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Bell steadies England

MANCHESTER: England's Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan held firm after Bangladesh dismissed Kevin Pietersen for 64 on the first day of the second and final Test at Old Trafford here on Friday. England was 215 for four at tea after winning the toss.

Bell was 52 not out and left-hander Morgan 33 not out, with their fifth-wicket stand so far worth 62.

England started the second session on 92 for three with Pietersen 22 not out and Bell unbeaten on five.

Pietersen, using his feet, lofted recalled spinner Abdur Razzaq — who'd struck with his first ball before lunch to dismiss Alastair Cook — over mid-off and extra cover for four.

Bell cut pace bowler Shafiul Islam — who in the first session marked his return to Test cricket by dismissing England captain Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott for four runs in seven balls — for a boundary.

And Bell lofted Razzaq over long-on for the first six of the match before late cutting the slow bowler to the third-man rope.

Pietersen hooked Shafiul for a boundary and next ball a single saw him complete a 73 ball fifty with six fours, five of them scored after lunch.

The South Africa born batsman, who pulled up sharply after completing a two, struck Razzaq for six over long-on. But going down the pitch to Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan, also a left-arm spinner, Pietersen's somewhat frantic innings ended when he was beaten in the flight attempting a booming drive and stumped by Mushfiqur Rahim to end a stand of 70 with Bell.

England was now 153 for four but Bangladesh suffered a setback when Shafiul had to go off with cramp.

Morgan edged Shahadat Hossain wide of slip and Bell, on 36, saw a nick off a Shakib delivery strike Rahim on the knee.

But former Ireland batsman Morgan, in his second Test after a debut during England's eight-wicket win in the series opener at Lord's, confidently drove Shakib through the covers for four. Bell went on to complete a 97-ball fifty shortly before tea.

England had been in cruise control mode after Strauss won the toss. — AFP

England - 1st innings: A. Strauss c Kayes b Shafiul 21, A. Cook c Siddique b Razzak 29, J. Trott b Shafiul 3, K. Pietersen st. Mushfiqur b Shakib 64, I. Bell (batting) 52, E. Morgan (batting) 33; Extras (b-6, lb-4, w-2, nb-1): 13; Total (for four wkts. at tea) 215.

Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-48, 3-83, 4-153.

Bangladesh bowling: Shahadat 13-2-50-0, Shafiul 13-2-35-2, Mahmudullah 7-1-15-0, Shakib 15-1-61-1, Razzak 10-1-44-1 .

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