Proud Swann rewarded for hard work
Man of the series Graeme Swann paid tribute to an improving Bangladesh after England completed a 2-0 Test series triumph with a nine-wicket win in Mirpur.
Captain Alastair Cook hit a measured unbeaten 109 and Kevin Pietersen 74 not out – they shared an unbroken second-wicket stand of 167 – as the tourists reached their target of 209 in the final session on the last day.
"It has been (hard work)," said Swann, who picked up six wickets in the second Test to go with his 10-wicket match haul in the first.
“The weather, coupled with the pitches...they're as flat as you get, especially this wicket here.
"We're very pleased to have won these games and I'm personally very proud of myself picking up the wickets.
"Bangladesh proved time and time again that they are an improving side and they've made us work exceptionally hard. It's testament to them that they've pushed us all the way in this series."
Swann's praise extended to Cook, standing in as leader in place of Andrew Strauss for the entire tour.
Swann stressed that Bangladesh's improvement in recent years made captaining a touring side much harder than it may once have been.
"I think Cookie's done an exceptional job," said the off-spinner. "Coming here to Bangladesh there is a pressure to win every match, and win convincingly.
"I think that is something going back over the last decade with Bangladesh teams that were weaker in the past because they are not a pushover anymore.
"You have to play good, hard cricket and you have to have a strong leader and a cohesive unit. I think Cookie has been an exceptional leader under those circumstances."
For the first Test since England's win over Australia in Cardiff last year, Swann had another spinner for company.
James Tredwell finished with 4-82 in the second innings – and six wickets in the match – as Bangladesh were finally bowled out for 285 shortly after lunch.
"Tredders has had an exceptional game in his first match," Swann said of his fellow off-spinner. "I've told him the pitches aren't all as flat as this.
"I think it bodes well that we have two spinners who play together and complement each other."
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan conceded that careless errors had cost his side.
Despite posting 419, Bangladesh conceded a first-innings deficit of 77, and the loss of six wickets on the fourth day left them fighting a losing battle.
"We had high hopes but we made some silly mistakes and that cost us the game," said Shakib, who was named man of the match on his 23rd birthday after making 145 runs in the game and taking 4-124 in 66 overs in the first innings.
"It would have been very good to draw against England. They have some quality players.
"We're really happy with how we played. We fought back very well but all credit to the England team."
Asked about decisions going against his team – something which cost coach Jamie Siddons 10% of his match fee after he objected yesterday – Shakib was philosophical.
"Sometimes it goes in our favour, sometimes not," he said. "This time it was not in our favour, but sometimes it will be."
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