After conquering Chittagong's dustbowl, Alastair Cook must have been a confident man going in for the Tea break after putting together a 100-run opening stand with newcomer Ben Duckett yesterday. It was by far England's best opening stand of the series, beating the 26 in the second innings in Chittagong. 273 and a 2-0 whitewash did not seem too far off at Tea.
80 minutes, 64 runs and 22.3 overs later however, the England skipper was looking up at a scoreboard that showed the series score at 1-1. The collapse of 10 wickets for 64 runs was spectacular and shell-shocking, even in a Test that has moved at breakneck speed.
“It was amazing how things can turn. We possibly showed our inexperience in those conditions,” said Cook after the match. “It was amazing, the difference before Tea and after Tea. You lose a couple of wickets, then men come round the bat, crowd get into it -- being able to deal with that and get through it -- you know it doesn't last forever. But that half an hour, 40 minutes is crucial, and we just weren't good enough to be able to get through.”
Although the win was a historic one for Bangladesh, the standard of play from either side did not sustain the high standard set in the Chittagong classic.
“I thought 270 would have been a real good chase to be honest,” he said. “They got 30 too many today. We had four or five, not easy chances, but chances you need to take. I started the rot with one at leg slip [off Imrul Kayes] -- you need to take them, especially in low-scoring games.”
He stopped short of calling it his toughest loss as captain, however.
“It's very easy sitting back and saying it's just Bangladesh. But in these conditions on spinning wickets, their bowlers are good, they're experienced. I know the guy who got 19 wickets [Mehedi Hasan Miraz] isn't experienced, but he's a very good bowler and he's experienced in these conditions.”