JONATHAN TROTT all but secured his place in England’s Test side for Friday’s series opener after firing a timely century in the warm-up game with Bangladesh A in Chittagong.
The Warwickshire batsman’s place in the top order has been under threat from the emerging Michael Carberry in recent weeks but he wasted no time in making his mark with a battling 101 before retiring.
“I’m pretty pleased with how it went,” Trott explained. “It was important for me to stay positive and to make the best of my chance when it came, which I feel as though I’ve done.
“It was a pretty good pitch but it was difficult this morning – a bit overcast, quite testing.
“Every chance you get for England is a good opportunity and one you need to take. I definitely feel I’ve given myself the best chance going into the Test. With a little more work in the nets, I think I can hopefully reach top form for that match.”
Trott’s welcome knock, coupled with a dazzling unbeaten 73 from Matt Prior, helped the tourists convert their overnight 68-3 into 281-7dec, a first innings lead of 79.
Bangladesh then ended the day at 131-3 in their second innings with spinner James Tredwell claiming another two wickets to add to his 6-95 on day one.
Trott put on a fourth-wicket stand of 96 with county team-mate Ian Bell, who added an equally much-needed 47 before he was trapped lbw by Mehrab Hossain.
From there, Trott raced to three figures in 134 balls, before then stepping aside to let Prior take over – his 73 coming off just 71 and consisting of eight fours and a six.
Captain Alastair Cook opted to give reserve wicketkeeper Steven Davies a chance behind the stumps in the second innings and he was straight into the action, taking a catch to dismiss Shamsur Rahman off the bowling of Tredwell, who then accounted for Mehrab Hossain Jnr.
Part-timer Kevin Pietersen got in on the act to trap Junaid Siddique lbw for 37, leaving Raqibul Hasan (50no) and Test skipper Mohammad Ashraful (14no) at the crease.