Cook ton ensures series whitewash
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 24th March 2010
A spirited Bangladeshi side took the contest into the final day and into the final session but a professional English side proved just too much for the hosts. England led by stand-in skipper Alastair Cook conformed to the pre-series prediction as the visitors won the two match Test series 2-0. Cook scored an elegant century while Pietersen warmed up for his upcoming IPL assignment with a bristling half-century.
Resuming the final day at 172 for 6 all the hopes of the Bangladeshi side hinged on Shakib Al Hasan. The skipper showed admirable determination as he frustrated the English bowlers, pace and spin alike with a dogged effort. The skipper literally waged a lone battle as he tried to extend the lead that they gained over England. In the morning session he was well supported by tailender Shafiful Islam (28, 49b, 3x4) as the pair added 63 in 17.1 overs. Shakib mixed caution with aggression beautifully as he did not let go of a scoring opportunity. The pair kept out the English bowlers for around an hour or so as the visitors toiled hard in the unforgiving conditions.
Once the new ball was available Cook immediately claimed it and handed it to Tredwell. With men set deep in the field Tredwell tempted Shafiful Islam to have go at a flighted delivery which he did without any second thought. The ball went on as far as Trott at deep midwicket who settled under the skier and the took the catch. Abdur Razzak (8, 22b, 1x4) joined his skipper and stayed at the crease with the sole intention of eating into the time. The pair out on 26 in 10 overs and with lunch around the corner Finn produced a booming in-swinger which trapped Razzak plumb before the stumps.
With the last man in and 14 runs away from his second Test century Shakib (96, 191b, 11x4) gave the charge to Tredwell and in the process missed the ball and inspite of a desperate dive he was well short of the crease. Bangladesh had set England a tantalizing target of 209 in 54 overs to claim the series 2-0.
It was a wonderful opportunity for the Bangladeshi bowlers and in particular the spinners to assert their dominance over the proceedings. But what followed bewildered the audience who watched the proceedings. With deep set field and instead of taking over the bowling duties he handed it to Shafiful Islam and Abdur Razzak to have a go at the English batsmen.
Skipper Cook and Trott had no real issues as they sedately went about their business. With the gaps unplugged the pair had little difficultly in maneuvering the ball into the gaps and getting the runs. The pair added 40 in 12 overs before Shakib brought himself on. The skipper straightaway settled into his groove as he built up the pressure on Cook who was forced to call for a tight single. Trott (19, 30b, 3x4) responded to his skipper and Jahurul Islam and Mushfiqur Rahim combined to try and run-out Trott. The decision was referred upstairs and though the visuals showed clearly that Trott just about made it the third umpire for some unknown reasons ruled him out.
Out came Pietersen who joined Cook at the crease and the two set about gnawing at the target set by the home side. The pair did not experience any trouble in their unbeaten 167 run association as they took England to a satisfying nine wicket win.