CHITTAGONG, Oct 23: Bangladesh battled to 253-8 at stumps on the fourth day of a thrilling Test here today, needing 33 for their first-ever win against England.
Hopes of an historic Test victory rested with debutant Sabbir Rahman who was unbeaten on 59, after England set the hosts a target of 286 on a crumbling wicket.
Sabbir shared an 87-run stand with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim before England regained the initiative with three quick wickets in the final session.
Off-spinner Gareth Batty broke the late resistance with an awkwardly bouncing delivery that prompted skipper Mushfiqur (39) to give a catch to Gary Ballance at short leg.
Pace bowler Stuart Broad then found some reverse swing to remove Mehedi Hasan (one) and Kamrul Islam (0), putting England back in charge. Batty finished the day with 3-65 while Broad claimed 2-26, but Sabbir kept Bangladesh in contention with a gritty innings that included three fours and two sixes.
Stumps were drawn early due to bad light after England were told they could only use their spinners and not the pace attack in the last five overs, a condition they did not accept.
England�s spinners earlier dismissed Bangladesh�s top five to leave them on 140-5, as Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid chipped in with useful wickets.
Ali removed a positive-looking Shakib Al Hasan for 24 just as the all-rounder was trying to rebuild the innings after Batty trapped Mominul Haque (27) and Mahmudullah (17) in the post-lunch session.
Rashid claimed Imrul Kayes for 43 in the penultimate over before lunch. Kayes, who hit six fours in his 61-ball innings, looked well settled until he misjudged a sweep to get a top edge to Joe Root at slip.
Moeen handed England their first breakthrough when he removed Tamim Iqbal for nine as Ballance took the catch at forward short leg.
Just one ball earlier, Tamim had survived a review after Root took a catch that initially hit the body of a tumbling Ben Stokes at slip. The replay indicated there was no bat or glove involved. England were all out for 240 in their second innings in the fifth over of the morning, after adding just 12 to their overnight tally of 228-8.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam trapped Batty leg before off his second ball after Stuart Broad was run out on his overnight score of 10. Chris Woakes was unbeaten on 19.
The second and final Test will start in Dhaka on October 28.
England 1st innings 293
Bangladesh 1st innings 248
England 2nd innings (overnight 228-8): A Cook c Mahmudullah b Mehedi 12, B Duckett c Mominul b Shakib 15, J Root lbw b Shakib 1, G Ballance c Kayes b Taijul 9, M Ali c Rahim b Shakib 14, B Stokes lbw b Shakib 85, J Bairstow b Kamrul 47, C Woakes not out 19, A Rashid lbw Shakib 9, S Broad run out 10, G Batty lbw b Taijul 3. Extras: (b-3 lb-8 pen 5) 16. Total: (all out; 80.2 overs) 240. Fall of wickets: 1- 26, 2-27, 3-28, 4-36, 5-62, 6-189, 7-197, 8-213, 9-233. Bowling: Mehedi 20-1-58-1, Shakib 33-7-85-5, Taijul 15.2-2-41-2, Kamrul 8-0-24-1, Mahmudullah 1-0-6-0, Shafiul 3-0-10-0
Bangladesh 2nd innings: T Iqbal c Ballance b Ali 9, I Kayes c Root b Rashid 43, M Haque lbw b Batty 27, Mahmudullah lbw b Batty 17, Shakib c Bairstow b Ali 24, M Rahim c Ballance b Batty 39, S Rahman not out 59, M Hasan lbw b Broad 1, K Islam c Ballance b Broad 0, T Islam not out 11. Extras: (b-9, lb-13 w-1) 23. Total: (For 8 wickets, 78 overs) 253. Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-81, 3-103, 4-108, 5-140, 6-227, 7-234, 8-238. Bowling: Batty 17-3-65-3, Ali 14-2-60-2, Woakes 7-3-10-0, Rashid 17-2-55-1, Broad 13-4-26-2, Stokes 10-2-15-0. � AFP