Bangladesh has caused an upset in the cricket world, inflicting on England the first Twenty20 series whitewash since 2016. The tourists’ chaotic and error-strewn performance was no match for the home team’s exceptional play, which concluded a hugely positive run of matches.
Ben Duckett and Litton Das will undoubtedly be remembered in contrasting ways for their performances in the match. Duckett was guilty of two boundary-assisting misfields, one terrible drop, and running out Jos Buttler. Meanwhile, Das was the standout player of the match, scoring an impressive 73 off just 57 balls, setting up Bangladesh’s total of 158.
In the first innings, Liton and Rony Talukdar got Bangladesh off to a positive start with a partnership of 55 runs. Adil Rashid was the first to strike for England, dismissing Talukdar for 24. But Liton continued his impressive innings, adding 84 runs with Najmul Hossain for the second wicket.
Despite a good effort by England’s bowlers in the death overs, Bangladesh managed to post a decent score, thanks to Najmul’s third 40-plus innings in the series.
England’s white-ball coach, Matthew Mott, admitted that the team’s first 15 overs in the field were nowhere near the level expected. They were gifted approximately 16 runs by their opponents’ various errors, which proved decisive in securing Bangladesh’s victory. “With the benefit of hindsight, they were 15-20 runs over par on that wicket, so we paid heavily for those mistakes,” Mott said.
England was so sloppy in the field that it practically amounted to self-sabotage, much like the first game of this tour, a one-day international at the same venue a fortnight ago. Halfway through Bangladesh’s innings, England had already banked eight runs in extras, about the same in misfields, and benefited from one drop. There was still more to come.
However, England’s bowling was largely good and sometimes excellent, and in the final five overs, the fielding started to match it for competence. They went for 27, and the reward was a daunting but unachievable target.
England’s run chase started terribly, with Phil Salt ending a disappointing tour with his briefest innings, advancing, missing, and stumped. Dawid Malan was given out two balls into the second over, but he was reprieved on review. He went on to score a half-century and was joined by Buttler in hauling England to a match-winning position.
Then it all fell apart. Malan swung at a bouncer and edged to Das, who took a good leaping catch to dismiss the opener for 53. Duckett came in, hit the next ball to point, and started running; Mehidy Hasan Miraz gathered, threw, and hit the stumps at the striker’s end, catching a lethargic Buttler well short.
Three overs later, Moeen Ali and Duckett were dismissed in the space of five Taskin Ahmed deliveries, and what remained of England’s chances went with them.
Bangladesh has taken the first two games of the series, giving the home side their first series victory over defending T20 and ODI World Cup champions England in any format.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan praised his team’s performance, highlighting the exceptional fielding throughout the series and the bowlers’ impressive display.
With the T20 World Cup scheduled for later this year, England must regroup quickly and come back stronger if they hope to defend their title.