Day Three England 440/8 (154 overs: Bell 138 Bresnan 74 not out, Al Hasan 4/99)
Bangladesh 1st innings 419 all out (117.1 overs: Iqbal 85 Islam 59 not out, Swann 4/114)
After Jonathan Trott failed to add to his overnight score as a combination of rebounds off first thigh pad then right elbow saw a Shabik Al Hasan delivery onto the stumps, Matt Prior added 62 breezy runs.
After Prior was bowled, Tim Bresnan knuckled down in a 143-run stand with Bell, which crucially saw England all but equal the Tigers’ first dig.
But a flurry of late wickets gave the home side some deserved reward for their perseverance in the afternoon session.
Bresnan however remained, 26 runs shy of a maiden Test hundred, a reminder both of Bangladesh’s ill-fortune with the umpires after he survived a bat/pad appeal early, and their lack of penetration thereafter.
After Sunday’s vigil, Trott would have hoped to push on but he was cruelly denied as his deflected defence dribbled onto off stump.
And things nearly went from bad to worse when Prior appeared plumb leg before to Rubel Hossain as he tried to flick a reverse-swinging delivery through midwicket when on 9.
Umpire Tony Hill took a different view and Prior carved Rubel through backward point whenever he erred on his way to his 13th half century in Tests.
But Prior fell victim to his own fluency as he attempted a third boundary in one Al Hasan over and was castled swiping across the line.
The Tigers were in the hunt for a rare Test win but Bresnan burst the Bangladeshi bubble when he was adjudged not out on 5 by Rod Tucker despite a clear inside edge caught by short extra cover.
Al Hasan plugged away despite that set back, managing 14 maidens in 33 overs but Bell and Bresnan kept the scoreboard ticking albeit slowly.
Bell was nevertheless quick to pounce on the few scoring opportunities available as a straight six off Abdur Razzak, bizarre beneficiary of the new ball, took him into the 90s before cutting Al Hasan to bring up his first hundred without a teammate having managed the feat earlier in the innings.
Al Hasan had his revenge though when Bell top-edged a slog sweep and the captain had a hand in Swann’s dismissal, deflecting a Bresnan straight drive onto the stumps while the non-striker backed up.
Mahmudullah struck the final blow of the day as he trapped Broad leg before on three.