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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Malik Ouzia

Cricket World Cup: Dawid Malan and Reece Topley lead England to dominant win over Bangladesh

Dawid Malan’s first Cricket World Cup century and a potent new-ball spell from Reece Topley saw England get their campaign back on track with a crushing 137-run victory over Bangladesh in Dharamshala.

Having been routed by nine wickets in their opening game defeat by New Zealand, Jos Buttler’s side were in need of an immediate response and got it, with Malan’s 140 from just 107 balls helping to set a commanding total of 364 for nine.

Topley ripped through Bangladesh’s top order at the start of the reply, taking three wickets in his first three overs to immediately justify his return to the side, before returning later to add a fourth as the Tigers were bowled out with 10 balls to spare.

England’s score was their third highest in World Cups but might easily have been more, with the 400 mark seemingly well within reach before a late fightback from Bangladesh’s bowlers limited the damage at the death.

Half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, both of whom shared hundred partnerships with Malan, had laid the ideal platform, but having been 292 for two in the 40th over, England lost regular wickets while trying to muster a grandstand finish, as Mahedi Hasan (four for 71) and Shoriful Islam (three for 75) held their nerve. In the end, though, the collapse was of little consequence.

Bairstow’s 50 on the occasion of his 100th ODI cap was his first in the format since returning from the broken leg he suffered last year, while Root’s 82 from 68 balls followed his 77 against New Zealand to make further light of concerns over his pre-tournament form.

Malan, though, was the headline act, continuing his remarkable run in ODIs with a sixth century in just 23 career innings, each of those coming in a different country since the start of last year’s home summer.

Jonny Bairstow hit 50 on his 100th ODI cap and first since breaking his leg in a freak accident (Getty Images)

“It was a really nice wicket,” said Malan, who flayed 16 fours and five sixes. “It got a bit slower as it went on, but it was an absolute belter to start with.”

Malan’s place in England’s World Cup plans had still been in question as recently as a month ago, but a player-of-the-series showing on home soil against New Zealand made the 36-year-old undroppable.

The Yorkshire batter took the early initiative after Bangladesh had won the toss and elected to bowl, surviving a review for caught behind en route to his fastest ODI half-century, from 39 balls.

Shakib Al Hasan cleaned up Bairstow in the sole breakthrough inside the first half of the innings, but in the desperate search for wickets, the Bangladesh captain had gambled on bowling himself out with 18 overs left and must have feared paying the price.

Malan reached his hundred from 91 balls and then flipped into overdrive, going four, six, six, four against Mehidy Hasan, whose six overs cost 55 runs.

A slower ball from Mahedi, however, did for the opener soon after, before Root and Liam Livingstone fell in successive deliveries to Shoriful, who had already brought a brisk end to Buttler’s cameo of 20 from 10. In all, a lower order weakened slightly by the inclusion of Topley in place of Moeen Ali could muster only 66 runs for six wickets from the final 10 overs.

Reece Topley took four wickets as England bounced back from New Zealand loss in style (REUTERS)

With Ben Stokes still sidelined by a hip injury, however, England’s one selection change from the Black Caps thrashing was soon paying dividends as Topley removed Tanzid Hasan and Najmul Shanto for one and nought in successive balls in his first over, then claimed the prized wicket of Shakib with a glorious swinging delivery in his third.

From the other end, Chris Woakes looked short of rhythm, Liton Das taking three boundaries from his first over of the reply, but Buttler kept faith with the seamer, who had Mehidy caught behind to leave Bangladesh four down inside the powerplay.

Das played beautifully for his 76 from 66 balls, but with the run rate spiralling, was undone by Woakes’ return to the attack as he, too, edged through to ‘keeper Buttler. Mushfiqur Rahim became Topley’s final victim soon after reaching his own half-century, the Surrey man finishing with figures of four for 43 from 10 overs.

By now Bangladesh were batting with net run rate in mind, but still could not quite see out their allocation. Adil Rashid, Mark Wood and Livingstone got amongst the wickets before Sam Curran made it a sweep for England’s bowlers in bizarre fashion, denied by a stubborn bail despite hitting Taskin Ahmed’s leg stump - only to spear into middle next ball.

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