Shanto, Shakib dictate England to script Tigers’ dominating victory

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Bangladesh came up with a clinical performance to script a dominating six-wicket victory over England in the three-match T20 International series opener at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium today.

Najmul Hossain Shanto led the charge with a serene yet aggressive 30 ball-51, while skipper Shakib Al Hasan showed an unwavering resolve in batting, bowling and captaincy to script the side’s memorable victory against the World Champions.

The duo’s combined act however helped Bangladesh sealed the deal in emphatic fashion as Bangladesh reached 158-4 in 18 overs, after restricting England to 156-6.

Shakib Al Hasan befittingly hit the winning boundary through deep backward point against pacer Chris Jordan to bring the victory and was not out on 34.

Bangladesh made a brisk start to the chase with Rony Talukdar who returned to the side after eight years to play his only second game, hitting 14 ball-21. His opening partner Liton Das continued his poor form against England being out for 12.

Legspinner Adil Rashid removed Rony to break through, brining Shanto to the crease and he responded with four straight boundaries against fast bowler Mark Wood to give the side a momentum.

Debutant Towhid Hridoy played to his second fiddle, making 24 off 17 as the duo combined for a 65 runs from 39 balls to tilt the game towards Bangladesh completely.

Moeen Ali broke the partnership, removing Hridoy but Shanto looked determined to carry the fast start.

He brought up his third fifty off 27 balls with a single off offspinner Moeen through square leg but Wood returned with bang to rattle his with a fast delivery.

As England looked to operate with renewed confidence, Shakib’s serenity proved to be pivotal in clinching the game. He, aided by Afif Hossain who made 15 not out, steered the side home without any fuss. Shakib who struck six boundaries played 24 balls for his 34 not out.

Earlier, Bangladesh overcame a Jos Buttler scare to restrict England to a moderate total, when the Three Lions appeared set to compile a score more than 170.

Buttler who was dropped on 19 by Shakib off Nasum Ahmed struck four fours and as many sixes for his 42 ball-67 in an extremely slow pitch.

His knock was instrumental in propelling England past 150 runs mark. Opener Phil Salt made 38 and added and 80-run partnership for the opening stand with Buttler, who took the pitch out of the equation through his calculative aggression, after they were asked to bat first.

Salt also survived on 20 when Nasum missed his chance off his own bowling, just one ball before he created a chance to remove Buttler.

However Nasum finally broke through with the wicket of Salt as Bangladesh hit back nicely to prevent England from amassing big total.

The wicket also played a key role by being slow as the game progress.