Bangladesh proved why they are one of the toughest teams to beat at home in white-ball cricket as they defeated T20 world champions England with ease in their series opener in Chattogram on Thursday.
Jos Buttler's team included seven members of the side that defeated Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final in Melbourne last November. But they failed to get going as a limp batting display saw them post just 156-6.
That total proved to be well below par as Najmul Hossain Shanto ignited Bangladesh's charge with 51 off 30 deliveries, including four fours in a row off Mark Wood, and Shakib Al Hasan's 34 not out off 24 balls saw them home with two overs to spare and six wickets in hand.
Bangladesh got off to a positive start as Rony Talukdar (21) and Liton Das (12) put on 33 in the opening stand. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowled Talukdar to break the stand and Jofra Archer soon removed Liton. But Najmul and debutant Towhid Hridoy added 65 runs for the third wicket to put Bangladesh in control.
Despite two wickets in successive over late in the chase, England never looked like winning the game.
Earlier, Buttler made 67 off 42 balls but Bangladesh held England to below 160.
Buttler put on 80 runs with Phil Salt in their opening partnership after the hosts put England in to bat first. But England crumbled after Buttler's dismissal and managed just 21 runs in the last five overs.
Pace bowler Hasan Mahmud, who forced Buttler to give a catch at long-on in the 17th over, finished with 2-26.
Salt was the first batsman dismissed after making 38 off 35 balls when he got a fine edge off a Nasum Ahmed delivery. Nasum was unlucky in failing to dismiss Buttler on 19 when skipper Shakib missed a catch at mid-off.
Shakib compensated by removing Dawid Malan for four before Mustafizur Rahman bowled Ben Duckett for 20.
“The way we approached the game was fantastic – under the pump in first 10 overs but no one panicked,” Shaikb said. “Other than my dropped catch, everyone fielded well. In T20 when you don't think too much you tend to play well.”
The remaining two matches of the series will be played in Dhaka on March 12 and 14.