Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Mashrafe and Taskin star in feisty series-levelling victory

Bangladesh 238 for 8 (Mahmudullah 75, Mashrafe 44) beat England 204 (Buttler 57, Mashrafe 4-29, Taskin 3-47) by 34 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

All the major cricketing nations to visit Bangladesh in the past three years, with the exception of Sri Lanka, have discovered to their cost that they are far from the pushovers they once were. That truth is now painfully evident to England after a 34-run defeat in Mirpur in the second ODI that sets up a decider to the series in Chittagong on Wednesday.

When Bangladesh set England 239 for victory, they knew they had a vaguely competitive, if unprepossessing, score, but surely even they could not have imagined that it would provide such a substantial winning margin. England's 204 - bolstered by a last-wicket stand of 45 - could have been much lower.

England's cause was all but lost when Jos Buttler, their captain, became the seventh batsman out at 123, his serene resistance ended when he walked across his stumps against Taskin Ahmed and was given out lbw on review. After Bangladesh celebrated uproariously and Buttler took a drink of water before departing, something that was said riled him. He swung back in fury and was ushered away by the umpires. There were more words at end-of-match handshakes, England's fury unabated. The match referee could well take an interest.

That flare-up should not deflect attention from Mashrafe Mortaza's rousing display. There have been many times in his long career when Mashrafe has seemed almost mashed-up, an allrounder of passion held together by desire and bandages, his follow-through often taking place in his mind only. But he was a potent force here, firstly to drag Bangladesh's score to respectability with a rumbustious 44 from 29 balls at the death, roared in to take three top-order wickets and finally sealed victory by deceiving Jake Ball with a slower ball just as England dared to hope for a miracle.

James Vince's penchant for pretty off drives was again his undoing as Mashrafe nibbled one away to have him caught at backward point, Jason Roy played across a straight one and Ben Stokes was unhinged by a full inswinger which bowled him off his pads.

Add Ben Duckett, who was bowled as Shakib Al Hasan turned one through the gate, and England ended the first Powerplay at 31 for 4 - their lowest 10-over score since they reinvented their 50-over cricket after a disastrous World Cup. Stokes, a century-maker in the first game, and Duckett, who had made a fifty on debut, had both fallen without scoring.

Buttler was at his most serene. He cruised to his half-century at better than a run a ball, repeatedly advancing to the seamers, yet doing so with such smoothness that when he played the shot he appeared perfectly still and balanced. When he forced them to drop short, he preyed on the opportunity venomously.

But what Mashrafe began, Taskin completed. His action was ruled illegal during the early stages of World T20 in India in March but he was cleared earlier this month and looks eager to make up for lost time.

His first two overs leaked 19, but when he switched ends he found extra bounce and movement. Before Buttler's dismissal, he dismissed the craggily-bearded Bairstow for 35, his drive flying through to Mushfiqur Rahim, a settling stand of 79 in 14 overs with Buttler ended. Afterwards, he had Chris Woakes caught at the wicket, trying to run one to third man. A spell of 3 for 11 in 11 balls turned the game. At 21, he looks a decent addition to Bangladesh's pace stocks.

The pitch was a little slower and grippier than Friday's surface, on which England made 309 and won by 21 runs. Nevertheless, Mashrafe faced a fading Bangladesh innings when he came to the crease at 169 for 7 with 8.2 overs remaining, the loss of Mahmudullah for 75 from 88 balls severely compromising their chances of putting England under pressure. His innings brought Bangladesh another 69 in a stand with Nasir Hossain until he was run out one ball from the end and cheered the outlook for a crowd that until then had watched events unfold with trepidation.

Mahmudullah had been their only solace until then. He manoeuvred the ball skilfully in making 75 from 88 balls when he tried to paddle Adil Rashid and was lbw. His walk-off was arrested as he responded to calls to review the decision, but his initial suspicions proved well founded. Rashid's ability to dismiss top-order batsmen is a source of debate, but he took the vital wicket here.

England had chosen to bat in the first ODI, but Buttler, had indicated after the match that he felt he had made the wrong decision. Presented with an opportunity after winning the toss to switch tactics, he had a bowl. But by the end of the night, as the pitch became more uneven, it was tempting to contend that he had made the wrong decision twice.

England's pace attack responded to bowling in the heat of the day with a combative, disciplined display. The short ball soon dispensed with the openers. Imrul Kayes, after two hundreds in a week against the tourists, hauled a cutter from Woakes to Willey at deep square leg, just repositioned for the catch. Tamim Iqbal spliced Woakes into the ring.

More than six years ago, Tamim announced himself to England with a century in an ODI in Dhaka. More runs followed in the Test series and when Bangladesh visited England that same year his reputation grew further with Test centuries at Lord's and Old Trafford. Tamim was the representative, to England eyes, of all that was good about Bangladesh cricket, but that success has not been maintained and in his last eight matches against England in all formats he has failed to reach 50.

Ball, fresh from five wickets on debut on Friday, struck in his first over as Sabbir Rahman, after making 3 from 21 balls, chopped on. Another pull shot, another wicket: Mushfiqur's swivel well held by Moeen Ali, plunging forward at long leg. Shakib had a charmed life, almost chopping Ball onto his stumps, escaping a run out courtesy of Sam Billings' inaccurate throw and then falling to Stokes when his glance off the hips was pouched by Buttler.

Mahmudullah's lone hand was staving off calamity, but it did not promise a competitive score. When he fell lbw to Rashid, who then ended Mosaddek Hossain's innings with a long hop which was hauled to cow corner, Mashrafe, had little choice but to swing heartily and hope that luck fell his way.

Two straight sixes off Moeen - the first of the innings - indicated his approach and prodigious strength, and minimal technique, came into play when he bludgeoned Willey over the ropes at long-on. "I just slog man," he said later. But add his first four-wicket haul for eight years and it won the man-of-the-match award.

Bilateral series are about as trendy these days as a Val Doonican CD, but the two matches in this series have been excellent, fought out with skill and fervour. England studied security advice and chose to tour Bangladesh and, with the entertainment at its height, the cricketing value of that decision was self-evident.

England 2nd innings Partnerships

1st12JM VinceJJ Roy
2nd2JJ RoyBM Duckett
3rd10JM BairstowJJ Roy
4th2JM BairstowBA Stokes
5th79JM BairstowJC Buttler
6th15MM AliJC Buttler
7th3CR WoakesJC Buttler
8th9AU RashidCR Woakes
9th27AU RashidDJ Willey
10th45AU RashidJT Ball