DHAKA:Left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari dismissed Mahmudullah Riyad off the final ball of the day to bring England back into the contest in the second Test after Bangladesh surged ahead with 152-3 at stumps on the second day.
Bangladesh made a confident start in the second innings thanks to a fluent batting by their top-order after Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid shared 99 runs in the ninth wicket to give England a vital 24-run first innings lead.
The hosts wiped out the deficit quickly and went for almost five runs in an over in the final session to put the pressure back on England before Ansari’s late strike restored some parity for the visitors.
Ansari earlier removed Tamim Iqbal for 40 to make the first innings century maker his maiden Test wicket and two balls later Ben Stokes got rid of Mominul Haque to put a brake on Bangladesh’s breakneck speed.
But Imrul Kayes, unbeaten on 59, and Mahmudullah shared 86 runs for the third wicket to help the home side claw back their advantage.
They were leading England by 128 runs at the end of the second day’s play with seven wickets in hand, which must have given them hopes for setting a decent target for England to chase in the fourth innings.
“I think a lead of 300 would be good enough,” said Bangladesh off-spinner Mehedi Hasan, who starred with 6-82 in England’s innings.
“You cannot determine anything at the moment because there is still a lot of cricket left in the remaining three days,” he said.
Bangladesh dominated the opening session of the day to claim five wickets putting England on the ropes before Woakes and Rashid staged a fightback.
Woakes made 46 while Rashid added an unbeaten 44 to lift England 244 from a precarious 144-8 giving them a handy 24-run lead in the first innings.
“I think the partnership was crucial between us,” Woakes said after the second day’s play.
“The slim lead surely added some advantage. The game would have different if we were 80 runs behind.”
Their die-hard batting overshadowed the bowling heroics of Bangladesh’s teenage spin sensation Mehedi, who completed his second five-wicket haul in as many matches.
Mehedi broke the partnership with the second new ball when he forced an edge from Woakes at slip and five balls later left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, who claimed 3-65, wrapped up England’s innings.
England could have been dismissed a little earlier if Woakes was not given a reprieve when Sabbir Rahman had him caught by Mahmudullah for 38 with a full toss delivery.
Replay confirmed the ball was above the waist prompting the umpires to call Woakes back.
Resuming on 50-3, England found themselves in deep trouble in the morning session before Joe Root offered some resistance with 56 off 122 balls.
Jonny Bairstow, who made 24, gave him some support in their 45-run sixth wicket stand.
Mehedi, who claimed seven wickets in Bangladesh’s 22-run loss in the first Test, including 6-80 in a single innings, again drew first blood, bowling overnight batsman Moeen Ali for 10 in the third over.
Taijul Islam removed Stokes, the man of the match in the first Test, for a duck two overs later before Root and Bairstow repaired England innings.
Mehedi returned for his second spell to hit Bairstow plumb in front in his first ball, ending their resistance.
Taijul Islam removed Root almost identically to expose England’s tail after Mehedi complete his five-wicket haul with the wicket of Ansari.-AFP