A see-saw battle that could have gone either way ended in England’s favour, with the tourists winning the first Test against Bangladesh by 22 runs.
The hosts started the final day needing 33 runs to win with two wickets in hand. Sabbir Rahman almost turned out to be the star with an unbeaten 64 that could have helped Bangladesh notch up just their eighth win in 94 matches, reports Sportskeeda.com.
However, he was left stranded at the other end, as Taijul Islam and Shafiul Islam fell in the same over to Ben Stokes, handing England a narrow win.
Ben Stokes, Man of the Match
"We knew it would be either myself, Broady (Stuart Broad), or Woakesy (Chris Woakes) to bowl, the amount it was reverse-swinging, but we had the option of the new ball as well. The tour has started well, but we have a long winter ahead (England play Indi next). I am happy that I chipped in with both bat and ball, I didn't want to give my wicket away.
The challenge of playing on subcontinental tracks
Started off pretty well but we have a long way to go from here. Hopefully, we would want to perform on a more consistent basis. I've had to adapt, with men around the bat, just make sure you don't give your wicket away and still play your shots. It's all in the training we do, making sure when we get out on the field that our bodies are used to the conditions."
Alastair Cook, England captain
"It was a really good Test match, to think we were here on day five with that wicket. It was such a tight game, so credit to both sides as it was a difficult wicket. I'm glad we held our nerve, the quality we have in our attack, we got it reversing. We also had the option of the new ball, which we could use with the spinners. It would have been a gamble but it was quite hard to bat against the new ball. It was a great match and we want to thank our loyal 10-15 supporters up there
On Ben Stokes
“It is not only just with the ball in hand but the way he batted, he balances the side. Those cricketers don't come around very often and he's got an enormous heart as well. He is a seriously good cricketer, who is handy in any team”.
On the performance of spinners
It is part of a seven-Test odyssey, I thought we did okay. They'll do well for the experience and they bowled some absolute jaffas as well. You are tested in so many different ways, that's why I keep saying how good Test cricket is. They haven’t bowled on such pitches before, but they will come good in the future".
Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh captain
“It was probably not in our favour (33 runs and two wickets), but the boys put in so much effort over the last five day, after 15 months, I'm really proud.
On the target
They scored 240 in the second innings, if we'd managed to get 290 in our first innings, it would have brought it down. Our boys fought it out which is really impressive and hopefully we'll do the same in the next match.
Sabbir’s performance and the nature of the track
Sabbir has been outstanding in the last one-and-a-half years. I thought it was a good track, it was spinning but not unplayable. Hopefully, we can come up with some good plans. Mehedi was excellent in his first game. If you want to play in the subcontinent, it should be that way and we have some good spinners."
Here are some reactions from the cricketing fraternity: