Dhaka: England cricketer Ben Stokes said he was relishing his role as vice-captain after his brief team-talk during an injury break helped the visitors regroup and beat Bangladesh by 21 runs in Friday’s first one-day international.
Bangladesh, replying to England's 309-8, appeared to be coasting towards their target with opener Imrul Kayes (112) clubbing a century and racking up a 118-run partnership with all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
But Kayes suffered a muscle cramp while batting on 81, halting the game for a few minutes and allowing Stokes to call his team-mates and hold a brief talk.
England captain Jos Buttler in the post-match press conference said Stokes’ words were the catalyst in helping the team claw their way back into the contest.
Debutant pace bowler Jake Ball provided the twist soon with two wickets in two balls as he removed Shakib for 79 and then bowled young Mosaddek Hossain off the next ball to trigger a collapse.
England claimed the last six wickets for 17 runs to dismiss Bangladesh finally for 288 runs in 47.5 overs, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“The two guys were in and they were going to win it unless we got them out,” Stokes told reporters in Dhaka on Saturday.
“A talk like that switches everyone back on rather than thinking ‘oh this game is going to go unless we get a wicket.’
“After that, everyone went away and thought, right, let’s get two and try to kill the game off".
The 25-year old, who set up England’s total with 101 off 100 balls, his maiden ODI century, said he was always ready to reduce the workload of new captain Buttler, who has been standing in for regular skipper Eoin Morgan in the three-match series.
“Farby (assistant coach Paul Farbrace) mentioned to me how much Jos has on his plate as keeper and captain,” said Stokes.
“He gave me the freedom of, if I think of something, rather than going to Jos, if I think that it’s necessary then I’ll go and talk it through with the bowler, or if there are any field placing.”
England play Bangladesh in the second one-day international at the same Dhaka venue on Sunday.
The two teams move to Chittagong for the third and final match of the series on 12 October.