Najmul Hossain hit 51 off 30 balls as Bangladesh held their nerve to beat world champions England by six wickets in the first T20I in Chittagong on Thursday.
Najmul’s third T20I fifty guided Bangladesh to 158-4 in 18 overs after the hosts held England to 156-6, despite captain Jos Buttler making 67 off 42 balls.
“Bangladesh finished the innings really well. We were in a position to really kick on and launch at the end, but we couldn’t manage to get away,” said Buttler. “We were probably 20 short with our score and we had to chase a little bit in the field.”
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 fourth-wicket 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 16th over, finished with 2-26.
Bangladesh got off to a positive start as Rony Talukdar (21) and Liton Das (12) put on 33 in their opening partnership.
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.
Moeen Ali ended their partnership by getting rid of Hridoy for 24 after Najmul raced to his fifty off 27 balls.
Mark Wood bowled Najmul for some small revenge after conceding fours to the left-hander off each of his first four balls.
Shakib Al Hasan denied England further momentum and drove home the win with a boundary off Chris Jordan to stay 34 not out.
Afif Hossain was 15* at the other end as the duo added 46 runs in their unbroken fifth-wicket stand.
“The way we approached the game was fantastic, can’t ask more from our team,” Bangladesh skipper Shakib said. “When we were bowling, we were under the pump but no one panicked.”
Salt was the first England batsman dismissed after making 38 off 35 balls when he connected the bottom edge off a Nasum Ahmed delivery.
Nasum was unlucky in failing to dismiss Buttler on 19 when Shakib missed a high catch at mid-off.
Shakib compensated by removing Dawid Malan for four before Mustafizur Rahman bowled Ben Duckett for 20.
This was the first T20I for England since winning the World Cup in Australia in November.
The hosts and England had previously played only one T20I against each other, which England won by eight wickets at the 2021 World Cup.
The remaining two matches of the series will be played in Dhaka on 12 and 14 March.
© Agence France-Presse