CHITTAGONG: Bangladesh off-spinner Mehedi Hasan impressed on his test debut, striking twice to help restrict England to 81-3 at lunch on the opening day of the first test on Thursday.
After touring captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat, the hosts flexed their spin muscles at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium to reduce them to 21 for three in 12 overs.
Joe Root showed how to tackle the home spinners, hitting five crisp boundaries in his fluent 38 not out. Moeen Ali was batting on 17 at the other end with England banking on the duo to help them weather the top order collapse.
One of the three Bangladesh players who made their test debut in the match, Mehedi was pressed early into service as captain Mushfiqur Rahim introduced spin in the very second over.
The 18-year-old tasted early success with a flighted delivery that disturbed fellow test debutant Ben Duckett’s (14) stumps.
Encouraged by the dismissal, Mushfiqur opted for spin from both ends and the move paid immediate dividend with Shakib Al Hasan dismissing Cook (four) with his second delivery.
Cook, who became the most-capped England test cricketer in his 134th appearance, went for a sweep only managing to drag the ball onto his stumps.
Gary Ballance (one) did not last long either and was trapped leg-before by Mehedi after Mushfiqur used a review to successfully overturn the original not out decision.
England also tasted success with their review to reinstate Moeen who was given out leg before to a Shakib delivery which had kissed the bat before hitting the pad.