Lunch Bangladesh 248 (Tamim 78, Mushfiqur 48, Stokes 4-26) and 86 for 2 (Mominul 19*, Mahmudullah 2*) need another 200 runs to beat England 293 and 240 (Stokes 85, Bairstow 47, Shakib 5-85)
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McGlashan: Stokes ensured England didn’t seize up
Imrul Kayes laid the foundations for his team with a confident and skilful innings, as Bangladesh made a strong start to their pursuit of 286 for victory in the first Test at Chittagong. By lunch on the fourth day, they had whittled away 86 of those runs to give Alastair Cook’s men plenty to ponder, but had lost both of their openers along the way – Tamim Iqbal for 9, and crucially, Imrul for 43, with five minutes to go before lunch, when Adil Rashid found some extra bounce out of the rough for Joe Root to take a gloved catch at leg slip.
The task for Bangladesh remains daunting – they’ve only twice managed to pull off victory in the fourth innings, and their highest chase remains the 217 for 6 that they achieved against West Indies in 2009 – but with Mominul Haque growing in confidence on 19 not out, they had achieved their first objective in neutralising the threat of the hard new ball, while putting runs on the board and losing fewer wickets than at the same stage in any of the previous three innings.
Nevertheless, Bangladesh were forced to live dangerously on a wicket offering turn and variable bounce, as England opened their attack with two spinners – Gareth Batty and Moeen Ali, the first time they had gone down that route since the Lord’s Test against South Africa in 2008. Both men bowled some unplayable deliveries, but Imrul in particular found a means to counter-attack in style, sweeping with intent to disrupt their lengths and pick off his boundaries behind square, while playing with confidence off the back foot in between whiles.
Tamim, Bangladesh’s stand-out batsman in the first innings, was once again happy to play in his team-mate’s slip-stream, but on this occasion he was unable to make his start count. He nearly holed out to his sixth ball of the innings, as he flapped a drive off Batty inches short of mid-off, and was later dropped on 7 as the substitute Haseeb Hameed rushed back in the covers but couldn’t cling onto a lofted drive.
But Tamim’s luck eventually ran out in the tenth over of the innings when, having survived an England review for a juggled catch in the slips off Moeen, he fell to the very next ball, sharply caught by Gary Ballance at short leg as Moeen found some extra bite off the surface to take an inside-edge onto the knee-roll.
Mominul and Kayes, however, continued the positive mindset, and it was a minor victory when Cook was forced to turn to his seam attack in the 15th over, when Chris Woakes was thrown the ball in a bid to change the tempo. Kayes slashed him hard to point to keep the runs flowing, but his departure with lunch looming was a body blow. Rashid, with one wicket in his two overs so far, could yet prove vital in prising some openings as the afternoon progresses. Mominul did, however, have one big reprieve on 11, when England declined to review an lbw appeal off Moeen that replays showed would have been overturned in their favour.
Earlier, England had added 12 more runs to their 228 for 8. Stuart Broad was run out for 10, after being called through for a quick single by Woakes before Taijul Islam finished off the innings with his second delivery with the new ball by trapping Gareth Batty lbw for 3.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo