Stokes leads England fightback after spin woes
Chittagong (AFP): Ben Stokes countered Bangladesh with bat and ball to put England in contention after Bangladesh spinners left them in trouble in the first Test in Chittagong on Saturday.
Strokes remained unbeaten on 33 as England reached 108-5 by tea on the third day to go 153 runs ahead after his three-wicket burst in the morning helped them dismiss Bangladesh for 248 runs.
Jonny Bairstow provided good company with 17 not out as the duo added 46 runs in the unbroken sixth wicket stand to bail out England from 62-5.
England’s hopes of building on their 45-run first innings lead were dealt a serious blow as Shakib Al Hasan and debutant spinner Mehedi Hasan hit back immediately to leave them 28-3 at lunch.
Mehedi ended England’s confident start in the second innings when he induced an edge from captain Alastair Cook who left for 12 after giving a catch to Mahmudullah at slip.
Shakib trapped Joe Root lbw for one in the next over to take his 150th Test wicket before he had Ben Duckett caught by Mominul Haque at forward short leg for 15.
Gary Ballance fell to Taijul Islam for nine after the break before Shakib grabbed his third wicket by dismissing Moeen Ali for 14.
It was a comeback for the Bangladesh all-rounder, who put his team in trouble by throwing his wicket off the second ball of the morning.
Resuming on 221-5, Bangladesh were hoping Shakib, who was unbeaten on 31 overnight, would take them close to England’s first innings total.
But he went down the wicket before the dust had settled and paid the price as Jonny Bairstow completed a simple stumping.
Adil Rashid removed nightwatchman Shafiul Islam for two as Stuart Broad took the catch high on his head at midwicket.
Stokes, who finished with 4-27, had Mehedi lbw for one in the next over before a low catch at slip by Cook ended Sabbir Rahman’s effort at 19.
He bowled third debutant Kamrul Islam in the same over to wrap up Bangladesh’s innings as the hosts added just 27 runs to their overnight score for the loss of five wickets in 12 overs.