to be caught at second slip. This ended a small partnership of 58 between Nafees and Aftab who had shown great restraint in letting many short balls go by.
Shamsu Rahman then joined Aftab to add 54 before Shamsu was caught at deep cover after being set up. This was unfortunate as Shamsu again had shown maturity and confidence well beyond his years. He is proving a fine example to his more senior team mates.
Dhiman Ghosh who had earlier been taken to hospital to have his tooth replaced and mouth stitched up moved down the order, until the anaesthetic wore off. In his place Mushfiqur Rahim moved up to 5 and was unfortunately LBW to a ball that kept very low. Nadif then joined Aftab to take Bangladesh to 4 for 124 when bad light and rain stopped play.
Bangladesh lead by 85 with 6 wickets in hand and need big innings from Aftab, Nadif and Dhiman in order to apply pressure to the England batsmen on the fourth day wicket.
Day Three (July 30, 2004):
Disappointing start to Day 3 losing 6 for 31 in short time. This set England only 118 for victory, which was not enough to really challenge them.
A positive of the Bangladesh innings was that aside from Nafees, Dhiman and Shamsu Rahman, the remainder of the batsmen were dismissed by good bowling rather than foolish shots. If this can be seen as a positive than there are signs of improvement in relation to shot selection.
England?s chase began badly when Denly was out bowled by Rajib. Cook and Bopara then batted aggressively and at times luckily but raced to 71 for 1 at lunch. After lunch England moved to 100 before losing three quick wickets and then a fourth shortly later to be 5 down with 18 runs remaining. First innings hero Luke Wright came in and despatched the bowlers aggressively to pass the Bangladesh score.
This proved a disappointing finish to a game where the ball dominated the bat. In total 35 wickets were lost for 743 runs indicating the difficulty in batting. The next two matches at Somerset and Cardiff should prove a little more batsmen friendly and will require some big scores from the Bangladesh batsmen.