DHAKA: Teenage off-spinner Mehedi Hasan completed his second five-wicket haul in as many matches as Bangladesh kept England on their toes in the second Test in Dhaka on Saturday.
Resuming on 50-3, the visitors lost five wickets in an extended morning session on the second day to reach 163-8, still trailing Bangladesh’s first innings total of 220 by 57 runs.
Joe Root, unbeaten on 15, offered the lone resistance for England with a fighting half-century as he made 56 off 122 balls before he was out leg before by left-arm spinner Taijul Islam.
Jonny Bairstow, who made 24, gave him some support in their 45-run sixth wicket stand but that could not deny Bangladesh from gaining an upper hand after play resumed half-an-hour early.
Mehedi, who celebrated his 19th birthday this week, claimed 5-65, leading the hosts’ attack once again after he impressed in his debut in the first Test in Chittagong.
Bangladesh lost that match by 22 runs despite Mehedi’s heroics. He claimed seven wickets in the Test, including 6-80 in an innings.
On Saturday, Mehedi again drew the first blood on the second day of the second Test, bowling overnight batsman Moeen Ali for 10 in the third over.
Taijul removed danger-man Ben Stokes, the man of the match in the first Test, for a duck, two overs later as Mominul Haque took a diving catch at forward short leg.
Root and Bairstow lifted England from a precarious 69-5 before Mehedi returned for his second spell of the day to strike in the first ball and end their partnership.
He hit Bairstow plumb in front and the batsman left the crease without waiting to review the leg-before decision.
Debutant Zafar Ansari survived a catch on the fifth ball he faced but could contribute just 13 before Mehedi forced him to offer a catch at slip to Shuvagata Hom to complete his five-wicket haul.
Taijul provided Bangladesh a huge breakthrough when he hit Root plumb in his back foot to end his lone fight and expose England’s tail finally.
Chris Woakes, 12 not out and Adil Rashid, seven not out, survived until the break and are now facing a mammoth task to take England to a respectable position.