• Bangladesh v England, 1st Test, Chittagong, 5th day

Swann takes ten as England finally seal victory

The Bulletin by Andrew McGlashan
March 16, 2010
England 599 for 6 dec and 209 for 7 dec beat Bangladesh 296 and 331 (Siddique 106, Rahim 95, Swann 5-127) by 181 runs
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Graeme Swann removed Mushfiqur Rahim on his way to a 10-wicket haul © Getty Images
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Graeme Swann bagged his first 10-wicket match haul as England finally broke through Bangladesh's resistance to secure a 181-run victory at Chittagong, but not before Junaid Siddique and Mushfiqur Rahim had made them toil through another wicketless session. Siddique scored his first Test century as the sixth-wicket pair survived the morning, taking their stand to 167, before Swann finally ended the resistance.

The victory margin was convincing from England - and Alastair Cook will be satisfied with his first Test in charge - but Bangladesh's fight during the second half of the game made them dig deeper than they would have imagined. The efforts of Siddique and Rahim should give the home side great heart and England were getting increasingly flustered before Siddique's marathon 292-ball effort was ended in the second over after lunch.

It was an unforgiving pitch for the quick bowlers, and England's trio looked dead to the world by the end, so Swann's contribution can't be understated as he sent down 78.3 overs in the game. When he had Naeem Islam caught at deep midwicket he became the first English spinner to take 10 in the subcontinent and the first offspinner to take such a haul since Jim Laker, with his famous 19-wicket bag, against Australia in 1956. That's some wait and Swann fully deserves his place in the list.

England had hoped for a swift conclusion on the final morning with the second new ball available after five overs, but it was negotiated with aplomb by Siddique and Rahim. However, some of Cook's tactics were strange and he paid the price for not having a third slip when Siddique got a thick edge off Stuart Broad which would have flown at shin height. Admittedly plenty of edges didn't carry, but the new ball was the time to attack.

However, Siddique repelled everything the England attack threw at him and managed to retain his composure despite the pressure of a looming major milestone. He reached his hundred with two boundaries in an over off Steven Finn, the second a perfect straight drive from his 262nd delivery. The moment Siddique hit it he turned to the dressing room, removed his helmet and raised his arms. The pressure was telling on England's bowlers and Finn had a few words with Siddique at the end of the over.

Siddique was the fourth Bangladesh batsman to register a maiden ton in recent months, following Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah in New Zealand and Rahim against India in January. They are signs of improvement everyone wants. Not surprisingly his concentration wavered a touch as the significance of the moment sunk in and he was given a life on 106 when Matt Prior couldn't gather a difficult bottom edge off Swann.

Rahim's innings was equally impressive as he continued his match-long resistance. He was troubled on occasion by the extra bounce of Finn - and survived a close lbw shout against Broad - but played Swann with ease and twice dispatched him through the leg side in rare moments of aggression.

As the pair entered lunch having batted unbeaten through their second session England looked tired and frustrated. However, for the umpteenth time in his short Test career Swann was the man to lift the side when he found the edge of Siddique's bat and the catch carried low to slip. England's anxiety was clear as Swann gave the batsman a slightly undignified send off; Siddique deserved better have such resilience.

Rahim was nearing his second Test century until he made one of the few misjudgements in his innings when he charged Swann and yorked himself. He looked skywards and admonished himself, but with the bat he has had an outstanding match.

With the two main obstacles out of the way England relaxed a little as the lower order went down playing their shots. Broad and Tim Bresnan collected rewards for their toil, but Swann wouldn't be denied his tenth wicket as Michael Carberry gave another example of his panther-like fielding with a swoop and dive at deep midwicket.

It was a tired huddle that celebrated victory and Swann deserved every slap on the back he received. The match had gone to form, but England knew they have been in a game and the bowlers have just three days to recover. If Bangladesh can take this fight to Dhaka, England will need all their energy.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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