CHITTAGONG: Ben Duckett and Sam Billings hit half-centuries as England cruised to four-wicket victory in the third one-day international to win the three-match series against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Wednesday.
Set a challenging target after leg-spinner Adil Rashid’s career best four for 43 restricted Bangladesh to 277-6, England passed the target losing six wickets in 47.5 overs with Duckett scoring innings highest 63 runs, his second fifty in the series.
The visitors’ victory also ended Bangladesh’s unbeaten run of six consecutive series at home dating back from November 2014.
Playing his first match in the series, Billings got his maiden fifty scoring 62 runs off 69 balls, which gave England much-needed solidity in what was seemingly a tough chase on the pitch that remained covered for two days due to rain.
Billings, who replaced injured Jason Roy in the team, forged a 63-run opening stand with James Vince (32) and then added another 64-run partnership with Duckett to put England firmly in the controller’s seat.
Spinner Nasir Hossain trapped Vince leg before as Bangladesh’s first breakthrough before Mosaddek Hossain ended the innings of Billings, who hit four boundaries and a six.
Paceman Shafiul Islam removed Jonny Bairstow (15) and Duckett, who also clubbed four boundaries and a six in his 68-ball innings, in a quick span to bring Bangladesh back into the contest.
Once skipper Jos Buttler (25) dragged one from Mashrafe Mortaza on to his stumps and Moeen Ali spooned a catch to Mahmudullah at mid-on off the same bowler, England felt some pressure for the first time during their chase.
“Physically and mentally we’ve stood up,” Buttler said later during the prize giving ceremony.
“We wanted to set the tone and our opening partnership set up the run chase,” he said.
Mortaza finished with two for 51 to join team-mate Shakib Al Hasan as Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker with 215 scalps but came as little consolation as Ben Stokes (47 not out) and Chris Woakes (27 not out) took England home comfortably.
If Bangladesh still had any chance during their late blitz that was gone once Kayes put down Woakes on 17 at slip off Taskin Ahmed.
Mortaza blamed the dew for the struggle of their spinners.
“There was a lot of dew at the end and our spinners couldn’t turn the ball. But England were too good,” he said.
Leg spinner Rashid earlier took full advantage of a turning wicket to derail Bangladesh’s innings with regular strikes in his unbroken 10 overs stretch after Tamim Iqbal and Kayes put on 80 runs in their opening stand.
“It was a bit tasty there. Sometimes the bad balls get the wickets but we were trying to be confident, have a positive mindset,” said man-of-the-match Rashid.
Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored for the home side with an unbeaten 67 runs while Sabbir Rahman (49), Kayes (46), Iqbal (45) and Mosaddek (38 not out) also contributed to what should be a competitive total.
Rahim and young Mosaddek put on 85 runs in their unbroken seventh wicket partnership, taking Bangladesh past 250-run mark.
Rain had earlier threatened to ruin the match but it stopped just in time and the match started without delay.
The two teams will now engage in a two-Test series, which will start on October 20 in the same city.