Bangladesh have scripted histroy be winning the Test against England in their own country     Getty Images
Bangladesh have scripted history by winning the Test against England in their own country Getty Images

The Barmy Army had found their voice at tea. The Bangladesh fielders looked determined glum but determined. Alastair Cook, the man with 10,000 Test runs under his belt and a giant on subcontinent tracks, had survived a couple of close appeals to bat on till tea. For once in the series, Ben Duckett looked confident something that seemed impossible after he dropped that dolly in the morning. England had a seemingly bottomless batting line-up, even with Gary Balance in mind. Though they were chasing 272, the second session at Mirpur had gone entirely England s way. Even the Happy Birthday Courtney Walsh banner seemed to be fluttering with less gusto. FULL Cricket Scorecard: Bangladesh vs England, 2nd Test at Mirpur

England were 100 after 23 overs. Not only had they not lost a wicket, they had also been on top. The flurry of boundaries had led Mushfiqur to take those hawks around the bat away, one by one. Duckett had, by some sorcery, been able to shed off his fragility. He looked like a man who meant business, the man from the ODI series. Cook, on the other hand, was simply being Cook, which translates to knowing-what-he-is-doing. Another 100-run dry session would have shut the doors on Bangladesh.

The last time Mushfiqur Rahim made international news was back in March when he had celebrated before winning an ICC World T20 match against India before throwing it away and following that with celebrating an Indian exit on social media. It was perhaps immature, but you could see how much the defeat had hurt the little man who bats out of his skin, keeps wickets with enthusiasm, and cheers his teammates with a voice that would out-decibel the acceptable limits in several cities.

Just after the match Michael Atherton mentioned how Alastair Cook hated to lose . The words would not have been lost on Mushfiqur either. You could sense what was going on. He had not lost his voice, but the enthusiasm was not Mushfiqur-level.

Mehedi Hasan Miraz is 19. In fact, he was 18 before this series had started. He bowls off-breaks, but so does Gareth Batty, more than twice Mehedi s age. Unlike Batty, however, Mehedi was retained for Mirpur, for he had taken 6 for 80 and 1 for 58 on debut.

Mehedi is no ordinary off-spinner. No, this is not a premature comment. The series has been played on rank turners, but it is not easy for a debutant spinner to get things right. You need to learn to not get carried away. If the pitch assists you, you need to learn to curb your enthusiasm, for you may end up sacrificing accuracy for a turn, making things easier for batsmen. The trick, as the greatest practitioners of the art typically agree upon, is to be accurate and no-nonsense; the pitch will do the rest. ALSO READ: Incompetent England gift Bangladesh a much-anticipated win

Mehedi has, among other things in his formidable armour, the off-break and the one that runs through at astonishing pace. Not only are both of these vicious, he can bowl them without a considerable change of action. Duckett knew of both. He played for the turn the first ball after tea. The brilliantly disguised the straight delivery crashed onto the stumps.

Mehedi told Atherton that he had been advised by the senior men on the side, which was expected when you have a giant of Shakib Al Hasan s stature in the side. Shakib is not a giant only with the ball at Test level, but he knows a thing or two about spin bowling, especially in these conditions.

More importantly, for years, Shakib has been Bangladesh cricket. Bangladesh have not played competitive international cricket for some time now, but Shakib has rubbed shoulders with the best in business, albeit in other formats. He knows what it takes to win matches. He knows the difference between winning and almost winning.

Joe Root remained criminally loyal to his surname against Shakib. The half-cocked movement on a turning track against the man who knew more about the pitch than anyone else in the world was akin to suicide. He was trapped in front, and that was that. READ: Mehedi Hasan, his magical spell and record books

Cook stared nonchalantly. He had seen worse in his decade-long career. He went for the sweep. Perhaps he had felt it was the safest option against young Mehedi. Kumar Dharmasena gave him leg-before. Cook challenged. It had brushed something, probably a molecule of his glove (certainly not more than that), and Cook stayed on.

Mushfiqur took the hawks from the leg-side away. He tempted Cook to go for his bread-and-butter push between mid-on and square leg. It was sound logic, for Cook would have to play Mehedi against the turn. A two brought up Cook s fifty, the match hung in the Ballance

You could almost hear the collective groan across the ground when Mushfiqur replaced Shakib with Shuvagata Hom for no apparent reason. It seemed counterintuitive. Cook put a full-toss away to the fence.

But none of this mattered to Mehedi, the boy boasting of the brightest eyes and broadest grin in contemporary cricket. On he came, his guile disguised by the exuberance you associate with a lad barely out of school

There was nothing good about the long-hop, but Ballance had probably been under as much pressure as Dharmasena throughout the series. His eyes lit up, he went for the shot but had probably been a fraction of a second too late: the ball lobbed to Tamim Iqbal for no history in Bangladesh is complete without Tamim at mid-off.

The catch added little to those gems of 104 and 40, but it was only fitting that Tamim made an appearance in that historic fourth-innings scorecard.

Three balls later Moeen Ali did not survive a review.

Hom continued for some inexplicable innings. Cook swept. It seemed plumb, but S Ravi ruled him not out, and though Bangladesh reviewed, technology proudly announced its superiority over naked eye.

Ben Stokes got a single off Mehedi. The boy looked up, saw the most-capped Englishman at the other end, and tossed one up without any fear. Cook defended it. He middled it. He played it with soft hands. Unfortunately, he also played it straight to silly-point.

And Cook walked back, disgruntled, for this time technology would not save him.

Unlike most contemporary bat-pad catchers, flinching probably does not come naturally to Mominul Haque. He watched Cook lean on his defence but kept his eyes on the ball and pouched it with bare hands inches away from the bat and off the ground.

But England had more to offer. Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid had added 99 for the ninth wicket in the first innings. Barring Steven Finn, every single one of them had at least one First-Class hundred.

Stokes and Jonny Bairstow had added 399 for the sixth wicket in at Cape Town in January, but this was no Newlands. The challenges were different. Stokes heaved Mehedi to mid-wicket for four.

Common sense prevailed as Shakib replaced Hom, but the ball sought out Hom anyway: Mehedi got one to rip off the surface; it took Bairstow s edge and soared to Hom at leg-slip.

It was hara-kiri of the worst sort: England had gone to tea while still on top; they had refused to continue the domination; they were pushed back, more metaphorically than literally, and one by one they succumbed to the grand old man and the man-boy of Bangladesh cricket.

The target that had looked achievable at tea had been in a baffling, almost illogical manner reduced to irrelevance. England were still in it, but it would require something superhuman from Stokes. Cook held back debutant Zafar Ansari, promoting Woakes instead.

Stokes and Woakes, a pair of all-rounders with beautifully rhyming surnames but with little common otherwise, blocked and prodded. Stokes pushed one back to Shakib, who flung himself only to drop it. The first 18 overs after tea had produced a mere 27 runs along with those 6 wickets.

Mehedi tossed up. Enough was enough, Stokes decided and lofted it straight over the ropes. There was only one way to seize the advantage. He would not commit the same errors as the others: he would play for a win. He would send those close-in fielders back to the fence.

Stokes attempted the reverse-sweep. Dharmasena gave him out, leg-before. Stokes had edged it.

Shakib bowled one short. Was it a conscious effort to push Stokes on the back-foot, forcing him to play a horizontal bat shot on a pitch with variable bounce? We will never know but Stokes walloped it past mid-off.

Next ball. Short-pitched, check. Variable bounce coming into play, check. The ball kept low, confused Stokes, and hit off, bringing Stokes down on his haunches. And Shakib celebrated with a salute

More men surrounded the batsman. Rashid reviewed the leg-before appeal first ball. It was withheld.

Even more, men approached the batsman. It was, you see, the hat-trick ball. Ansari kept it out, but the next ball took his bat and flew to the leg-side cordon that Shakib and Mushfiqur had been strengthening after every ball. Mominul dropped it but there seemed to be more fielders than empty space on that area: Imrul Kayes, standing close enough to Mominul for a casual viewer to mistake them as a pair of Siamese twins, caught it on the rebound.

No, you cannot take the limelight away from Shakib for long if Bangladesh are closing in on history. That would have been sacrilege.

Two overs passed by. There was a single here and there, but nobody cared. It was not a long wait anyway, for Finn had no review left when Mehedi trapped him leg-before to round off a mad session where England lost a wicket every 13.5 balls.

And they ran on the ground, towards each other, and ran some more, and shook hands with the Englishmen for the formalities and ran some more, for never in their short Test history had they achieved anything like this

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor at CricketCountry. He blogs at and can be followed on Twitter @ovshake42.)