Stokes breaks Bangladesh hearts

England 293 and 240 (Stokes 85, Bairstow 47, Shakib 5-85) beat Bangladesh 248 and 263 (Sabbir 64*) by 22 runs
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McGlashan: Sabbir showed fantastic composure

Ben Stokes capped a supreme allround performance with two wickets in three balls – his fifth and sixth of the match, to go alongside his total of 103 runs – as Bangladesh’s hearts were broken on the fifth and final morning of an epic Test match at Chittagong.

Resuming on 253 for 8, with 33 runs still required, Bangladesh had visions of securing only their eighth Test victory in 94 attempts, and their first against England in nine. However, a brace of lbws in the fourth over of the morning – the first reviewed in optimism by England, the second in desperation by the last man, Shafiul Islam – left their hero of the second innings, Sabbir Rahman, high and dry on 64 not out.

Facing a dilemma when play resumed, Alastair Cook showed his hand from the outset, handing Stuart Broad the first over of the morning, following on from his marathon nine-over spell on the fourth evening, and partnering him with Stokes, the man whose mastery of reverse swing had proven so illegible to Bangladesh’s tail in the first innings.

But Bangladesh began their morning’s work with confidence. Sabbir opened his account with a push through the covers for two, before Taijul – once again trusted to hold his own with the bat – flashed a Stokes short ball over the keeper’s head for four.

The new ball was available after two overs but Cook opted to persevere with the old, with the long-sleeved Joe Root once again charged to preserve its precious shine. But the hooping reverse of the first innings remained elusive as Bangladesh chiselled out their singles, with every run greeted with ecstasy by a small contingent of Bangladesh fans who made an otherwise echoing stadium sound packed to the rafters.

However, Stokes’ determination could not be denied, and after coming round the wicket to Taijul Islam, he persuaded Cook to gamble one of England’s two reviews – which had been topped up at the 80-over mark – as Taijul stepped too far across his stumps and was pinned in front of middle and leg.

The verdict – the 26th trial by DRS of the game – was greeted with a huge roar from the huddle of England players watching the big screen, and there was an extra sense of expectation as Shafiul shuffled out to face the pumped-up Stokes. Five years ago, on this very ground, he had been Bangladesh’s hero with a brilliant 24 not out in Bangladesh’s two-wicket World Cup win over England. This time, however, he was trapped on the crease second-ball, not quite offering a shot, as Kumar Dharmasena raised his finger for the final time in the game.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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