England (188-1) are 80 runs ahead of Bangladesh (108) in their first innings
The predicted mismatch between England and Bangladesh should be mercifully short, with the home side totally in charge. Having secured a firs- innings lead in only the 61st over of the first day of the Lord's Test, they start this morning 80 ahead with nine wickets in hand.
Marcus Trescothick is 78 not out and Michael Vaughan 22. Unless the home captain is over-greedy or mindful of ticket sales totalling 18,000 for tomorrow, he should have more than enough in the bank for a teatime declaration.
A good crowd of more than 15,000 at least had good sunbathing weather for most of a day in which the visitors were barely of good club standard.
The pitch was a decent one for batting although the ball swung all day, but the Bangladesh batsmen and most of the bowlers showed little mastery of the basics, with wickets tossed away like confetti with one-day strokes. England could hardly have asked for a more gentle public net.
A boxing referee would have stopped the so-called contest after the paltry 61 overs it took for England to move in front. It is difficult to strike a balance in the introduction of new Test-playing countries - India did not win a Test match until their 25th game and New Zealand broke their duck in their 45th - and so these sort of matches will continue until their side which averages 23 in age learns the hard way in the next few years.
Similarly with Zimbabwe, but for different reasons. The worst part of Bangladesh's all-out total of 108 in 38.2 overs was that they were helped to 65 for two by the shoddy opening spells of Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard. The Durham fast bowler looked as though he was ring-rusty, with his radar as far off beam as it was in his disappointing tour of South Africa.
As for Hoggard, he swung the ball prodigiously but mostly from the wrong offside line and, coming up the slope from the Nursery End, he bowled seven no-balls in a poor first spell.
His explanation almost beggars belief concerning a Team England outfit which now prides itself on professionalism to the nth degree.
He suggested that his difficulty was that his run-up had been tape-measured by bowling coach Troy Cooley, who had measured it to the back line and not the front line. In which case, he did well to overstep each time by a matter of four inches when the marking-out mistake was four feet.
Furthermore, why on earth cannot a bowler measure his own run-up?
Vaughan chose to bowl first when he won the toss, mainly because there was cloud cover and there is always dampness before lunch in most Test pitches.
There might be a second reason; the whisper is that the England captain is an avid Sheffield Wednesday supporter and possesses tickets for the play-off final against Hartlepool at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday.
Harmison finally improved his line from the Pavilion End and made one bounce to opener Nafis Iqbal who could only fence the first of two slip catches to Marcus Trescothick.
A score of 31 for one soon became 34 for two when captain Habibul Bashar aimed a wild pull to one from Hoggard before he had bothered to play himself in.
Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones brought a much-needed improvement in the attack, with Jones in particular using a strong wrist action to bowl some lovely, late outswingers. They combined to reduce the innings to 71 for five by lunch and started a collapse in which the last eight wickets fell for 43 in 22 overs.
Harmison and Hoggard wrapped things up by bowling much better after the break, with the Yorkshireman producing the ball of the day to end a dogged innings from the 16-year-old debutant Mushfiqur Rahim. The youngster had batted for 83 minutes and unflinchingly got behind everything, even after being hit, and only an occasional off- side waft betrayed his inexperience.
England openers Trescothick and Andrew Strauss rocketed away at a run a ball to 70 in 11 overs before tea, with Bashar unable to find two bowlers to stop the bleeding.
The introduction of spin from the veteran of the side, 33- year- old Mohammad Rafique, started a small recovery and he had Trescothick dropped at slip in his first over, while he should have run out the opener but wrongly assumed the throw would have hit the stumps.
He held down one end for the last hour-and-a-half, during which Strauss went to Mashrafi Mortaza, easily the best of the pace attack. Not quick, but brisk enough with a slingy action to make the openers hop about, he nailed Strauss lbw for 69 with a good one which pitched middle and leg and would have hit leg stump.
It left England 148 for one and a second wicket might have fallen when Vaughan offered a comfortable return catch to Rafique which was clumsily put down. At least the spinner and Mortaza made England fight for the first time in the day.
The most depressing sight of the summer so far was Hoggard with his pads on as a possible nightwatchman in the last 20 minutes. For heaven's sake, it is only Bangladesh...was Ian Bell really quaking in his boots?