CHITTAGONG: Moeen Ali survived five reviews to hit an unbeaten half-century and help revive England after teenage debutant Mehedi Hasan stunned their top order to give Bangladesh the upper hand in the first Test on Thursday.
Teenage off-spinner Mehedi and experienced left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan shared five wickets between them as Bangladesh reduced England to 173-5 at tea on the opening day in Chittagong.
Moeen, batting at number five, struck eight fours and a six on his way to 61, but not before a string of nervous reviews kept his innings afloat.
He was given out three times by umpire Kumar Dharmasena but his decisions were overturned on each occasion.
He was given out on 17 off Shakib before lunch — and then twice on the same score, in the first over after the break, off the same bowler. Two separate reviews from Bangladesh failed.
Bangladesh reduced England to 81-3 in the first session and struck again through persistent bowling from Mehedi, who removed Joe Root for 40 after Shakib’s eventful over.
Root had looked in good touch until he edged one that took a deflection off wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim’s gloves before being grabbed by Sabbir Rahman at slip.
Shakib then bowled Ben Stokes (18) for his second wicket, but Jonny Bairstow stood firm with an unbeaten 26 to give Ali some company in their unbroken 67-run sixth wicket stand.
Earlier, in the opening session, 18-year-old Mehedi bowled Ben Duckett for 14 before trapping Gary Ballance for one.
Shakib removed Alastair Cook for just four, in a disappointing start for the skipper as he became England’s most capped player with 134 Tests.
After Cook won the toss and elected to bat in the first of the two Tests, England immediately faced a barrage of spin bowling on a pitch offering plenty of turn.
Mehedi opened the attack for the hosts, beating Duckett on several occasions before he spun one beautifully to hit the middle stump as soon as the England debutant offered some room.
Three balls later Cook was also gone, attempting a sweep shot off Shakib only for the ball to hit him on the forearm and then the body before smashing onto the stumps.
Ballance was initially given not out lbw, but Bangladesh reviewed the decision in their favour, with the replay showing the ball had struck his pad on the back foot first before touching the bat.
England have included Gareth Batty in the side, giving the Surrey captain his first national cap in more than 11 years, while Bangladesh have handed batsman Sabbir his debut.