Dhaka:England were on the back foot in the second and final Test against Bangladesh on Sunday in Dhaka despite an unbeaten 64 from makeshift opener Jonathan Trott.
Trott hit seven fours in his second Test half-century as England reached 171-3 in their first innings at stumps on the second day in reply to Bangladesh's third-highest Test total of 419.
The tourists were 107-3 after losing skipper Alastair Cook (21), Kevin Pietersen (45) and Paul Collingwood, but Trott denied the hosts further success with a 64-run stand for the fourth wicket with Ian Bell (25 not out).
"I would not say we're evens. I think Bangladesh showed a lot of fight and courage this morning and batted really well," said Pietersen.
"We are a batsman short, so we have definitely got a fight on our hands," he added.
England were a batsman down after bringing in spinner James Tredwell for this match in place of opener Michael Carberry to boost the attack.
"We've got some work to do tomorrow. The first session tomorrow is a big session. We have to make sure we don't lose any wickets," Pietersen said.
"We also have to make sure the scoreboard keeps ticking. It's pretty difficult to score runs. It's one of those wickets where you have to grind it out when you've got two accurate spinners bowling at you."
Trott, lucky to survive on 13 when debutant Jahurul Islam failed to hold on to a bat-pad chance at short-leg off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan, also added 76 for the second wicket with Pietersen.
Bangladesh's tail-enders Naeem Islam (59 not out) and Shafiul Islam (53) earlier hit maiden Test half-centuries and added 74 for the ninth wicket.
Skipper Shakib and left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak played key roles in restricting England on a slow track, sharing two big wickets.
Shakib, who gave away just 26 runs in 24 overs, got the prize wicket of Pietersen, caught by Imrul Kayes at short cover off a leading edge while trying to play on the on-side immediately after completing 5,000 Test runs.
Razzak, who shared the new ball with Shafiul, struck in the afternoon session when he removed Cook, slog-sweeping the spinner to Kayes at deep mid-wicket.
Collingwood failed to open his account, trapped leg-before by seamer Rubel Hossain.
Bangladesh frustrated England in the morning when they added 89 to their overnight total of 330-8, with Shafiul doing the bulk of scoring in an aggressive 51-ball knock which included 11 fours.
"We are now in a very good position," said Shafiul.
"If we had taken one or two more wickets today it would have been really good for us. It's possible for us to take the lead, but our bowlers have to do well."
Shafiul, unbeaten on eight overnight, fell soon after completing his half-century, caught by wicket-keeper Matt Prior off fast bowler Tim Bresnan.
Rubel (17) then added 31 for the last wicket with Naeem before being caught behind off Swann. Naeem added 26 to his overnight score 33, hitting eight fours in a 172-ball knock.
Swann finished with 4-114, while Bresnan and debutant off-spinner Tredwell took two wickets apiece.