CRICKET – The hero and the whipping boys

news: CRICKET - The hero and the whipping boys

Ahead of England’s Test against Bangladesh at Lord’s, Andrew Strauss was named England’s Vodafone Player of the Year. In his first 12 months as an international cricketer, the 28-year-old has scored five centuries, averaging 56 runs in 12 Tests. This summer’s Ashes Series will be Strauss’s next big challenge, but, for now, Test minnows Bangladesh served as an hors d’oeuvre. Put into bat, Hoggard, Harrison, Flintoff and Jones took less than half-a-day to dismantle the hapless tourists, conceding only 108 runs in 38.2 overs. Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss then took to the seam, piling on run after run. When Strauss went, having reached triple figures, Michael Vaughan continued where he left off, compiling his own century. At one stage, the scoreboard showed 403 for 2, Trescothick falling only six runs short of his double century.

England finally declared at 528 – 3, a 420 run first innings lead. Bangladesh managed to take the match into a third day despite crashing 65 – 5 in their second spell at the stumps. They hung on for 90 with no more losses at close of play, still 330 runs from avoiding what would be their 21st innings defeat in just 37 Tests. On Saturday, England finished the job restricting the tourists to 159 runs – an innings and 261 runs victory.This was a stroll in the park, but Australia will be a different proposition altogether.