A comfortable win in the end for England against Bangladesh today, by six wickets with four overs remaining, but if Bangladesh had managed to muster a single batsman to stick with the ever-improving Tamim Iqbal, the total would've been far more challenging.
Tamim's 125 off 120 balls was stroke filled, and he was particularly harsh on Ryan Sidebottom, who to my mind has his best days behind him and no longer belongs in an England shirt. A second spinner in James Tredwell, or perhaps Ajmal Shahzad who has more pace, would've been the better solution.
Bangladesh raced to 67-1 off their opening 10 overs where England failed to contain their aggressive tendencies, but thereafter England came back well. This was largely down to some brilliant bowling from Graeme Swann who finished with 3-32 from his 10 overs. Bangladesh had to make do with 228, which never looked enough.
Cook raced out of the blocks and hit a rapid half century, Kieswetter looked less assured, looked to get down the pitch to almost everything before Naeem Islam had him stumped all ends up. Pietersen looked ill at ease and only made 1 before being caught behind off Shakib al-Hasan.
Collingwood then came in and with intelligent shot selection and running finished Bangladesh off with 75 off 100 balls, Prior and Morgan both chipped in with 30s. I am increasingly of the mind that there is no other individual who brings so much so often to their team as Collingwood does to England.
For Bangladesh, Naeem and Shakib bowled well but Abdur Razzak is a not quite the bowler he was 18 months ago, likewise Mortaza but he is still feeling his way back in to international cricket. Shafiul was only entrusted with 2 overs.
For the next game I'd like to see Sidebottom dropped, and probably Tredwell in althought Shahzad might be a more future-focussed selection. Whatever the selection though, on the evidence of today, England should have no trouble in completing another win.
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