CAPTAIN Andrew Strauss hailed new strike bowling sensation Steven Finn after his man-of-the-match display set up a comfortable victory over Bangladesh in the first Test at Lord’s.
The 6ft 7in Middlesex pace man completed a nine-wicket haul in only his third Test match as England wrapped up an eight-wicket victory in the first game of the two-Test series.
Finn followed up his 4-100 in the first innings with 5-87 in the second as England dismissed the battling Tigers for 382. Strauss led the run chase himself with a quickfire 82 as England reached the 160 runs required for victory in a single afternoon session.
But it was the performance of his county team-mate which delighted Strauss, although the skipper warned the 21-year-old to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
“Steven Finn has been bowling like that all season, he got more out of the wicket than our other bowlers and has a big future,” he said. “We are very excited but we don’t want to big him up too much at this stage.
“If he stays on his feet he can go far. He is a nice man, very confident, good to have in the dressing room and has a good cricketing brain which is useful. He bowled very well and hit the deck very hard.”
Finn, however, refused to get too carried away, admitting: “I haven’t done myself any harm [in terms of the pecking order] but I’m not kidding myself, I’m in the team because Stuart Broad is being rested. I’m just one of a number of bowlers,” he added.
Finn set the tone for the day with a blistering opening spell which accounted for Shakib (17), Siddique (74) and Rahim (16) before Tim Bresnan wrapped up for the final two wickets for figures of 3-93.
With two sessions to play with, it was surely a matter of when, and not if, England reached their target against an insipid Bangladeshi bowling attack. Strauss and Alastair Cook raced to 67 before the latter fell lbw to Mahmudullah for 23, leaving the skipper and Jonathan Trott to take over.
Strauss fell 18 short of his century and one of his first innings total, but Trott, following his double century in the first innings, fittingly wrapped things up before tea was called.