England’s punching power faltered again as Bangladesh, following a 16-run victory in Dhaka, aided a dramatic collapse in a 3-0 T20 series win.
Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler’s 95-run streak took England to 100 for one after 13 overs to pursue 159, but the pair were sacked from back-to-back balls before the wheels fell off in that dead rubber.
The Tourists lost five for 28 as their challenge waned, although Chris Woakes, who needed 27 from the finals, hit the first two balls for four before dropping to 142 for six.
England’s flimsy hitting has been a constant throughout this series and will again be the talk of the town after failing to build on Malan’s 53 balls from 47 and 40 balls from 31 from Buttler, who batted for the first time in his international career as part three one realigned top order.
Buttler had previously won the toss for the first time in nine attempts that year, but an unchanged England delivered a sloppy field performance riddled with fundamental errors at the border, while Rehan Ahmed and Ben Duckett spilled easy catches, both ahead of Jofra Archer.
Litton Das, who was knocked down by Duckett with 51, had the best hit with 73 from 57 balls and hit 84 with Najmul Hossain Shanto contributing an undefeated 47 from 36 deliveries in Bangladesh’s 158 for two.
It proved a winning result, despite England’s seamen finishing strongly in their last task of a long winter and Bangladesh conceding just 27 in their last five overs.
Litton calmed down after a mixed edge brought the first of 10 fours, with Buttler turning to Adil Rashid in the third over after ineffective opening jabs from Sam Curran and Woakes.
Archer should have been in the wickets column but had to cover his eyes as Ahmed settled under a skier, only for the ball to drift through his fingertips to spare Rony Talukdar, who was on his way for 24, after a backswing caught a toe by Rashid – over and ballooned back to the bowler.
Najmul tried to create some urgency by slog-swept Moeen Ali and then hammered fellow Ahmed for sixes on either side of Litton, who went to a 41-ball fifty. Litton had some respite shortly after when an attacking Duckett failed to get hold of himself at depth, which elicited a crooked smile from Archer.
Litton soon had better luck with a lead over Buttler before putting one in the stands, but the opener’s luck ran out when he pulled a slower ball infield from Chris Jordan to Phil Salt.
England’s missing fields meant Archer’s numbers of 4-0-33-0 were particularly unlucky, but he did his part to tie Najmul and Shakib Al Hasan to death.
The Yorkers from Jordan and Curran, who only conceded four singles in an excellent final, were extremely effective.
Salt was stumped for a golden duck after resuming his opening partnership with Malan, who went lbw after Taskin tapped Ahmed in his pads. Malan reluctantly checked and the decision on the field was overturned after the ball passed the racquet despite uncertainty over whether a spike was detected.
Bangladesh didn’t seem too concerned, and Malan capitalized for six with a punch at Bangladeshi debutant Tanvir Islam. Buttler clocked Taskin and Shakib to the limit while he and Malan locked into a rhythm.
With Mustafizur Rahman struggling to escape, Buttler and Malan Taskin sent four each before the England captain cleared the rope with a direct hit from Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
Malan hit a 43-ball fifty, but both set-batters died in back-to-back deliveries.
Malan bounced through to Litton in front of Mustafizur before Buttler was close to his crease after Mehidy’s direct hit and found the one stump to aim for despite throwing off balance from the point.
It was the turning point in the competition.
While Moeen and Duckett initially provided some order with a few boundaries, they were both dismissed in the same taskin over. Moeen holed in deep midwicket while Duckett lost his off stump when Taskin went full and straight.
Woakes sent on Hasan Mahmud for consecutive fours early in the 20th to leave England, who needed 19 balls from four, but the Bangladesh quickly regained his composure to help his side get over the line.