When Alastair Cook and Ben Duckett were involved in a 100-run opening stand, England looked well on their way to seal a 2-0 victory in the two-match Test series against Bangladesh on Sunday (October 30).
However, an inspired spell from Mehedi Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan's supporting act meant that the visitors lost 10 wickets for 64 runs to end up on the losing side by 108 runs and had to share the trophy.
England skipper Cook, who lamented the lack of partnerships from the middle-order batsmen, said his team's inexperience proved to be the difference. "270 would have been a hell of a chase on that wicket. We got off to a good start. We needed partnerships but couldn't get going. These are young fellows and the inexperience showed. Credit to Bangladesh, they bowled well, caught well. 220 would have been a different story," Cook said after the game.
"Very tough," Cook said when asked about the pitches. "I have no complaints, that's what Test cricket is all about. We grow up on green wickets and they grown up on spin wickets. So credit to them. We knew this was going to be tough seven games (the subcontinent tour), no doubt about that. We had our chances, 100 for 0. Yesterday we didn't bowl well and we have lost early wickets on a couple of occasions."
The presence of five left-handers in England's top-order meant that they found it tough to handle the off-spin of Mehedi Hasan, who picked up six wickets apiece in the two innings in this game and finished with a series tally of 19. Hasan, who picked up three six wicket hauls in four innings, broke a 130-year-old record of J.J. Ferris for most wickets in a debut series consisting of two Tests.
"You pick guys who think are going to score runs," Cook said, when asked about the left-handed batsmen in the eleven. "It is tough when a left-hander bowls at right-handers and the new DRS, with 75%, makes it a bit difficult. But overall it was good cricket. They play on wickets a lot like this. Obviously a good win for Bangladesh cricket."
Mushfiqur Rahim was lavish in his praise for the 19-year-old spinner, who according to the Bangladesh captain exceeded all expectations. "We always knew he (Mehedi Hasan) is going to shine. We did not think, he will in this series though. He is going to have a great prospect for Bangladesh in future."
Speaking about Bangladesh's terrific comeback despite a strong start from England, Rahim said: "It is really a great moment for Bangladesh cricket. They were 100 for none, but we had a belief that if we got one wicket, we could do it. The coach was a bit fired at tea, the guys bowled well and tried to work in good areas. New ball suits the England batsmen but after that it became tough.
"Our next target is to perform in overseas conditions. Our boys have done well and hopefully we can do well abroad. In the last one year or so, we have done well. Hopefully, the ICC and our board will get us a few more series against the big teams," the Bangladesh captain added.
Both the captains also thanked the fans for all the support and were pleased that the cricket could go on despite the security issues that put the series under a cloud. "We have talked a lot about security but I am glad that we came here and played cricket. I want to thank the Bangladesh guys and our loyal England fans who came out to watch us today, Cook said.
Thanking the England team for agreeing to tour the country, Rahim also had a word of praise for the security. "Thanks to the ECB and the England team, also the security guys."