England 293 and 228 for 8 (Stokes 85, Bairstow 47, Shakib 5-79) lead Bangladesh 248 (Tamim 78, Mushfiqur 48, Stokes 4-26) by 273 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ben Stokes produced a day of all-round dominance to rival anything produced by an England player in the subcontinent, to drag his side - wicket by wicket, run by run - into the ascendancy in a thrilling first Test against Bangladesh at Chittagong.
With four crucial wickets in a supreme display of reverse-swing bowling in Bangladesh's first innings, followed by a technically formidable 85 from 151 balls in England's second, Stokes twice hauled England back from the point of no return, and in so doing, sapped the spirit of a Bangladesh side that had made much of the running in the first two days of the contest.
By the close, England had recovered from a ropey 64 for 5 in their second innings to reach the close on 228 for 8 - an overall lead of 273 - with Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes once again demonstrating the depth of England's batting resources in a comfortable ninth-wicket stand. However, with the second new ball looming within four overs of the resumption, the vagaries of the pitch are sure to be revealed once again when Bangladesh's spinners are armed with a hard new cherry, which in turn will reaffirm the magnificence of Stokes' performance.
The ball was in its 19th over when Stokes began his vigil, with men around the bat and England in some strife after the loss of four wickets for 20 runs in the space of ten overs either side of lunch. But, in a doughty display of patience and controlled aggression, Stokes demonstrated both maturity and the fruits of his own hard graft in the nets, as he played largely off the back foot to give himself time to react to whatever came his way.
Aside from one early sweep for six over square leg off Taijul Islam, it wasn't until the final session that Stokes unfurled his more belligerent strokes, as he began to warm to the lessening bite of the spinners to crunch six fours and two more sixes in a stay that spanned 46 overs. The second of his sixes, again off Taijul, was hoisted high over midwicket to bring up a 102-ball fifty.
Jonny Bairstow was his principal ally in a sixth-wicket stand of 127, during which time Bairstow went past Andy Flower's record for the most runs by a wicketkeeper in a calendar year. He finally chopped on for 47 to give Kamrul Islam Rabbi his maiden Test wicket - a rare success for Bangladesh's seamers who contributed 11 overs all told and none before the 40th over - and Stokes followed three overs later to give Shakib Al Hasan the fourth wicket of a fighting haul of 5 for 79.
However, as Stokes departed to huge acclaim from his team-mates, it was clear that he had already carried the destiny of this match beyond any reasonable doubt. Bangladesh cannot be entirely ruled out, of course, but in what is already a stiff fourth-innings requirement, it will require a performance of at least equal skill and resolve if they are to secure a win that would surely count as their greatest Test victory.
To devalue Stokes' efforts by commenting on the identity of his opponents would do a disservice to both parties. Bangladesh may have lost all eight of their previous Tests against England, but much like Sri Lanka in the early 1990s, there comes a point when past history counts for little and teams deserve to be judged on the here and now.
And for two days of absorbing, and very traditional, subcontinental cricket, it had been Bangladesh putting in all of the inspirational performances - from Mehedi Hasan's six-wicket debut, to Tamim Iqbal's cool-headed 78. England started the third day with a lead of 73 and five Bangladesh wickets still to claim, no easy task given the listlessness of their spinners when armed with the soft old ball. It was clear that a lead of any description on this surface would be critical to either side, so Stokes made it his duty to be the man that England needed.
Their day did, however, begin with a gift-wrapped opening wicket. His later wickets atoned for the misjudgement to a degree but, as their last remaining senior batsman, Shakib's decision to gallop down the pitch to Moeen Ali's second delivery of the morning was an aberration. He was stumped by three yards to depart for 31, and when the nightwatchman Shafiul Islam slogged an Adil Rashid legbreak to mid-on for 2, the door was flapping open for Stokes to kick through the tail.
He had already made arguably the key incision of the match by extracting Mushfiqur Rahim for 48 on the second evening and, with the ball moving both ways seemingly at will, from over and round the wicket, Stokes was threatening left- and right-handers alike on both sides of the bat - as well as flush on the helmet, when he pinned the debutant Sabbir Rahman with a pinpoint bouncer. By the time he plucked out Rabbi's off stump with a perfect inswinger, he had completed innings figures of 4 for 26 in 14 overs, including 4 for 10 in his last ten.
By lunch, however, the pricelessness of England's 45-run lead had become all too apparent, as Bangladesh's spinners once again surged to the fore, armed with the hard new ball that seemed at times to detonate from the crumbling surface. In the space of eight deliveries, England lost both of their most acclaimed players of spin, as Alastair Cook was lured into a poke to slip off Mehedi before Joe Root - always eager to rotate the strike - dropped to one knee and was pinned lbw by Shakib. And right on the stroke of lunch, England lost their third wicket for two runs in the space of 20 balls, as Ben Duckett lobbed a simple chance off Shakib to short leg.
Stokes' appearance followed soon after the resumption when Gary Ballance, who had never looked comfortable as Bangladesh cramped his pads with a tight leg-stump line, swept firmly into Imrul Kayes' midriff at leg slip for 9, and though Moeen survived his sixth TV referral of the match after a catch to short leg had been deflected off the fielder's helmet, he too fell on the sweep to leave the fate of the game hanging on England's redoubtable middle order. Not for the first time in recent months, they responded to the challenge.