Kieswetter makes instant impression
Craig Kieswetter cracked a thrilling century on his England debut to set up a 112-run win over a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in the opening tour game in Fatullah.
The Johannesburg-born opener was a last-minute addition to the one-day touring party after some eye-catching displays for England Lions, and announced his senior credentials in the most emphatic fashion with 143 off 123 deliveries.
The innings was not without its good fortune, containing as it did four dropped catches and a botched stumping, but the natural timing he showed surely adds to team director Andy Flower’s options at the top of the order ahead of the one-day series.
Vice-captain Paul Collingwood was also in fine form, crashing a carefree 109 off 74 deliveries as England wracked up a mammoth 370 for seven in 50 overs.
Skipper Alastair Cook also prospered - he made a fluent 56 - while off-spinner Graeme Swann impressed with the ball, picking up 4-44 as the home side closed on 258 for nine.
Having set such a formidable target, England were never in any real danger of losing, and Ajmal Shahzad can be pleased with the scalp of Test batsman Shahriar Nafees in the fifth over of the BCB's reply.
Shahzad, who removed both Pakistan openers in the first over of his England debut in the final Twenty20 international last week, burnished his reputation by bowling captain Shahriar for eight.
Things did not improve for the BCB when Swann removed Mahmudul Hasan for 22 in his second over courtesy of a diving catch by Luke Wright.
Nasiruddin Faroq dug in alongside Raqibul Hasan to take his side to three figures, but Swann changed ends and promptly had Faroq lbw for 37, leaving the home side 107 for three.
James Tredwell, hit for a straight six by Naeem Islam earlier, accounted for Raqibul, who made 41, before Swann trapped Naeem Islam lbw and removed Ariful Hoq after twice being lifted over long-on.
Wright took one wicket at the end, while Liam Plunkett picked up two, including top-scorer Sharifullah, in the final over.
It capped a pleasing outing for Cook, leading England for the first time in a 50-over contest.
He had earlier shared an opening stand of 127 with Kieswetter, working the ball around well to make a composed 56 before falling lbw to Alauddin Babu.
Kevin Pietersen was trapped in front by Babu’s next delivery, and Wright benefited from three drops on his way to 25.
Tapash Baisya recovered from a poor start to remove Collingwood, who had hit six sixes, and Matt Prior, who made just eight, in quick succession.
But Kieswetter, who qualified to play for England only a week ago, undeniably stole the show: he struck 14 fours and six sixes, five of which were hit over the bowler’s head, in a graphic illustration of his immense talent.
The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via ecb.co.uk, and in store from April 29