England’s wafer-thin batting snapped to plunge them to series defeat against Bangladesh.
Jos Buttler’s team had made a mess of things at the back end of their innings in Thursday’s opening loss in Chittagong, but having opted to use a narrow squad of 13 for their first outings since becoming double world champions last November, had no choice but to stick with the same players here.
This time they lost nine wickets for 67 runs outside the fielding restrictions as Bangladesh, opponents ranked as lowly as ninth in this particular format, showed they are nevertheless formidable opponents when conditions are in their favour.
And despite a valiant fightback with the ball, led by an outstanding fast-bowling display by Jofra Archer, the bowling attack were simply not given enough runs to work with.
Archer spoke on the eve of this contest of not expending too much energy on lifeless pitches but he put such observations aside, bending his back to terrorise the Bangladesh batting at each end of the innings.
Hasan Mahmud of Bangladesh celebrates after dismissing England captain Jos Buttler
Bangladesh’s Najmul Hossain Shanto and Taskin Ahmed celebrate after winning the game
Ben Duckett top scored for England with 28 from 28 deliveries but struggled to find rhythm
And when, during a second spell of sustained hostility that saw him hit 93 miles per hour, he struck twice to leave the Bangladeshis 105 for six, and there appeared to be a glimmer of hope.
Having completed figures of three for 13, Archer then watched as Chris Jordan was introduced to the attack for the first time, with 13 runs required off the final dozen deliveries.
But the contest did not reach its final over, as Najmul Hossain Shanto and Taskin Ahmed crunched three boundaries between them.
England took their cues from the hosts as they attempted to mount an unlikely defence of 117, exhausting the power play before turning to their spin options.
By that stage, their seamers had reduced the Bangladeshis to 32 for two: Sam Curran and Archer inducing miscues from a wretched surface.
Despite the turn and bounce extracted by their senior pair of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, however, it was debutant Rehan Ahmed, England’s youngest ever T20 cricketer, that struck the third blow, with just his second delivery, as Towhid Hridoy was suckered by a short, wide one.
However, from the moment that Buttler lost an eighth straight toss this year until Archer’s heroics, England appeared second best.
They tried to instigate a change of fortune by tinkering with their batting order – but demoting Buttler to No 4 was simply a case of sacrificing a strength to cover a weakness.
It allowed Phil Salt and Dawid Malan, who both chewed up deliveries earlier in the week, to form a new first-wicket partnership, making use of the new ball coming onto the bat and disrupting the Bangladeshi bowlers with their contrasting right and left-handedness.
Theoretically, it also placed Buttler, the side’s most adaptable batter as well as its most destructive, into a similar role to his 50-over one.
However, Buttler averages 49.2 in 44 T20 internationals as an opener, and this was the first time he’d not gone in first in five years.
The move backfired. Malan went early to the excellent Taskin, and although England appeared well placed at 50 for one at the end of the power play, the introduction of Shakib Al Hasan for the first over outside it started the demise.
England will be disappointed to have lost so convincingly to a side ranked ninth in this format
Rehan Ahmed became the first teenager to play for the England men’s T20 side on Sunday
Bangladesh’s Najmul Hossain Shanto (right) takes a catch to dismiss England’s Ben Duckett
Hossain Shanto led Bangladesh’s chase of England’s rather lowly total, which was below par
Salt, the only England player to score at better than a run a ball, was duped by a delivery that held up in the pitch and spun, and could only prod a return catch back to the slow left-armer.
Buttler had yet to get his eye when he was undone by a beauty from Hasan Mahmud and when Moeen’s dismissal made it three wickets in as many overs, a makeshift middle-order was exposed.
A partnership of 34 between Ben Duckett and Sam Curran stabilised things but Bangladesh neutered an attempted counter-attack when two stumpings in one Mehidy Hasan Miraz over left the tourists 91 for six and struggling to bat out the overs.
They did so, just. Eighteen-year-old Ahmed marked his third England debut since December with a couple of powerfully-struck fours but his run out off a wide from what should have been the penultimate ball of the innings rather summed things up.
Shanto steadily anchored Bangladesh’s innings in pursuit of England’s first innings total
Sam Curran and Jofra Archer brought early breakthroughs for the visitors in Dhaka
England captain Jos Buttler said afterwards: ‘It was a different game of T20 cricket and credit to Bangladesh for outplaying us.
‘No batter ever wants to get out, it was a wicket which was tough to start your innings on.
‘I thought Ben Duckett did well for us and we just needed someone to stick with him.
‘I thought it was an outstanding bowling performance. Everyone put their hand up and we bowled without luck at times. More runs and we would have put more pressure on. But credit to Bangladesh.’