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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Malik Ouzia

England denied ODI series whitewash in Bangladesh as batting fringe fail to make case

England’s hopes of a series whitewash were dashed by a superb performance with bat and ball from Shakib Al Hasan, as Bangladesh claimed a deserved victory in the third ODI at Chittagong.

Having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead with back-to-back wins in Dhaka, Jos Buttler’s side were hoping to sign off in style ahead of a six-month break until their next 50-over outing.

However, Shakib’s 75 off 71 deliveries helped the home side set a target of 247 and the all-rounder then took four-for-35 as England were bowled out 50 runs short.

At the toss, won by Tamim Iqbal, England confirmed an ODI debut for Rehan Ahmed, the leg-spinner becoming the country’s youngest male cricketer in the format at the age of 18 years and 205 days, surpassing the record set by Ben Hollioake against Australia in 1997.

Ahmed had taken five-for when becoming England’s youngest men’s Test player in Pakistan before Christmas, but was made to wait until the final ball of his 10-over spell for a first 50-over wicket, snaring Mehidy Hasan Miraz off his own bowling as the hosts’ innings stuttered towards another premature end.

Sam Curran, who later batted up the order at No5, was again superb with the new ball, dismissing openers Litton Das and Iqbal in his first two overs, but Najmul Hossain Shanto (53) and Mushfiqur Rahim (70) shared a 98-run partnership to rebuild before the former was needlessly run-out by Buttler in combination with Ahmed.

At that point, just shy of the halfway stage, Bangladesh looked in command at 153-for-three but England’s bowlers fought back to both stem the flow of runs and make inroads, Adil Rashid only bowling five overs but taking two-for-21 and Chris Woakes conceding just one boundary from his eight.

Jofra Archer eventually ended Shakib’s fine knock with the help of a superb diving catch from Jason Roy, before trapping Mustafizur Rahman for his third wicket as Bangladesh were bowled out with five balls to spare, the third time in as many matches in the series that they have failed to complete an innings.

Roy (19) and opening partner Phil Salt (35) made a positive start and shared a 54-run stand but the latter’s soft dismissal to Shakib started a disastrous spell in which England lost three wickets for one run in eight balls, Roy and Dawid Malan (0) also departing having scored a match-defining hundred apiece in the first two games.

England are expected to have named their squad for the autumn’s World Cup by the time they return to 50-over action with home series against Ireland and New Zealand in September but from a batting perspective, none of those on the fringes will fly home from this tour feeling they have made a strong enough case for inclusion.

James Vince followed Salt in failing to turn a start into a score when he became Shakib’s third victim for 38, and by the time captain Buttler was lbw to Taijul Islam, the game was as good as up, England 158-for-seven and still 89 runs shy of victory.

Shakib’s fourth wicket, that of Ahmed, took his tally in ODIs past 300 and the all-rounder thought he had sealed the win with five-for when Archer was given out lbw on-field, only for the decision to be overturned on review.

England’s resistance lasted just one more delivery, however, as Mustafizur took a juggling caught-and-bowled to end Chris Woakes’ cameo of 34 and give the home side momentum heading into the three-match T20 series, which starts on Thursday.

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