England produced a strong all-round performance on Wednesday, to defeat Bangladesh by four wickets securing a 2-1 series victory, in what was a tense series finale in Chittagong.
England were set a tough looking target of 277 to chase on a turning track in humid conditions, but half-centuries from Sam Billings and Ben Duckett ensured that Bangladesh fell to their first home ODI defeat since 2014.
After unpleasant scenes between the sides during Sunday’s second game, Wednesday’s contest went by without any real incidents.
Early in the day, Jos Buttler had won the toss for a third consecutive time and opted to put Bangladesh in to bat. A record opening stand of 80 (against England) from Tamil Iqbal (45) and Imrul Kayes (46) saw Bangladesh get off to a strong start.
Ben Stokes made the crucial breakthrough with Kayes finding sub fielder Liam Dawson at square leg. The impressive Adil Rashid got his first of four wickets on the day by deceiving Iqbal with James Vince taking an easy catch.
Rashid produced a tight spell of bowling, picking up the wickets of Mahmudullah and Sabhir Rahman, leaving Bangladesh at 176-4. Moeen Ali was next to get in on the act ,removing Shakib Al Hasan to finish up with an economical spell of 1-42.
Rashid picked up his final wicket as he dismissed Nasir Hossain shortly after to finish up with an excellent 4-43 from his 10 overs.
A late 85 run partnership between Mushfiqur Rahim (67 not out) and Mosaddek Hossain (38 not out) saw Bangladesh gain some serious momentum towards the end of their innings.
England would require a record chase on the ground and got off to a strong start with James Vince departing for 32 with the score at 63/1. Billings made a case for more involvement in the first team with a bright innings of 62, his maiden one-day fifty.
Duckett made his second fifty of the series and top scored with 63 and truly set up the chase. But when Shafiul Islam clean bowled Jonny Bairstow for 15 and when Duckett was out soon after, England were in a spot of bother at 179/4, needing another 99 runs for the win.
A priceless partnership of 48 between Stokes and Buttler brought England closer to the finishing line, but Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza gave his side a chance by removing Buttler for a patient 25.
Mortaza was involved shortly after, dismissing Moeen for just 1 as England were still 44 runs short of their target. But England’s player of the year for 2016 Chris Woakes joined Stokes in the middle and saw England home with plenty to spare despite the odd scare.
The victory is a serious display of the strength in depth available at England’s disposal. Their top three had a combined total of just 14 appearances with Joe Root, Alex Hales and Jason Roy now left knowing they have serious competition for their places.
Bangladesh had won their six home One Day International series and are a serious team at this format. This series win strengthens the argument that England have improved hugely in the ODI arena in the last 18 months.
Who was England's man of the series?
Top Score 101
Bowling: 16 overs 2/63
Top Score: 33*
Bowling: 29 overs – 10 wickets – 4/43
Top Score: 63
Top Score: 63