Bell Stands Firm As Bangladesh Push England Hard
England 275-5 (Bell 87no, Pietersen 64, Shafiul Islam 2-37) v Bangladesh
Second Test, Old Trafford, day one
Ian Bell stroked an unbeaten half-century as England resisted a much-improved Bangladesh to close day one of the second and final Test at Old Trafford on 275 for five.
Only Jonathan Trott, who followed up his 226 at Lord's with three, failed to make double figures and Bell was unbeaten on 87 when play ended seven overs early due to bad light in Manchester.
As expected, England handed a Test debut to Ajmal Shahzad following Tim Bresnan's foot injury but his first day as a Test cricketer involved watching England's batsmen being made to work hard for their runs on a pitch that offered bounce and occasional turn to the bowlers.
Openers Andrew Strauss (21) and Alastair Cook (29) made steady starts, putting on 44 for the first wicket before Shafiul Islam got just reward for a fine opening spell when he had Strauss caught at slip by Imrul Kayes and Trott bowled via a combination of an inside edge and a touch of pad.
Unlike at Lord's, all of the five bowlers used kept things tight and Bangladesh's choice to play three spinners, with Abdur Razzak into the side, paid dividends when Razzak struck with his first ball to have Cook caught at slip by Junaid Siddique as he pushed tentatively outside the off-stump.
Kevin Pietersen then showed his class by racing to 64 in 81 balls, hitting seven fours and a six in a typically dashing innings before he gave Shakib Al Hasan the charge, missed the ball and was easily stumped by Mushfiqur Rahim. Shakib has now dismissed Pietersen four times this year and if that wicket was a clever piece of flighted bowling, the next came thanks to a superb piece of fielding.
When Eoin Morgan (37) cut a short wide Shahadat Hossain delivery, he might have been thinking of adding four runs to his score only to see Jahurul Islam dive to his right and take an outstanding catch at gulley to leave England at 223 for five.
Bell, who faced 171 balls for his runs, hitting nine fours and a six, helped England reach stumps with no further alarms alongside Matthew Prior, who was not out on 21 when the umpires ruled conditions were no longer suitable for play.
Shafiul finished with two for 37 from his 14 overs while left-arm slow bowlers Shakib and Razzak got through 24 and 21 tidy overs respectively.
© Cricket World 2010