Stokes to the res­cue as Eng­land leads Bangladesh by 273 runs

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Ben Stokes came to Eng­land’s res­cue yes­ter­day with a fine all­round per­for­mance which gave the tourists a 273-run lead against Bangladesh in the first test with two days left.

Stokes ripped through Bangladesh with re­verse-swing to fin­ish on 4-26 in­clud­ing three wick­ets in the morn­ing ses­sion - as the hosts were all out for 248 in their first in­nings af­ter re­sum­ing on 221-5. At the change of in­nings, Eng­land led by 45 runs. Then Stokes’ re­strained 85-run knock helped Eng­land end the third day on 228-8 in its sec­ond in­nings, with its lead look­ing sig­nif­i­cant on a pitch of­fer­ing turn and vari­able bounce.

Chris Woakes and Stu­art Broad were un­de­feated on 11 and 10, re­spec­tively. “If we can get up to 300, 310, 320 lead, it would be nice. We are lucky that we have a really strong bat­ting lineup,” Stokes said.

Stokes and Jonny Bairstow com­bined for a 127-run part­ner­ship af­ter Eng­land was stut­ter­ing on 62-5. Shakib Al Hasan claimed his 15th five-for, re­turn­ing fig­ures of 5- 79. Shakib claimed two quick wick­ets to re­duce Eng­land to 28-3, aided by Me­hedi Hasan be­fore lunch.

Me­hedi broke through with the prized wicket of Alas­tair Cook for 12, in­duced by a quicker de­liv­ery.

Joe Root (1) and Ben Duck­ett (15) failed to ne­go­ti­ate the straighter de­liv­ery of Shakib as Eng­land lost three wick­ets for two runs. Garry Bal­lance per­ished to a sweep shot off Tai­jul Is­lam for 9, and Moeen Ali went for 14 against Shakib to leave Eng­land only 17 runs ahead with five wick­ets re­main­ing.

Stokes and Jonny Bairstow re­sisted, show­ing the pa­tience the in­creas­ingly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing pitch de­manded. Fast bowler Kam­rul Is­lam was the un­likely man to break the part­ner­ship and grabbed his maiden wicket as Bairstow’s at­tempted cut dragged the ball onto his stumps.

Bairstow’s 95-ball knock, with six fours, helped him be­come the high­est run-scorer as a des­ig­nated wick­et­keeper in a cal­en­dar year, eclips­ing Andy Flower’s 1,045.

Stokes ap­proached his fourth cen­tury un­til Shakib broke his re­sis­tance as he tried to sweep one that didn’t turn as much as he ex­pected. Stokes smashed six fours and three sixes in 151 balls. Shakib then com­pleted his five-for with the wicket of Adil Rashid.

Ear­lier, Bangladesh sur­vived just 12 overs to add 27 runs to its overnight to­tal. Off­spiner Ali broke through in the sec­ond ball of the day as Shakib played a reck­less shot to throw away his wicket on his overnight score of 31.

Legspin­ner Rashid then got night­watch­man Shafiul for 2 af­ter which Stokes’ re­verse-swing burst ac­counted for three debu­tants - Me­hedi, Sab­bir Rah­man and Kam­rul in the space of just nine runs.

“For me the game is still in the bal­ance,” Bangladesh fast bowl­ing coach Court­ney Walsh said. “We have to bat well sec­ond time around.” Eng­land scored 293 in its first in­nings. — AP

ABU DHABI: Pak­istani spin­ner Yasir Shah tries to stop the ball on the sec­ond day of the sec­ond Test be­tween Pak­istan and the West Indies at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Sta­dium in Abu Dhabi yes­ter­day.— AFP

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