DHAKA: Bangladesh Sunday recorded their first Test victory over England, taking all ten wickets in a single session thanks to teenage off-spin sensation Mehedi Hasan to win the second Test by 108 runs and square the series.
Celebrations erupted at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Stadium and across the country as Bangladeshis revelled in one of the proudest moments in their sporting history.
Chasing a target of 273, England seemed to be cruising when Alastair Cook and Ben Duckett guided them to 100 without loss at tea. But 19-year-old Mehedi, playing in only his second Test, triggered a dramatic collapse in the final session of the third day.
England crumbled to 164 all out to suffer their first-ever defeat by Bangladesh in 10 Tests and share the two-Test series 1-1.
Bangladesh secured Test status in 2000 and the win was only their eighth in 95 Tests — and the first against a full-strength side from a major country.
“It’s a great moment for Bangladesh cricket. It was up and down and you never knew which team would win,” said jubilant captain Mushfiqur Rahim.
“The coach was a bit fired up at tea. We didn’t bowl too well. Then they tried to bowl in good areas and did really well. The bowlers did a great job.
“We didn’t think Mehedi will shine like this. He’s a good batsman as well and hopefully will be a great all-rounder for Bangladesh.”
Mehedi, who celebrated his 19th birthday this week, took the final wicket of Steven Finn to finish with 6-77 in the innings and 12 for 159 in the match.
It was his country’s best-ever bowling figure in Tests, overtaking Enamul Haque Jr’s 12-200 against Zimbabwe in 2005. He finished the series with 19 scalps. “I’m really happy. It’s an exciting moment for me,” said Mehedi.
Shakib Al Hasan, the only other Bangladeshi apart from Mehedi and Enamul to take 10 or more wickets in Tests, joined the party with 4-49, including three wickets in an over.
Yet England had reason to feel confident after Duckett and Cook gave them a confident start in pursuit of an achievable target, before Mehedi struck with the first ball of the final session.
He bowled Duckett for 56 and then quickly removed Garry Ballance (five) and Moeen Ali (zero). Then came the coup de grace, the wicket of Cook, the only other half-century maker with 59.
With Shakib having already removed Joe Root for one in the meantime, England were desperate for Jonny Bairstow to replicate his recent fine form.
But Mehedi dismissed Bairstow to complete his second five-wicket haul in the match. The England wicketkeeper-batsman departed for three to leave his side precariously poised on 6-139.
Shakib then took Bangladesh to the brink of victory before Mehedi — the man of the match and of the series — trapped Steven Finn leg before.
“270 would have been a helluva chase… probably,” Cook said after the match. “Today we showed our inexperience in these conditions. When the ball got rolling we couldn’t stop it.”
Earlier in the day Adil Rashid claimed 4-52 and Ben Stokes 3-52 as England dismissed Bangladesh for 296 to keep their victory target below the 300-run mark.
But the visitors squandered the chance to dismiss Bangladesh more cheaply, dropping a series of catches and allowing the hosts to build on their overnight 152-3.
Imrul Kayes, unbeaten on 59 overnight, top-scored with 78 for Bangladesh while Shakib chipped in 41.
England won the first Test in Chittagong by just 22 runs despite heroic bowling by debutant Mehedi.
The visitors, who made the tour only after clearance from their security officials, also played three one day matches and won the series 2-1.
Next month they start a daunting five-Test tour of India, currently the world’s top-ranked side in the longest form of the game.