The first Test match of the series played between England and Bangladesh at Chittagong saw a close contest as England just managed to sneak over the line to win the game by 22 runs.Ben Stokes who once again produced the goods with the ball by taking two wickets in the same match, saw Bangladesh fall agonizingly short of a victory.
England now has a 1-0 lead in the series as they look to win the second game of the tour against Bangladesh. The hosts came into the final day with 33 runs needed to win and two wickets remaining with Sabbir Rahman being the last recognized batsman for Bangladesh. They started positively by adding 10 runs before Stokes came into the attack and took two wickets in an over to seal a hard-fought win for England.
Rahman played well but could not take his side over the line. England won the toss in this game and did struggle in their first innings to even get 293 runs. Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow did provide resistance to get the side over 290 runs though after the side was left reeling at 106 for 5 at one stage on the first day.
Bangladesh bowlers produced a good performance with the ball as debutant spinner Mehedi Hasan took six wickets in the first innings and was supported well by Tajiul Islam and Shakib-al-Hasan. The umpiring was not up to the mark as Moeen got three howlers only to be overturned by the third umpire after a review.
Bangladesh got off to a poor start as Imrul Kayes and Mominul Haque were dismissed for low scores to see them placed at 29 for 2. Tamim Iqbal looked unfazed at one end, stroking his way to another fifty and adding 90 runs with Mahmudullah. The pair looked set but Adil Rashid came into the attack to outfox Mahmudullah to see Bangladesh lose their third wicket. Tamim top-scored for Bangladesh with 78 runs off 179 runs while the rest of order did not contribute well enough, resulting in Bangladesh unfolding for 248 runs while giving England a slender but handy lead of 45 runs.
Thereafter, England once again found themselves in deep trouble in the second innings with 62 for 5 after 27 overs but Stokes played a well measured innings of 85 runs to take the side out of misery. He was well supported by Jonny Bairstow who made 47 runs. The pair added 127 runs to see England take a lead of over 200 runs in the game. England were bowled out for 240 runs with Stokes top-scoring with 85 runs. Shakib was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh with five wickets. However, it meant Bangladesh required 286 runs to win the Test match on Day 4.
Bangladesh lost Tamim early in the second innings but Imrul Kayes and Mominul Haque played sensibly to add 46 runs. Gareth Batty struck twice in the middle to get England back into the game as Bangladesh faltered at 108 for 4 in the chase.
Despite all this, Bangladesh looked set to win the game at one stage with Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim at the crease. The dismissal of Rahim was the turning point in the game as the side lost three wickets for just 11 runs to end the fourth day of the Test match at 253 for 8 with 33 runs still needed to win the game.
Although Bangladesh must be lauded for their efforts of stretching England for enough parts in the game, they wilted under pressure at crucial stages to end up on the losing side in the Test match. The next game will be played at Mirpur on Friday as the hosts will be determined to turn the tables on the visitors to square the series.