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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Swann spares England's blushes

It is rare in test cricket for both the victorious and defeated sides to be satisfied with their five days work but that is certainly the case in Chittagong.
England's Test match betting odds suggested the side should win easily that aim was achieved. But the comfortable final margin of 181 hides a battling performance by Bangladesh that bodes well for the future.
The stars of the show for the hosts were the sixth-wicket pairing of Junaid Siddique and Mushfiqur Rahim. The duo batted together for two sessions, just short of 70 overs, racking up 167 runs in the process. Siddique himself hit a marvellous century before falling to man-of-the-match Graeme Swann while on 106
Siddique is the fourth Bangladesh batsman to register a maiden hundred in recent months, following Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah in New Zealand and Rahim against India. Sure signs that this side belongs in the test arena and are warming to their task.
Rahim was doing just that and was unlucky not to score a century himself, eventually falling just five runs shy when he looked to charge a Swann delivery and bowled himself out.
The wicket came to immense relief for England, who toiled on a tough pitch and were perhaps taken by surprise by the fight and resilience shown by the Bangladeshi batsmen.
Swann deservedly picked up the man-of-the-match award as he entered the record books by taking 10 wickets in a test match, the first player to do so since the great Jim Laker took 19 for 90 at an Old Trafford Ashes test 54 years.
It is esteemed company for Swann reward for his hard work and toil over the past 18 months. He has now played match winning roles in the past three test series and is now an attacking threat England have grown to rely on. 
There were some negatives for England. The three quick bowlers struggled to make an impact and it was perhaps a mistake not to pick an extra paceman. Rookie captain Alistair Cook also made some strange tactical decisions on the final day, while Swann blotted his copy book when he swore while celebrating the wicket of Siddique – a sign of how much frustration had built up during the morning session.
But if mistakes are to be made now is the time with a tough calendar year ahead, concluding of course with the Ashes, and the side all in all can be satisfied with their performance.
Meanwhile, in football news anyone looking to place a World Cup free bet might want to consider Spain who are currently favourites for this year's tournament.
 By : Tom Mallows

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