Debutant Jake Ball stars for England as Bangladesh crumble to 21-run defeat

Despite a scintillating career-best 112 from Imrul Kayes, who featured in a superb 118-run stand with Shakib Al Hasan (79), Bangladesh crumbled in their chase of England’s massive 309. The Tigers lost six wickets for 17 runs and were bowled out for 288 as England took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday.


Kayes had begun his innings in style with a six over deep square leg and a boundary through third man in the first over. Bangladesh’s start to their massive chase, however, was not smooth. Both Tamim Iqbal and Kayes swung and missed several times before the former fell for 17 as Ball ended a 46-run opening stand in his first over. Sabbir Rahman, again promoted to three after his influential knock in the last Afghanistan ODI at the same spot, looked in good touch. But he also fell prematurely, on 18, when David Willey held on to a stunning catch to give Ball his second scalp. The hosts kept the asking run-rate around 6 but when Mahmudullah (25) and Mushfiqur Rahim (12) both holed out at deep midwicket to legspinner Adil Rashid trying big shots, Bangladesh slipped to 153-4. Kayes then paired up with Shakib and steadied the ship. The duo were a joy to watch as they rotated the strike regularly and punctuated the chase with timely boundaries to keep up with the required rate. Closing in on his century, Kayes suffered a cramp that restricted the pair to settle for singles where doubles could be achieved, but they pressed on. After the opener reached his second ODI century from 105 balls, Shakib took charge and blasted his way to his own 30th half-century off just 39 balls. The allrounder kept milking boundaries on either side of the wicket as England skipper Jos Buttler ran out of ideas to have the home team’s chase derailed. The heat then got to Shakib as he suffered a cramp to his hand with the team well on course. The 29-year-old left-hander looped up a catch off Ball’s next ball, and the match turned on its head. Mosaddek Hossain played on in the following delivery before Rashid snared Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s scalp in the next over. Already looking out of gas, Kayes was picked out by Rashid, leaving Ball to finish things off. The 25-year-old seamer returned 5-51 and Rashid grabbed 4-49. Earlier, a maiden ODI century from Ben Stokes and some late fireworks from Buttler powered the tourists to a huge 309-8. Bangladesh cut a sorry figure in the field, dropping Stokes twice and suffering from indecision as to who would go for a catch on two other occasions. Stokes fashioned a mammoth 153-run fourth wicket stand with another debutant Ben Duckett, who struck a mature half-century – 60 off 78 balls. Jason Roy (41) and James Vince (16) gave The Three Lions a breezy start. But Mashrafe and his men struck with quick wickets as England looked in a spot of bother at 63-3 in the 13th over. Stokes and Duckett then dominated the bowlers and flourished in boundaries, with the former clubbing four sixes for his 101. Duckett was bowled by a low full toss from Shafiul Islam when he tried to play across the line, but the stage was already set for a late assault from Buttler. The skipper bludgeoned four sixes and three fours for his blazing 38-ball 63 as England plundered 60 off the final five overs. Mashrafe, Shafiul and Shakib bagged two wickets each.

Sports Correspondent,

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