After a nail biting first test match between the two sides, where Bangladesh ended up on the losing side due to Stokes’s heroics, Bangladesh turned the tables around this time and created history registering their first test win against England defeating them by 108 runs, thanks to Mehedi Hasan.
Bangladesh won the toss and chose to bat at The Sher-e Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, hoping the pitch would deteriorate by the time of 4th innings. The pitch was good to bat on the first day and Tamim Iqbal made full use of it registering his 8th hundred. He gave Bangladesh the much needed start, scoring 104 off just 147 balls which included 12 boundaries. He played the pull shot very well and got down the pitch several number of times to put the spinners under pressure. Mominul Haque gave him good company as the duo put on a 170 run stand. But then a collapse saw them tumble from 171 for 1 to 220 all out, thanks to a 5-er from Moeen Ali.
England didn’t have a great start to their first innings with Mehedi Hasan and Taijul Islam going through their top order with Hasan being the main strike bowler. Root’s gritty knock of 56 runs was brought to an end by Taijul and England were 144 for 8 facing a big first innings deficit but Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid had other plans. They stitched together a 99 run partnership taking England past the Bangladesh score. Rashid was not out in the end at a score of 44 as England were all out for 244. Mehedi Hasan was the pick of the bowlers having figures of 6 for 82 in his 28 overs.
Bangladesh started their second innings on a positive note with Tamim being the aggressor. He played his shots and was innovative playing the reverse sweep making Alastair Cook think about changing the field. He got out on 40 to a delivery from Zafar Ansari giving him his first test wicket. Ben Stokes got Mominul’s wicket early and Bangladesh were left stranded on 66 for 2. Mahmudullah joined Imrul Kayes and the duo put on a 86 run partnership before Mahmudullah was bowled on the last delivery of the day in attempt of a horrendous shot. Shakib Al Hasan’s 41 and useful contribution from Shuvagata Hom lower down the order helped Bangladesh score 296 runs giving England a target of 273. Adil Rashid was the pick of the bowlers picking 4 for 52 in his 11.5 overs.
England, needing 273 runs to seal the series 2-0, had a dream start with Alastair Cook and Ben Duckett putting on a 100 run stand for the first wicket. It was risk free with hardly any shots being played in the air and both played the sweep shot to a good effect. Ben Duckett got to his maiden test fifty in no time. At tea, England were on course to victory needing just 173 more. The first ball after tea bowled by Mehedi Hasan to Duckett stayed a tad bit low and held its line, crashed into middle and leg stump and gave Bangladesh their first breakthrough. This also started a collapse and Mehedi and Shakib Al Hasan just destroyed England’s batting lineup claiming all the ten wickets between them. Root was the next to go adjudged lbw to Shakib. Gary Ballance’s tortured series ended with a misbegotten leading edge to mid-off and Moeen Ali was lbw to Mehedi in the same over but Bangladesh would have started believing only after England’s captain was caught at silly point of Mehedi’s bowling. From that point, it was just a matter of time before the inevitable happened. Stokes and Woakes tried hard before Stokes was bowled by Shakib. The last wicket was fittingly taken by Mehedi Hasan taking the wicket of Steven Finn grabbing another 6-er ending the match with 12 wickets.
It was a moment of happiness for Bangladeshis which was also evident from their celebrations. Mehedi Hasan was adjudged the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series and was the find of the series for Bangladesh. He is surely a force to reckon with. With this victory, Bangladesh showed the rest of the world that they are there to stay in the longer format and are no more the “minnows”.