MEHEDI HASAN ruthlessly exploited England’s top-order deficiencies against spin to inspire Bangladesh to the most famous Test victory in their history.
The teenager made a mockery of his inexperience to run through England’s fragile top order, taking five wickets as the tourists dramatically collapsed from 100 without loss to 139-6 after tea in an ultimately fruitless pursuit of 273.
Shakib Al Hasan took four wickets before Mehedi fittingly wrapped up proceedings as Bangladesh won by 108 runs inside three days in Dhaka for just their eighth Test success in 95 matches and first over England in 10 attempts.
A pulsating, see-saw series therefore finished all-square with one win apiece - and England will now move on to a five-Test series against India with serious question marks over their ability to play in subcontinent conditions.
Several of their batsmen have looked ill-at-ease against the turning ball, most notably Gary Ballance, who was out for his fourth consecutive single-figure score as England were all out for 164, losing all 10 wickets inside a session.
England’s spinners were also considerably outperformed by their Bangladesh counterparts, and most notably Mehedi, who took 12 wickets in just his second Test with five-fors in both innings.
Mehedi started the carnage with the first ball after tea following Alastair Cook and Ben Duckett’s century stand during the afternoon session, which had given England hope of chasing down their highest successful fourth innings total in Asia.
Duckett had used the reverse sweep to excellent effect to reach a deserved maiden Test fifty but he was castled by one that kept low before Joe Root was pinned in front by Shakib in the next over.
Cook had been strong with more orthodox sweeps behind square and he overturned being given out off an lbw decision to reach his fifty before losing Ballance, who top-edged to mid-off, and then Moeen Ali as he was pinned in front four balls later.
Mehedi was rampant and he next snared Cook for 59 as the England skipper dabbed to silly point to seemingly end any hopes his side had of escaping with a memorable win and a series triumph.
Mehedi had another five-for when Jonny Bairstow’s inside edge looped to slip and, although Ben Stokes provided a couple of lusty blows, he was bowled by Shakib, who gave a salute reminiscent of the one the Durham all-rounder received from West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels last year.
It was the start of three wickets in four balls as Shakib accounted for Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari before Mehedi had Steven Finn trapped in front to start jubilant - and deserved - celebrations from Bangladesh.
Their only previous victories had come twice against an under-strength West Indies and five times over Zimbabwe, while they had lost all nine previous Tests against England, so this achievement is without doubt their finest hour.
They had earlier lost six for 58, following on from their collapse of nine for 49 in the first innings, as they were all out for 296 - although their total proved more than enough.
England had proved wasteful in the field on the third morning, with four drops of varying degrees of difficulty.
They received a boost on Sunday morning when Root took to the field following a stomach upset although the Yorkshireman failed to hold onto a sharp chance at slip to dismiss Imrul Kayes, who had earlier been dropped by a diving Cook at leg slip.
Imrul, given let-offs on 67 and 74, finally departed on 78 after missing a sweep off Moeen, who rapped Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim on the pads early in their innings, although England opted not to review the decisions that would have been overturned.
The Bangladesh batsmen were both given an additional life. Shakib should have been dismissed on 23 but a slog sweep was put down by Duckett in the deep while Finn could not hang on to a difficult chance back-pedalling from mid-off.
Shakib was finally dismissed for 41 when he chopped a sharply-turning delivery from Rashid onto his stumps before a fired-up Stokes saw off Mushfiqur, who edged to first slip.
Sabbir Rahman and Shuvagata Hom added some vital runs before Rashid trapped the former in front off the last ball before lunch and then had Mehedi caught at slip after Taijul Islam had edged Stokes behind.
Last man Kamrul Islam Rabbi deposited Moeen into the stands to the delight of a decent crowd although he then spooned up into the air as Rashid took the catch off his own bowling to finish with four for 52 from 11.5 overs.
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