Trott ton strengthens England's hand
Jonathan Trott staked his claim for a place in the Test side with a measured century against Bangladesh A as England declared 79 runs ahead in the three-day warm-up match in Chittagong.
He made an assured 101, exactly half the hosts’ first-innings total, before retiring during the afternoon session on the second day.
Matt Prior, with a confident 73 not out, and Ian Bell, who made 48, also spent valuable time at the crease as England converted their overnight 68 for three into 281 for seven declared after 58 overs.
Bangladesh A converted a 79-run first-innings deficit into an advantage of 52 as they reached 131 for three by the close.
The match is unlikely to be awarded first-class status after the injured Syed Rasel was replaced by Mahbubul Alam at the start of play, no doubt a source of some frustration to Trott and James Tredwell, who yesterday collected six wickets.
Dolar Mahmud bowled the first over of the morning and Bell was confident enough to take on the short ball, pulling him for four. Trott also scored an early boundary, steering Robiul Islam to third man in the second over.
The scoring slowed thereafter, with the fourth-wicket pair seemingly bedding down for a long time in the middle.
Having kept it relatively tight for much of his opening spell, Robiul shipped three fours in the 28th over as England moved into three figures.
Two of those boundaries went to Trott, with the second - a neat flick to fine-leg - bringing up a 76-ball half-century.
Having seen Raqibul Hasan out of the attack, both batsman worked Mehrab Hossain Jnr around the wicket as they extended their untroubled stand.
England’s 150 came up in the 35th over but moments later Bell was trapped in front to give Mehrab a second wicket. He fell just short of a fifty but could nevertheless be satisfied with his workout.
Trott, meanwhile, continued in unflustered fashion, albeit against some decidedly average bowling, as he hurried to his century, off 134 balls, after lunch.
He promptly retired out but, while Prior smashed Dolar for four fours in succession, Tim Bresnan steered Mahbubul to Raqibul at gully to depart for nine.
Prior coasted to his half-century - and took England past 250 - before losing another partner as Tredwell failed to score.
Prior enjoyed a stroke of fortune off Mohammad Ashraful when a meaty lofted drive was spilled over the ropes for six, and responded with a crunching four down the ground moments later.
And he was denied the opportunity to press on to three figures when captain Alastair Cook called time on England’s innings.
Steven Davies took the wicketkeeping gloves for England as Prior rested, and saw Cook utilise all four seamers in the first 11 overs of Bangladesh A’s second innings.
The introduction of Tredwell proved key, though. Shamsur Rahman edged behind after hitting four fours in his 23, and Mehrab was comfortably taken by Cook at slip for four.
Junaid Siddique supplied noticeably more resistance before he was trapped leg by Kevin Pietersen for a diligent 37.
Raqibul, the first-innings centurion, opened up after that dismissal, smearing Tredwell for two huge sixes in a row as he closed unbeaten on 50, with captain Ashraful 14 not out.
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