England batsman Craig Kieswetter’s slammed his maiden ODI hundred as the Englishmen trounced Bangladesh by 45-runs in the third ODI at Chittagong. In the process, the visitors also completed a convincing 3-0 whitewash in the series. Kieswetter, who had struggled earlier on in the series, scored a highly impressive 107, which was chiefly responsible for England ending up with a formidable 284 for 5, batting first on a slowish wicket.
Kieswetter’s ton was well supported by quickfire cameos from Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright. In reply, Bangladesh were never in the hunt, ending up with a disappointing 239 for 9. Only Mushfiqur Rahim and Aftab Ahmed, who scored 40 and 46 respectively, put up some resistance.
Kieswetter began his match-winning knock in a rather sedate manner, looking determined to make up for his earlier failures. He just stood at the wicket during the initial phase and allowed skipper Alastair Cook to do most of the scoring. Cook reached 32 with the help of three boundaries and was looking set for a big knock when he departed, getting caught behind the wickets off the ever-impressive Shakib Al Hasan.
Following the captain’s dismissal, Kieswetter continued to struggle for a while, but did not throw his wicket away and over time began finding his feet.
Mind you, this wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on. Even the aggressive Kevin Pietersen struggled, especially against the spinners. Like Cook, he also got a start, but was trapped in front by Abdur Razzak when on 22. The story was no different for the tenacious Paul Collingwood. As expected though, he hung around with Kieswetter and helped him build a resurrecting partnership.
Even though he departed for 36, which included a solitary boundary, his presence seemed to have been the tonic that was needed to boost Kieswetter’s confidence. The opener reached a hard-earned fifty and from thereon he was a different man altogether. Runs flowed from his bat as he cut and drove his way swiftly towards his maiden ton.
Kieswetter eventually fell for a superbly-constructed 107, when an attempted cut off Razzak found his stumps disturbed. But, not before he and Morgan added a blitzkrieg 67 in the slog overs. Morgan gathered a lucky 36 from 29 balls, an innings during which he was dropped on more than one occasion.
And when was finally dismissed, Wright continued the destruction job. If anything, he was even more deadly, powering his way to 32 in mere 13 deliveries.
If Bangladesh hoped to chase down the total, they needed a solid start. However, that wasn’t to be. The home team lost the talented Tamim Iqbal in the very first over. Debutant Ajmal Shahzad had him caught by Tim Bresnan in the third man region. Imrul Kayes got a start and threw it away.
The only piece de résistance of the Bangladesh innings came in the form of a partnership between Mushfiqur Rahim and Aftab Ahmed. The duo looked comfortable out in the middle during their 56-run partnership. Unfortunately, just as the innings seemed to be coming on track, Ahmed was run-out for 46 in a frivolous manner and Bangladesh never recovered.
Tim Bresnan took full advantage of the hapless Bangladeshi batsmen, ending with a career-best haul of 4 for 28 as the match headed towards a dull, predictable finish.
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