England accused Bangladesh of giving Jos Buttler a send off and then shoulder barging at the post match handshakes as the one-day series boiled over in front of a partisan crowd on a hot and humid night in Dhaka.
Buttler, the England captain, had to be ushered away by the umpires after squaring up to Bangladesh fielders when he was given out lbw on review just as he looked set to win the game and series for England.
Buttler said he did not like Bangladesh celebrating “in my face” and he also reacted to something shouted at him by batsman Mahmadullah as Bangladesh levelled the series with a 34 run win.
“Mainly just the way they celebrated by running towards me and giving me a bit of a send-off,” said Buttler when asked why he lost his cool. “But emotions were running high, they were obviously delighted to get the wicket, maybe I should have just walked away.”
The needle continued after the match when Ben Stokes, the vice-captain, was angered by Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal as the two teams lined up to shake hands.
Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain, admitted the both teams went too far. “I don’t know who spoke to Buttler. I was focusing on the review that I took, and then I got excited by the decision,” he said. “Sometimes, a lot of things happen in the heat of the moment. But players from both sides should control themselves.”
Match referee Javagal Srinath will now be considering what action if any to take against players from both sides. The bad blood came towards the end of another brilliant match which has set up a spicy decider in Chittagong on Wednesday.
“The characters we have in our side, we have some very feisty guys who want to win,” said Buttler. “There’s a line that we have to stick to but I still want us to be positive and trying to attack and win the game.”
Mortaza carried his team by leading superbly with both bat and ball. First he launched the late order counter attack hitting 44 off 29 balls to give his side a target to defend. He delivered the early wickets his team needed with the new ball before coming back to take the last England wicket.
This England team backs itself to chase down mammoth totals but seemed spooked by the low target of 239 with a succession of batsmen getting themselves out to poor shots. Normally in this part of the world it is the spinning ball that induces panic and mistakes but England were undone by the kind of seam bowling they are brought up on back home. Eight of their ten wickets fell to pace.
“The only thing that really disappoints me is that I thought we were a little bit tentative,” said Buttler. “I thought we could have maybe gone out there and tried to stamp our authority on the run chase. I think that’s what we want to be as a side now. I’d rather be 60 for three off 10 than trying to work our way there.”
Ducks for Ben Duckett and Stokes, the heroes with the bat from the first game, put England in trouble and left the crowd sensing blood. England needed inspiration and it came from Buttler. At 31 for four they had recorded their lowest ten over score since the last World Cup and Buttler knew he had to do something to drag his side out of their malaise.
He immediately went on the offensive batting out of his crease and advancing on both spinners and pacemen. He clipped his first ball through the leg side for four and was soon hitting the ball with awesome power.
He smoked the ball to the boundary three times in one over as Taskin Ahmed dropped short and wide outside off stump, the ball issuing an audible crack as it hit the advertising boards with the crowd falling deathly silent at every big England shot.
Jonny Bairstow was out of sorts and struggling with his timing but hung around as the pair put on 50 in 42 balls. Another ten overs of England’s two wicketkeeper batsmen and it was game over with Buttler effortlessly moving to his fifty without playing a false stroke.
Mortaza switched Taskin to the other end and he immediately found more life out of the pitch. The local boy, who was swamped in the streets by fans last month when his action was cleared by the ICC, was roared on by the crowd and broke the partnership when Bairstow’s big drive was edged behind. It sparked the collapse that saw England lose four wickets in five overs.
Moeen Ali toe ended an ugly swipe off Mossadek Hosain with Shakib taking a brilliant catch over his head as the pressure piled back on England. They bat deep and with Buttler in such fine form victory was still there for the taking. But Taskin fired in a quicker ball and Buttler moving across his stumps missed the flick off the pads.
Taskin beat his arms against his legs imploring local umpire Sharfuddoula to give the decision. Bangladesh immediately went for the review when the umpire signalled leg bye, removing the doubt Buttler might have hit it.
Once ball tracking proved the ball had pitched in line with leg stump, Buttler was a goner. In his next over Taskin beat Chris Woakes for pace but some late hitting from last pair Adil Rashid and Jake Ball briefly threatened a comeback before Mortaza applied the finishing touch.
That his team had a chance was down to Mahmadullah’s crabby 75 from 88 balls and Mortaza’s own cameo of two fours and three sixes that put a dent in a very good England seam bowling display. There is little to choose between the two sides and in Chittagong England will have to keep their emotions in check if they are to beat opponents who are no longer the pushovers of past tours here.