Cow Corner

  • No jug for nine-short Bresnan

    Toil and lethargy were the overriding factors on another gruelling day in Dhaka, but a jaunty skip and mow saw Tim Bresnan fall just short of what would have been a very popular maiden Test century.

    It was how you felt when Paul Collingwood left the crease at Cardiff with his head hung low in despair, only that was the Ashes, and Monty Panesar was padded up in the hutch, ready to be deployed.

    Bresnan is surely too good a player (he has at least six spokes to his wagon wheel) to not be presented with other opportunities to raise his blade in the direction of the tea lady and get in a jug of

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  • Less of a Trott, more an amble

    England's first innings in the second Test in Dhaka could not have contrasted more with that of their hosts.

    On the opening day, we were treated to a thrilling smash and grab by Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal, a youngster clearly playing his game under the influence of Twenty20 cricket.

    A day later there was Jonathan Trott, whose attritional innings reminded us how Test cricket is normally played. Or at least how it is played by people over the age of 25.

    In comparison to Tamim's swashbuckling 85 off 71, Trott appeared to be in suspended animation at times during his dogged 64 of 187 balls,

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  • Tamim comes of age

    What a way to come of age. On his 21st birthday, Tamim Iqbal announced himself on the world stage with a remarkable knock of 85 off 71 balls.

    Turning 21 normally means a few drinks and a public loss of inhibitions. For Tamim it was no different - although the drinks were of an isotonic nature in the baking Dhaka heat, and the exhibitionism was restricted to a dazzling array of cricket shots.

    True, the Bangladesh opener missed joining a select group of players who have scored Test hundreds before lunch on the first day, but this will resonate even more than either of his two centuries to date,

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  • Bresnan feasts with Belly

    Ian Bell managed to combine a steely mentality which belied his established reputation, while unfurling an array of classy strokes to spare England's blushes in Dhaka.

    It was as if the effervescent David Gower had somehow merged with the destructively-dogged Shivnarine Chanderpaul as Bell reached his 10th Test hundred in serene fashion, in stark contrast to the heavy-handed frenzied fumbling of others.

    Not to be included in that assessment is Tim Bresnan, who remained unbeaten at the close after battling, grafting, toiling and generally sweating his way to 76.

    Bell, sporting an objectionable

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  • Swann on song in Chittagong

    Graeme Swann bagged his first 10-wicket haul as the hosts were defeated by a Bangladesh-style margin in Chittagong, as the spinner emulated the great Jim Laker.

    It was the first time an England spinner had reached double figures in 54 years, and even the irrepressible Robert Croft will have to now concede that Swann's esteemed company sets him apart in the modern era.

    An obdurate resistance by Junaid Siddique and Mushfiqur Rahim left England's attack looking blunt on a wicket as dead as Matthew Hoggard's old blocker bat of dud willow. But then Swann had his say - it was clinical and decisive.

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  • Stage set for flying Finn

    To say that Steven Finn has been taken aback by his rapid ascent into international cricket would do the paceman a disservice: he is ready and roaring in to prove it with the final day in Chittagong set for the Middlesex man.

    Finn talked with all the candid modesty of Justin Langer, only without the sly digs behind leaked dossiers, as he reflected on the steady, yet wholehearted start he has made to his England career.

    The 20-year-old seamer (pictured, right) is now charged with having to help the tourists skittle out Bangladesh on the final day on a pitch which resembles more of a garden

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  • Declaration of insanity

    A word about England's decision not to enforce the follow-on against Bangladesh.

    Why?

    Cow Corner's prediction that England would secure an innings victory was proved wrong not by the home side's gritty rearguard batting, but by Alastair Cook's remarkably conservative decision to bat again despite ending the first innings with a 303-run lead.

    Cook did not choose to bat again for fear of having to bat fourth on a stone-dead track, but in order to give his weary four-man bowling attack a rest. Cowers has several problems with this thinking.

    Why did the bowlers need a rest? England had been in

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  • It’s not about the Ashes

    There seems to be a certain amount of negativity surrounding England's Test series against Bangladesh - a reluctance to take it seriously.

    At the end of day two in Chittagong, Bangladesh are five down and trail by 445 runs. Tamim Iqbal's pugnacious resistance notwithstanding, the home side look destined for a crushing innings defeat. Another one.

    It would be Bangladesh's sixth such loss in their last eight Tests. For all the talk that their introduction to Test cricket would herald a vast improvement, if anything they are getting worse.

    So what can England possibly gain by steamrolling a group

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  • Cook sizzles against disappointing hosts

    Whoever was hoping for a decent game of cricket at the Zohur Ahmed
    Chowdhury Stadium will have been left sorely disappointed after the opening day
    of action in the first Test in Chittagong.

    Not through any fault of the England batsmen - Alastair Cook and Kevin
    Pietersen did exactly what was required of them - but rather because of
    England's opponents Bangladesh, who offered little resistance and appeared to
    have thrown in the towel by mid-afternoon.

    Shakib Al Hasan's decision to put England into bat first on a flat pitch
    backfired badly, allowing Cook and KP to flex their muscles and register

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  • ‘Boom, Boom, Bite, Afridi’

    Some captains are known for their commanding leadership, some for inspiring with the brilliance of their play - and one for biting the ball as if it were an apple in apparent ignorance of the 32 cameras scattered around the ground.

    You will not find Afridi's 'sabre tooth tampering' as a dedicated chapter in Mike Brearley's celebrated 'The Art of Captaincy' bible, and the fact that the all-rounder implemented his highly dubious methods on a couple of occasions at the WACA gives him an episode in soon-to-be-shown Channel Five show 'Cricket's dumbest cheats'.

    Afridi would have found it impossible

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