England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been in the headlines in recent days for all the wrong reasons but on Wednesday against Bangladesh he put the finishing touch, alongside Chris Woakes, as the visitors sealed the three-match ODI series 2-1 at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong following their four-wicket win in the decider.
Stokes remained undefeated on 47 off 48 balls, featuring a four and two sixes, while Woakes was unbeaten on 27 off 18 balls with the help of three boundaries and a maximum.
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England's Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes celebrate following their series win over Bangladesh DHAKA TRIBUNE
England's chase could have taken an interesting turn at the end if Imrul Kayes had held on to a straightforward opportunity off the bowling of Taskin Ahmed in the 47th over. Woakes, then on 17, went on to score 10 more vital runs as Bangladesh were left to ponder what might have been.
Earlier in their chase, openers James Vince and Sam Billings put together a 63-run stand before the former was dismissed for a 37-ball 32, trapped in front by Nasir Hossain (1/53), who lived up to his reputation of being a partnership breaker.
Top-scorer Ben Duckett (63) then joined Billings (62) at the crease as the second wicket partnership added 64 runs. Billings was then dismissed by Mosaddek Hossain (1/22) after trying in vain to clear the ropes with Imrul taking the catch.
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England half-centurion Ben Duckett sweeps DHAKA TRIBUNE
Jonny Bairstow (15) continued his poor form in the series as he was cleaned up by Shafiul Islam (2/61). He had earlier made 35 and nought in the previous two games.
The Tigers were soon celebrating as Duckett was also dismissed by Shafiul, leaving England 179/4.
England captain Jos Buttler (25) then arrived at the crease and struck some lusty blows but just when it appeared he was settling down, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza (2/51) intervened.
Mashrafe also deceived Moeen Ali (one), courtesy an off-cutter, to give the Tigers brief hope of pulling off a memorable win, and in the process, their seventh consecutive ODI series victory at home.
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Bangladesh's Shafiul Islam leaps into the air in joy after dismissing England's Jonny Bairstow DHAKA TRIBUNE
But Stokes and Woakes nullified the home side's threat to take the tourists to their destination with 13 balls in hand.
Earlier in the day, an unbroken 85-run stand for the seventh wicket between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mosaddek guided Bangladesh to a challenging total of 277/6 from their 50 overs.
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Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim plays a shot on way to his unbeaten half-century DHAKA TRIBUNE
Mushfiq, who has not been in the best of touch recently, posted a much-needed unbeaten 62-ball 67, featuring four fours and a six, while Mosaddek chipped in with a quickfire undefeated 39-ball 38, studded with four boundaries.
Bangladesh had made a solid start after being asked to bat first by Buttler.
Local lad Tamim Iqbal (45) and Imrul (46) put together an 80-run association for the opening wicket before the latter departed.
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Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal cuts one on way to reaching the 5000-run club in ODIs DHAKA TRIBUNE
In the meantime, Tamim reached a milestone when he scored 38. He became the first Bangladesh batsman to join the 5000-run club in ODIs. He achieved this landmark in his 158th innings.
Following the openers' departures, Mahmudullah (six) was also dismissed cheaply.
Sabbir Rahman though remained determined as he made a fine 46-ball 49 with the help of five fours.
However, following Sabbir's dismissal, Shakib al Hasan and Nasir also made their way to the dressing room in quick succession; both departing having made four each. Bangladesh were slightly in a spot of bother on 192/6 inside the 39th over.
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Bangladesh's Mosaddek Hossain pulls DHAKA TRIBUNE
Mushfiq and Mosaddek though aided the Tigers' cause by hammering some late boundaries to steer the Tigers to a fighting total.
Adil Rashid was the wrecker in chief for the visitors, picking up four wickets while Stokes and Moeen took one each.
Bangladesh remained unchanged in the third ODI while the visitors made two changes, bringing in Billings and Liam Plunkett in place of Jason Roy (injury) and David Willey (dropped) respectively.
278/6 in 47.5 overs (Duckett 63, Billings 62, Stokes 47*, Mashrafe 2/51, Shafiul 2/61) beat BANGLADESH
277/6 in 50 overs (Mushfiq 67*, Sabbir 49, Kayes 46, Tamim 45, Rashid 4/43) by four wickets
Player of the match:
Player of the series:
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Shakib al Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe bin Mortaza (C), Nasir Hossain, Shafiul Islam and Taskin Ahmed
Sam Billings, James Vince, Ben Duckett, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (C & WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jake Ball, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett