Home » General » Ben Stokes denies Bangladesh as England secure thrilling first Test victory

Ben Stokes was England’s saviour as he took both wickets needed to wrap up a 22-run victory in the first Test over Bangladesh on a nerve-shredding final morning in Chittagong.

Stokes had both Taijul Islam and Shafiul Islam trapped lbw in the space of three balls to deny a spirited Bangladesh, who began the day needing just 33 runs to complete a historic maiden Test win over England.

As it was, Stokes rode to the rescue and not for the first time in the match, having taken four for 26 in the first innings followed by a mature 85 from 151 balls to ensure England left a testing victory target of 286 which proved tantalisingly out of Bangladesh’s reach.

Sabbir Rahman marked his Test debut with an incredible 64 not out, running out of partners at the end, to take the Tigers within reach of what would have been their finest hour in the format, but England prevailed after 3.3 overs and 19 minutes on the fifth day.

Bangladesh were chasing just their eighth win from 94 Tests and first over England, who had won all eight of their previous encounters in the longest format.

Bangladesh’s previous wins have come twice against an under-strength West Indies and five times over lowly Zimbabwe, while this is their first Test in nearly 15 months.

For those reasons, an England defeat, on paper, may have been regarded as embarrassing but Bangladesh have proved more than a match on a pitch which has offered plenty of turn from ball one as well as some reverse swing later on for the seamers.

It was with the pacemen, notably Stuart Broad and Stokes, whom England captain Alastair Cook put his trust on another hot day on Monday morning.

Broad opened the bowling after a fine spell on Sunday night that yielded two for 14 from nine overs and he nearly had a third wicket when Rahman’s inside edge narrowly avoided his stumps.

It was pace from both ends and Stokes’ bumper found Taijul’s glove, only for the ball to sail over wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for four and the first boundary of the morning.

Stokes had more fortune in the next over when an inswinger glanced off Taijul’s pad with umpire Kumar Dharmasena’s not out decision overturned on review – the 25th challenge of the match, with 11 referrals reversed.

Eight of those decisions overturned have come at Dharmasena’s expense but he he was vindicated by technology two balls later when Shafiul padded up to another in-darter from Stokes, with Bangladesh’s review proving fruitless as they were all out for 263.

The win was the 10th narrowest for England in terms of runs as they prevailed following an absorbing contest.