Root steadies England after spinners strike
CHITTAGONG: Joe Root scored an unbeaten 38 to steady England after Bangladesh spinners grabbed three quick wickets at the start of the first Test in Chittagong on Thursday.
Moeen Ali was accompanying Root with a sedate 17 not out after England were left reeling at 21-3 before recovering to be 81-3 at lunch on the opening day.
Teenage off-spinner Mehedi Hasan made an immediate impression on his debut, bowling Ben Duckett for 14 before trapping Gary Ballance for one.
Shakib Al Hasan also removed England’s Alastair Cook for just four, in a disappointing start for the skipper who becomes England’s most capped player in this match with 134 Tests.
After Cook won the toss and elected to bat in the first of two Tests, England immediately faced a barrage of spin bowling.
Mehedi opened the attack for the hosts, beating Duckett on several occasions before he spun one beautifully to hit the middle stump as soon as the England debutant offered some room.
Three balls later Cook was also gone, attempting a sweep shot off Shakib only for the ball to hit him on the forearm and then the body before smashing onto the stumps.
Ballance was initially given not out lbw, but Bangladesh reviewed the decision in their favour, with the replay showing the ball had struck his pad on the back foot first before touching the bat.
Root clobbered two fours in the next over off Shakib and two fours off debutant pace bowler Kamrul Islam to seize some initiative for the visitors.
Ali survived a nervous review on 16 after he was initially given out leg before off Shakib.
England have included Gareth Batty in the side, giving the Surrey captain his first natonal cap in more than 11 years, while Bangladesh have handed batsman Sabbir Rahman his debut.