Tamim and Shahadat lead the way for battling Bangladesh
For the legions of Bangladesh apologists their performance at the home of cricket last week should prove heartening.
It was an excuse used often during England’s protracted 90s slump that their dismal record at Lord’s was due to tourists raising their game in such venerated surroundings.
Last summer’s momentous Ashes victory, a first in 75 years, seemed to confirm England’s recapturing of NW8.
But Bangladesh’s performance evoked memories of the years where England could not buy a win in St John’s Wood.
Anyone who has visited the famous old ground will understand the sense of significance which festers in each square yard of the ground. And then there is the honours board.
It seems unusual in this modern age of online stats bunkers but the Lord’s honours board remains Test cricket’s most prestigious statistic.
If anyone could question how much making the board means then one only had to witness Shahadat Hossain taking his fifth wicket last Friday.
Bangladesh had conceded over 500 and yet Shahadat’s reaction was akin to having taken the match-winning dismissal.
Two days later and Bangladesh had their second member of the honours board club.
Tamim Iqbal claimed his breathtaking 94-ball century was inspired by hearing criticism of the team from Geoffrey Boycott.
In that case perhaps Jamie Siddons, Bangladesh’s coach, should invite Boycott into the fold as a motivational speaker.
Tamim was as glorious to watch as he had been during England’s tour this winter but as much as his brilliance pushed the Bangladeshi’s into the final day, the stubborn efforts of Junaid Siddique and Imrul Kayes were just as pleasing.
Bangladesh are not going to win Test matches against top side, particularly away from home, any time in the near future but they should be grateful for each small stride forward. A couple of names on the honours board certainly counts as progress.