THE efforts of captain Jos Buttler and Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid proved futile as opposite number Moshrafe Mortaza inspired Bangladesh to a series-levelling 35-run victory against England in the second one-day international in Dhaka.
The tourists made a woeful start to their pursuit of 239 for victory as they slumped to 26-4 in the 10th over, with Mortaza taking three wickets, having earlier contributed 44 off 29 deliveries to boost the Tigers’ total to 238-8.
Buttler’s run-a-ball 57 gave England a glimmer of hope but that was extinguished once he was seventh man out as his team folded to 204 – despite an impresive 31 from Rashid – with only five of their batsman reaching double figures.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, put their disappointment of losing Friday’s opener behind them to take the series to a decider in Chittagong on Wednesday.
The hosts had lost their six wickets for 17 runs two days ago to squander a winning position and - although they started slowly on a pitch where batsmen from both sides struggled to time the ball on Sunday - they eked out more than enough runs.
Mahmudullah, who scored a century in Bangladesh’s memorable victory over England at last year’s World Cup, top-scored with 75 but it was Mortaza who was the true hero after his cameo innings and four for 29 with the ball.
Mortaza lost the toss for the second time in three days and his side were put in to bat in humid conditions.
Imrul Kayes had made centuries in the warm-up in Fatullah and the opening ODI against England but he contributed just 11 before pulling Chris Woakes to deep square leg.
Woakes had his second wicket when Tamim Iqbal sent a shorter ball straight into the hands of Moeen Ali at midwicket before Sabbir Rahman’s tortuous innings of three off 21 deliveries was ended when he bottom-edged Jake Ball onto his stumps.
Ball ended a 50-run stand between Mahmudullah, promoted to four, and Mushfiqur Rahim, who top-edged a pull which landed in the hands of Moeen, running in from fine leg to take an excellent diving catch.
Mahmudullah brought up his half-century from 51 balls with a thin edge for his fourth four but Shakib Al Hasan was strangled down the leg side off Ben Stokes after a becalmed three from 14 balls.
Mahmudullah ensured there was no complete collapse but at 130-5 from 35 overs, Bangladesh needed a strong finish to set a competitive total.
Their hopes receded when Mahmudullah was pinned in front attempting to sweep Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid while Mosaddek Hossain departed for 27 after pulling the leg-spinner into the deep.
However, two straight sixes in a Moeen over from Mortaza roused a previously subdued packed crowd under lights and some unorthodox strokes from their captain took Bangladesh beyond 200, as he and Nasir Hossain put on 50 in only 34 balls.
While Mortaza was run out in the final over, his lower order cameo gave his side hope, and he came to the fore with his stronger suit as England’s top order floundered.
James Vince drove loosely and was caught at backward point, while opening partner Jason Roy was trapped lbw by a full and straight ball from Mortaza, who then cleaned up Stokes with a similar delivery as the Durham all-rounder was out for nought, having made 101 on Friday.
Ben Duckett was bowled through the gate by one that spun sharply from Shakib in among the carnage as England staggered to 30 for four after 10 overs, their worst opening powerplay score since last year’s World Cup.
But Buttler was proactive from ball one, which went for four, as he and Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow set about repairing the damage.
Three pulled fours in an over off Taskin Ahmed signalled Buttler’s intent although a 79-run partnership with Bairstow ended when, on 35, the Yorkshireman edged behind off the same bowler.
Buttler, using his feet well to both spinners and seamers, brought up a 48-ball fifty with his seventh four and there was a feeling the game was on his shoulders when Moeen Ali spooned Nasir Hossain to cover.
Buttler’s resistance was ended soon after when he was lbw to Taskin, a decision which was overturned on review, and the captain had to be led away from the celebrating Bangladesh fielders after a heated confrontation.
Rashid (33no) and Ball (28) briefly threatened to defy the odds in a last-wicket stand of 45, but Mortaza, fittingly, returned to the attack to remove the latter, hitting in the air to deep cover, as England were all out in 44.4 overs.