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Bangladesh secures T20 series with win over England

England's captain Jos Buttler participates in a training session ahead of their second T20 cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, March 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh wrapped up the three-match T20 series against England with a game to spare as Mehidy Hasan claimed a career-best 4-12 and added a crucial 20-run knock to secure a four-wicket victory over the tourists on Sunday.

Bangladesh held England to a lowly 117 in 20 overs, before knocking off the target with seven balls to spare, reaching 120-6.

Najmul Hossain, who was instrumental in the six-wicket victory in the first match with a 30-ball 51, was not out on 46, helping the home side stay in the contest despite England bowlers making inroads at regular intervals.

“I was just trying to bowl in the right areas. I tried to rotate the strike and if there is a bad ball then put it away,” said Mehidy, who replaced Shamim Hossain for the only change for Bangladesh.

Fast bowler Jofra Archer gave England a flicker of hope, claiming 3-13 but Najmul held his nerve.

Bangladesh lost both openers — Liton Das and Rony Talukdar — while chasing the moderate target for just 27 runs.

Later, Najmul held one end with confidence but the chase didn't get going in earnest until Mehidy struck two sixes as part of his 16- ball 20.

Archer removed him with a slower delivery and then delivered a ball that clocked 92 mph to rattle the stump of Afif Hossain.

In between, Moeen Ali claimed the wicket of skipper Shakib Al Hasan as Bangladesh was left at 100-6 in the 18th over.

England appeared to be on course to save the game, sensing an unlikely victory, but Najmul and Taskin Ahmed hit three boundaries off Chris Jordan’s first over of the day to close out the contest.

Taskin who hit the winning boundary was not out on 8.

“I thought it was an outstanding bowling performance to defend a low total, we bowled without luck as well but really proud of everyone’s effort,” England captain Jos Buttler said.

Earlier, Taskin got the Bangladesh attack off the mark, removing Dawid Malan after England was put into bat first.

Shakib got the better of Phil Salt who started well before his progress was halted, having reached a 19-ball 25.

But the crucial breakthrough came when pacer Hasan Mahmud bowled Buttler (4) with a searing delivery.

Mehidy got into the act to end Ben Duckett’s resistance. Duckett reached a team-high 28 as Mehidy ripped through England’s middle order.

“It was a different game of T20 cricket, exciting as well but credit to Bangladesh. There is no good way to get out, but it was a tough wicket to start on and Duckett was doing well, we needed someone to stay with him,” added Buttler.

The third and final T20 is on Tuesday.

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