Lions tamed in opening ODI
England Lions were made to pay for a below-par batting performance as they slipped to a six-wicket defeat at Chittagong in the first of five one-day internationals against Bangladesh A.
Somerset’s Jos Buttler, who compiled a patient 45, was alone in making a significant impact in a score of 139 all out after Lions skipper James Taylor had chosen to make first use of a predictably slow wicket at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
The tourists’ modest total proved well within the reach of their opponents, who eased to victory with 17 overs unused on the back of a half-century from Imrul Kayes and 38 not out from captain Mahmudullah.
Nathan Buck bowled two wicket-maidens upon his eventual introduction to the attack, but by that stage any hopes of a Lions win had disappeared.
Taylor’s men now face the challenge of bouncing back in the second match of the series, to be played at the same venue on Tuesday.
Bangladesh made a breakthrough in the first over of the game when Jason Roy, who had already struck two fours, was caught behind off Alauddin Babu.
Fellow opener Joe Root fell to Al-Amin Hossain, who then trapped Taylor lbw for a second-ball duck before removing James Vince in the same fashion in his next over en route to impressive figures of 3-18.
Buttler and Jonny Bairstow steadied their side with a partnership of 46, only for the former to be bowled by Mahmudullah for 22.
Teenage leg-spinner Noor Hossain then got in on the act, dismissing Scott Borthwick, Stuart Meaker and Danny Briggs in successive overs to leave the Lions on 132 for eight.
Buttler went soon after, caught by Kayes off Suhrawadi Shuvo having hit three fours and a six in his 81-ball stay, and the innings was brought to a close in the 39th over when Shuvo also accounted for Buck.
The Lions knew quick wickets were essential if they were to find a way back into the match, but Bangladesh had moved on to 47 in the 11th over by the time Rony Talukder became the first man to fall, bowled by Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs for 23.
Another 44 runs were added before Briggs breached the defences of Jahurul Islam on 22 and the finish line was in sight for the hosts when Kayes, who made 53 from 83 deliveries, and Shuvagoto Hom each provided Buck with consolation wickets.