The plenty-to-lose, little-to-win series against Bangladesh is half way through and England have emerged unscathed. Although Bangladesh bowled them out in the first innings for less than anything the home side had achieved before in their short Test life, England will not have been scarred.
Indeed, thanks to some splendid seam, swing and outright pace bowling from Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison and some fine knocks from openers Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan, England came out of the match with much credit. It was a very big game for captain Vaughan and his team because after four days people were beginning to wonder if one of the biggest upsets in Test history was on the cards.
The bowlers did their bit to avert a sporting disaster and then Vaughny scored his first Test half century since succeeding Nasser Hussain to lead England courageously to a seven-wicket win. It's great to see Trescothick continue his rich vein of form and just as pleasing to have his skipper back among the runs. Long may it continue.
On the down side, however, was the form of both Nasser Hussain and Mark Butcher, who both looked completely out of sorts against an attack of moderate standing. The major up side without a doubt was the return to the Test arena of Matthew Hoggard. He looked like he had never been away and ended with one of his biggest hauls. With Freddie Flintoff and James Anderson still to join the attack this winter, the omens are very promising indeed.
The Second Test starts on Wednesday and England must not rest on their laurels. Vaughan will no doubt be looking for the same from his bowlers and more from three and four as he heads for the greater battles ahead.