Cook sees Lions to finishing post
Alastair Cook spent time in the middle ahead of next week’s first Test as England Lions completed a three-day defeat of Bangladesh by nine wickets shortly before lunch.
Cook, captaining the Lions in this match at Derby, made an unbeaten 42 from 55 balls as his team easily chased down a target of 86 to inflict a second tour defeat on the Tigers.
Ravi Bopara, a player hoping to force his way back into full international contention, also had an eventful day.
Bopara ended a stubborn last-wicket stand between Jahurul Islam and Rubel Hossain to finish with 4-14 in the innings and 7-23 in the match with his medium-pace.
The Essex batsman then took the Lions to the brink of victory before he was bowled in the final over before the interval for 28.
Bangladesh will be hoping captain Shakib Al Hasan makes a speedy recovery from the chickenpox which kept him out of this game after their batsmen wasted the chance to spend time in the middle before Lord's.
Only Jahurul showed the necessary application required on a pitch that helped the seamers to score an unbeaten 58 off 153 deliveries. He was the only Bangladesh batsman to pass 50 in the game.
At least Rubel dug in to see him to his half-century and made the Lions bowlers work for the last wicket on a hot, humid morning.
The contest had been decided on the previous afternoon when the tourists lost wickets to a rash of ill-judged shots to collapse to 139 for nine, a lead of just 63.
The 10th-wicket pair continued the stand which had rescued their side from a two-day defeat and batted for another 11 overs before Bopara struck.
Jahurul brought up his fifty, which came off 129 balls, by driving Liam Plunkett through the covers for his fifth four and he hit two more to at least give the touring bowlers a modest target to defend.
The last-wicket pair had been together for 18 overs and had added 40 runs when Bopara found Rubel's outside edge to give wicketkeeper Steven Davies his sixth victim.
The best Bangladesh could hope for was to make the Lions work for their runs and they should have removed Bopara on five in the fourth over when he cut Robiul Islam hard to gully, where Mahmudullah spilled the chance.
Shafiul Islam beat Cook several times but the opening pair took the Lions to within 10 runs of victory when Bopara, who faced 47 balls and hit four fours, pushed forward at Abdur Razzak's left-arm spin and was bowled.
The Lions needed just three balls after the interval to wrap up victory with Moeen Ali easing the memory of his first-ball dismissal in the first innings by dispatching Razzak for six and four.