Litton stars as Bangladesh clinch 3-0 sweep of T20 series against world champions England

England started the 159-run chase well but Bangladesh bowlers fought back to grab the 16-run win

Published : 14 March 2023, 12:42 PM
Updated : 14 March 2023, 12:42 PM

A sparkling knock from Litton Das and some gritty bowling have powered Bangladesh to a clinical 3-0 sweep of world champions England with a 16-run win in the third game in Mirpur.

Asked to bat first, openers Litton (73) and Rony Talukdar (24) gave Bangladesh a breezy start before Najmul Hossain Shanto lifted the hosts to 158 for 2 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

In reply, Dawid Malan (53) and skipper Jos Buttler (40) dug deep and took England to 100 for 1. But the Tigers bowlers pulled things back with some accurate bowling and presence of mind on the field.

England lost 5 wickets for 28 runs in five overs in a spectacular batting collapse, which was triggered by Malan’s departure off Mustafizur Rahman (1-14), as the required rate soared from 8 to beyond 12 runs per over.

After reining back the Tigers batters at the death overs, England lost Phil Salt for a duck in the first over off debutant spinner Tanvir Islam (1-17). It was the opener’s fifth dismissal across six games in the series off spinners.

But Malan pulled through with another fine knock with memories of his match-winning unbeaten 114 at the ground in the first ODI still fresh. He sweetly timed the ball for 6 boundaries while swinging the willow hard for two sixes in his 47-ball knock.

Buttler aided him well during his 31-ball stay at the crease, lacing it with 4 boundaries and a sixes. The pair’s 95-run stand threatened to take the game away from Bangladesh as England appeared to be cruising in the 13th over.

However, Mustafizur had other plans and he grabbed his 100th wicket T20Is by having Malan caught behind. He became the second Bangladeshi to reach the landmark after Shakib Al Hasan. Buttler then ran himself out as the Tigers smelled blood in the water.

Taskin Ahmed (2-26) grabbed both his wickets in his last over to send Moeen Ali (9) and Ben Duckett (11) packing. The departure of England’s last recognised batting pair left them needing 36 off the last three overs with the partisan home crowd roaring for the Tigers.

When Hasan Mahmud finished things off with two dot balls and England on 142 for 6, the roof came off the stadium as the limited-overs champions registered only their second 0-3 series defeat in their T20I bilateral series history after England whitewashed them in 2014.

Earlier, Litton made his late but timely mark on the series in the match after failing to capitalise on good starts all through the series. His last notable T20 innings came against India in the T20 World Cup when he hammered a blazing 60.

His opening stand with Rony included some ordinary catching by England as Rehan Ahmed and Duckett both dropped straightforward opportunities. Litton got into the groove by smashing Chris Jordan for two fours, pulled and lofted over mid-off.

After Adil Rashid (1-23) took out Rony with a soft return catch effort, Litton stitched another 84 runs with Shanto.The opener’s 57-ball innings included 10 fours and a six and a total close to 200 appeared on the cards with the duo motoring along.

But England bowlers managed to bring the run rate down in the last five overs and snared Litton’s wicket with three overs to spare.

Shanto, who was adjudged Player of the Series for scoring 144 runs in the series, showed versatility by running between the wickets hard and cracking only a boundary and two sixes in his 36-ball innings.

Man of the Match Litton said: "I'm really happy and my family is really happy. When the bowler had the new ball it was challenging, the wicket was tricky. The way Rony batted in the powerplay, and afterwards Shanto, all the pressure on me is relieved."

After the match, skipper Shakib Al Hasan said: "We were really good in this T20 series, fielded well, bowlers were good, batters contributed. Build on from here for the (T20) World Cup next year.

“We batted really well on a tricky wicket, full credit to Litton and Rony, we were happy with the total, and had to stick to our plan.”

Jos Buttler said: "It's really disappointing to lose but congrats to Bangladesh, they outplayed us and deserve their victory. We came back well, after missing some opportunities in the field.”

“The wicket played better and it was a good score to restrict them to. Losing two wickets in two balls is really poor. I am very disappointed in myself for not diving and it potentially cost us the game."