ENGLAND captain Jos Buttler revealed his deputy Ben Stokes issued a rallying cry to his team-mates which triggered a dramatic Bangladesh collapse in the first one-day international at Dhaka.
Stokes registered his maiden ODI hundred as the tourists compiled 309-8 after opting to bat first, a total that appeared inadequate when Bangladesh reached 271-4 in the 42nd over.
But Jake Ball claimed two wickets in two deliveries en route to becoming the first England bowler to take a five-for on ODI debut as the hosts lost their last six batsmen for 17 runs in a disintegration that was sparked by vice-captain Stokes urging the team not to give up.
Buttler said: “It was a remarkable finish. We were stood there thinking we had got the toss all wrong and the pitch played better second half but we kept believing. Stokesy grabbed everyone together and gave everyone a bit of a talk. He is quite forceful when he speaks and he said ‘let’s fight to the end and make sure we do not give it to them easy’.”
Ball had taken the first two wickets to fall and then sealed a crowd-silencing victory when last man Taskin Ahmed edged behind to finish with figures of 5-51
He only found out he was playing on Thursday night because of an injury to Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett, who was ruled out with a sore toe, and the Nottinghamshire seamer revelled in his accomplishment.
Ball, playing his first match of the tour, said: “We always thought if we could get two quick wickets we would be back in the game. That is what Stokesy said: ‘let’s go hard’. We did it.
“I am speechless to be honest. Walking off with five wickets on debut. It is what you dream about as a kid. To get the nod and go out there and do that was incredible.”
Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid was the only other England wicket-taker as he clinched ODI best figures of 4-49, which included the key scalp of Imrul Kayes, who contributed 112 – his second hundred against the tourists in four days following a ton in the warm-up in Fatullah.
Kayes was the second centurion of the day after Stokes, who reached three figures for the first time in ODIs.
Stokes has so far flattered to deceive in a format that seems tailor made for his brutal batting talents and before this fixture, his average was a fraction over 25 in 44 ODIs. But he came in at 63-3 and grew in confidence after a shaky start as he went on to make 101. He found a shrewd ally in 21-year-old Ben Duckett, who flourished on his international debut with a mature innings of 60 that belied his tender years.
Their 153-run partnership allowed Buttler to come in and punish the fatiguing Bangladesh bowlers with a quickfire 63 from 38 balls.
Buttler said: “It was a fantastic fightback from everyone. To get 310 in those conditions was probably worth 340.
“The two Bens put on a fantastic partnership and that is everything we want to be as a side. We were 63-3 but to play in the fashion they did to take the game back to Bangladesh was a hell of a partnership.
“Both debutants (Duckett and Ball) if you turned up to the ground, you would not have known they were on debut. That is credit to both of them and the maturity and calmness they showed. Again, for guys who are in and around the squad, there is fantastic competition for places.”
Buttler was leading the 50-over side for the first time in an international, in place of Eoin Morgan, who is missing the tour due to security issues.
Buttler added: “It was a lot more emotional. I was questioning myself. Did I do this right, did I do that right? It was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but It was tough.
“Keeping wicket is a good place to do it from. I found it a challenge but a good one.”
Derbyshire have signed Luis Reece on a two-year deal after the batting all-rounder was released by Lancashire last week.
The 26-year-old spent four seasons with the Red Rose, initially making a strong impression with the bat before struggling with injury.
England off-spinner Gareth Batty has signed a new contract with Surrey that will keep him playing country cricket until he is 40.