Lions roar back in Chittagong
England Lions bounced back from their opening defeat to Bangladesh A in superb fashion by levelling the five-match one-day international series with a convincing six-wicket win in Chittagong.
Beaten by the same margin at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium two days ago, James Taylor’s side delivered a much-improved performance in all departments on this occasion.
Surrey paceman Stuart Meaker led the way with figures of 4-47 as the hosts laboured to 176 all out from 44 overs, despite an unbeaten 99 from number three Nazimuddin.
The Lions then cruised to their target with more than 12 overs to spare, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler finishing unbeaten on 50 and 41 respectively after James Vince had contributed a valuable 44.
Bangladesh struggled from the outset with the bat and would have posted a much lower total were it not for Nazimuddin, the only member of the top seven to reach double figures.
The 26-year-old right-hander, who has represented his country in two Tests, seven one-day and seven Twenty20 internationals, hit eight fours and four sixes in his 125-ball innings as wickets tumbled around him.
Meaker struck twice with the new ball, including the wicket of Rony Taludker in the first over, before returning to bowl Bangladesh’s final two batsmen in consecutive deliveries, leaving Nazimuddin stranded one short of three figures.
Jack Brooks also impressed in returning 1-24 from nine overs, while the Lions’ trio of spinners - Danny Briggs, Scott Borthwick and Simon Kerrigan - combined to good effect by taking five wickets.
Bangladesh responded strongly with the ball, removing Jason Roy for a golden duck and fellow opener Joe Root for just five.
Yet a partnership of 48 between Vince and Taylor, who made 26, settled any nerves the tourists may have had, and Bairstow and Buttler subsequently took charge with an unbroken stand of 70 in 14 overs.
Buttler was the more aggressive, scoring at just over a run-a-ball, while Bairstow reached his half-century - from 65 deliveries - shortly before victory was secured.