A disciplined batting performance from England, which saw them tackle Bangladesh’s spinners with plenty of confidence, led them to a four-wicket win over the hosts at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
Batting first, the hosts were restricted to 277 for six on a wicket that saw the English spinners extract plenty of turn. England’s Adil Rashid in particular seemed extremely dangerous with his leg-spinners turning more than a couple of feet at times. He finished with figures of four for 43 and provided the visitors with several crucial breakthroughs.
After the exchange, half-centuries from youngsters Sam Billings and Ben Duckett helped the visitors complete the series win 2-1.
This is the first series that Bangladesh has lost at home since July 2015 when they went down to India 2-0. Since then, they have beaten Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India, South Africa, Zimbabwe again and Afghanistan. However, a versatile England, buoyed by their youngsters, have brought an end to that streak.
With England extracting so much turn in the first innings, many reckoned that Bangladesh’s total of 277, courtesy of Mushfiqur Rahim’s 62-ball 67, would be rather difficult for the visitors to achieve.
However, Bangladesh’s spinners weren’t as effective in the second half and it was left to the pacers to provide a fight. And they did do that by bowling some brilliant lines. All of them, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Taskin Ahmed and Shafiul Islam bowled their hearts out, but failed to take their side home.
It was all about partnerships. England’s openers James Vince and Billings put on 63 for the opening wicket. Vince was sent back by Nasir Hossain after he was trapped in front in the 12th over. Ben Duckett replaced him and the pair put on a 64-run stand for the second wicket before Mosaddek Hossain removed Billings.
The third wicket stand was also frustrating for the hosts with Jonny Bairstow and Duckett putting on 45.
Bangladesh received some hope after both Bairstow and Duckett were dismissed in the span of two overs. Bairstow went down the track against Shafiul and tried to heave him out of the ground. He instead missed the line completely and got bowled. A brilliant catch from wicketkeeper Mushfiqur, who anticipated Duckett’s scoop and dived towards his right, led to the second wicket.
A 48-run stand followed next between the experienced Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. The duo tore apart Bangladesh’s ace bowler Shakib Al Hasan and looked threatening.
They could have won the game with ease by just merely taking the singles. However, Buttler who had raced to 25 off 25, attempted to pull a good length delivery from Mashrafe in the 41st over. In the process, he inside-edged onto the stumps.
Two overs later, Mashrafe bowled a slower and Moeen Ali provided the simplest of catches to mid-on.
All of a sudden, the visitors were in a bit of trouble at 236 for six. The run-rate went over six for a brief period and England needed 30 off five overs. A good over from Shafiul brought that down to 27 off 24. In the next over, Woakes was dropped by Imrul Kayes at first slip off Taskin in the fourth ball of the 47th over. Taskin was driven for a four in the last ball of that over and that effectively ended Bangladesh’s hopes.
Ben Stokes, who remained calm throughout the nervy period scored an unbeaten 47. Woakes ended the game in style by smacking Shafiul for a six down the ground in the 48th over.
Earlier, while the hosts managed to defy England’s pacers with ease, it was a slightly different scenario against the spinners. Openers Imrul and Tamim Iqbal put on 80 runs, Bangladesh’s highest opening stand against England, beating the pair’s previous best, 63, scored in 2010. However, Imrul was caught for 46 in the 19th over and Tamim, who became the first Bangladeshi to score 5000 ODI runs during the game, was deceived by a googly from Rashid and was sent back to the pavilion for 45.
Sabbir Rahman played a good knock, 46 off 49, but he too was deceived by a turner from Rashid and was caught behind. Bangladesh’s middle order crumbled and they were suddenly struggling at 192 for six in 38.1 overs.
That is when Mushfiqur Rahim and Mosaddek Hossain got together and put on 85 runs in 11.5 overs to help the hosts cross the 270-mark.
While Mushfiqur hit four fours and one six during his 62-ball 67, Mosaddek hit a number of boundaries through backward point to score 38 off 39.