Malan, in excellent form, hammered five sixes on his way to a career-best one-day international score. Meanwhile, Topley’s exceptional bowling performance, taking 4-43, played a crucial role in the defending champions securing a convincing 137-run victory. England posted a formidable total of 364-9 in Dharamsala.
England seemed poised for an even higher total when they were at 296-2 in the 40th over. However, disciplined bowling by paceman Shoriful Islam and off-spinner Mahedi Hasan, who took seven wickets between them, caused England to lose some momentum.
Bangladesh made an explosive start to their chase, with Liton Das striking three consecutive fours off the first over bowled by Chris Woakes. Nevertheless, Bangladesh quickly found themselves at 14-2, as Tanzid Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto struggled to handle Topley’s pace and movement. Topley, who replaced Moeen Ali in the lineup, continued to make an impact, reducing Bangladesh to 26-3 when he dismissed captain Shakib Al Hasan.
Woakes joined the party by inducing an edge from Mehidy Hasan Miraz, with England captain Jos Buttler making the catch behind the stumps. Liton, despite his fine innings, was eventually dismissed for 76 in the 21st over when he edged a slower ball from Woakes.
Topley celebrated his fourth wicket when Mushfiqur Rahim (51) sent a shot to deep third man, where Adil Rashid took a safe catch. As the required run rate continued to climb, the outcome appeared increasingly inevitable, and the match lost its competitive edge, ending with some late hitting.
Before this, Dawid Malan, who had replaced Jason Roy as the opener, showcased his brilliance by scoring his fourth ODI century of 2023. Malan’s timing and power were on full display at the picturesque Himalayan ground. His opening partner, Jonny Bairstow, reached a half-century in his 100th ODI but was bowled by Shakib for 52, leaving England at 115-1 in the 18th over.
Former Test captain Joe Root picked up where Bairstow left off, displaying his aggressive intent with a ramp shot for six. Malan, at the age of 36, reached a stylish century in 91 balls and then unleashed a devastating onslaught, smashing 20 runs off just four balls during a Mehidy over.
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Bangladesh finally got the breakthrough they desperately needed when Mahedi bowled Malan. Jos Buttler, filling in for the injured Ben Stokes, briefly showed his prowess with the bat before departing for 20 off 10 balls. Root, who is now England’s all-time top scorer at World Cups, overtook Graham Gooch but holed out for 82, top-edging a Shoriful delivery that was caught by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur.
Liam Livingstone had his off-stump rattled on the very first ball he faced, contributing to England’s loss of momentum. Despite wickets falling consistently, Shoriful ended with figures of 3-75, and Mahedi took 4-71. However, the total proved to be well beyond Bangladesh’s reach.
In the World Cup, the ten participating teams compete in a single round-robin format, playing against each other once. The top four teams from this round-robin stage will advance to the semi-finals.
(With AFP inputs)