Sabbir gives Tigers hope of pulling off famous win
A brilliant unbeaten half-century from debutant Sabbir Rahman has Bangladesh dreaming of a famous Test victory over England but the tourists will need just two wickets to win a gripping opening game of the series on Monday.
The Tigers require only 33 runs to claim their biggest Test scalp on day five after reaching 253-8 when bad light brought play to an end with magnificent all-rounder Sabbir still there on 59 in Chittagong.
Imrul Kayes (43) and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (39) also chipped in on another absorbing day at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, where a lively crowd roared with every run which took Bangladesh closer to their victory target of 286.
Veteran spinner Gareth Batty (3-65) claimed key breakthroughs, while Moeen Ali (2-60) and paceman Stuart Broad (2-26) also struck to set up an intriguing climax to what has been a thrilling Test.
Sabbir was dropped by Jonny Bairstow off Broad on 34 and that could yet prove to be costly.
The tourists added only 12 runs to their overnight total of 228-8, with Broad run out going for a quick single and Batty trapped in front by Taijul Islam (2-41).
Moeen, who opened the bowling with fellow spinner Batty, ended an 35-run stand for the first wicket when Tamim Iqbal (9) was taken at short leg and Bangladesh were 81-2 late in the morning session after Adil Rashid got rid of Imrul.
The experienced Batty came to the fore after lunch, trapping Mominul Haque (27) and Mahmudullah (17) leg before in a probing spell to leave the Tigers' hopes of securing a stunning victory looking remote.
Bangladesh were 140-5 after Ali sent Shakib Al Hasan (24) on his way, but Sabbir and skipper Mushfiqur 39) flourished in testing conditions to frustrate England.
Sabbir took a positive approach, backing himself by clattering Moeen into the stands over long-on and dispatching the off-spinner over the ropes again in a counter-attack under huge pressure.
Mushfiqur was watchful at the other end and Broad cut a frustrated figure when Bairstow failed to hang on after Sabbir glanced one down the leg side.
It was a jubilant Batty who finally ended a frustrating stand of 87 when Mushfiqur was caught by a diving Gary Ballance at short-leg with a vicious delivery which turned and bounced.
The left the hosts six down, 59 short of their target, and relying on Sabbir to get them home and he brought up a deserved maiden half-century in the longest format off 76 balls with a classy drive down the ground off Batty.
A fired up Broad got Mehedi Hasan lbw and had his second wicket when Kamrul Islam Rabbi bagged a pair, with Ballance clinging on for a third time close in to leave the Tigers 238-8.
Sabbir and Taijul (11 not out) stood firm under the lights to ensure a compelling Test will be decided on the final day.