ENG vs BAN | Malan on the rampage as England’s firepower proves too much for Bangladesh
England had made 386 for six in its last ODI World Cup game against Bangladesh in 2019. To watch the mismatch again four years later was like watching a Hollywood disaster film when you already knew the ending. But there is a thick line between a humbling defeat and going down fighting. This 137-run loss felt like the latter despite the margin.
As opener Dawid Malan (140, 107b, 16×4, 5×6) nudged Shakib Al Hasan to covers at the HPCA Stadium here and celebrated becoming England’s oldest male World Cup centurion at 36 years and 37 days, he announced the arrival of the Three Lions with their first win of this World Cup on Tuesday.
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Defending 364, left-arm seamer Reece Topley, replacing Moeen Ali in the XI, then took four wickets, including two in two with the new ball.
Bangladesh now needed to focus on building a solid partnership before trying to score aggressively. Litton Das scored a half-century from 38 balls, with seven fours and a six, and added 72 with Mushfiqur Rahim, who also hit a fifty. But Bangladesh’s chase was tripped when Litton was caught behind off Chris Woakes for 72.
It all began innocently in the morning as Malan drove a full ball from Mustafizur Rahman through covers for four in the first over.
However, as the innings progressed, England seemed determined to scale a huge total. Malan’s confidence shone as he reached his maiden ODI World Cup century in 91 balls. Jonny Bairstow, though unable to convert his third World Cup fifty, contributed significantly in a 115-run opening stand.
Joe Root played a variety of shots, including sweeps and reverse sweeps, in his enterprising knock of 82, during which he also became England’s all-time leading run-scorer in World Cups, surpassing Graham Gooch’s record of 897 runs.
Asked to bat first, England exploited favourable conditions with short, square boundaries. Bairstow and Malan benefited from over-pitched or short deliveries.
The fielders’ initial reluctance to dive on an iffy outfield where the ground staff were seen scattering dry grass over the dusty patches before the start of play perhaps helped England’s early momentum.
However, from 298 for three in 40 overs, Shoriful Islam’s pace variations and excellent ground fielding limited England to just 66 for six from the last 10. It still proved too steep a mountain to climb for Bangladesh.
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