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Masterful Malan gives England series lead

Masterful Malan gives England series lead

Masterful Malan gives England series lead

Dawid Malan | Player of the Match: The time here in Bangladesh (in the BPL) definitely helped me. It was really tough out there. I was telling Jos that if they got another 30-40 runs, we'd really have a tough time. Happy to dig in there and get across the line in the end. I think it's expected (to have a tough chase) on a pitch like this. We did well to have a couple of partnerships, Bangladesh did bounce back well and we know how good their spin attack is. He (Rashid) reminds us always about how good his batting skills are. He handled the pressure really well.

A masterful century from Dawid Malan gave England a 1-0 series lead against Bangladesh in the three-match ODI series on Wednesday (March 1). Malan displayed excellent game awareness as England were forced to ditch their aggressive brand of cricket on a tricky surface in Dhaka in pursuit of 210. Eventually, they huffed and puffed before getting home with eight balls to spare.

England didn't get off to the greatest of starts as Jason Roy perished in the very first over of the chase, getting a leading edge. That brought Malan out to the middle very early and after a watchful start, the left-hander got hold of Taijul Islam for a six. Taijul though made a strong comeback as he bowled Phil Salt in his second over before getting rid of James Vince to put England under the pump. While Malan fetched another six off Taijul, Bangladesh continued to be on top with Taskin Ahmed returning to find the outside edge of Jos Buttler.

Will Jacks and Malan then slowly rebuilt the innings and guided the visitors past the 100-run mark at the halfway stage. But it was Bangladesh who exerted their dominance yet again with Mehidy Hasan getting into the act. Jacks only managed to miscue a pull shot and was dismissed as England now were completely reliant on Malan to get the job done. Bangladesh kept posing questions throughout the innings, making it a hard toil for the English batters who are renowned for batting with freedom.

Malan himself had to curb his instincts and apply himself on this surface to finally bring up a fifty off 92 deliveries. He finally broke free with a four and a six off successive deliveries off Mehidy. But just when it appeared like Bangladesh were losing control, Mehidy provided them with a breakthrough as Moeen was castled for a stuttering 32-ball 14. Taijul then added to his tally by sending Chris Woakes back to the pavilion but it was the long tail of England that came to the fore.

Adil Rashid played the ideal role at the other end when England needed 49 more runs for a win at that stage with just three wickets in hand. Malan smoked Taijul for his third six of the innings and kept rotating the strike alongside Rashid to eat into the target before an on-drive helped him bring up his fourth ODI ton. With just 12 more runs needed at that stage. England got home in the penultimate over.

Shanto got into a shell with wickets falling at the other end and Mahmudullah also took time at the other end to settle down. Shanto brought up a fifty off 67 deliveries and Bangladesh needed both the batters to bat deep into the innings. But once Rashid broke the half-century stand, England were all over the home side. Wood returned to remove Mahmudullah and Jacks also got into the wickets column by dismissing Afif Hossain. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who fared well against India recently, couldn't lift his side as Bangladesh were bowled out for just 209. Given how the chase panned out, a few more runs from the hosts would have definitely made the contest a lot more interesting.

Earlier in the day, Bangladesh made only 209 despite making a promising start, racing to 33 for no loss inside the first five overs. The returning Tamim Iqbal was bowled by Mark Wood after Woakes trapped Litton Das plumb in front at the other end. That forced Najmul Shanto and Mushfiqur Rahim to try and rebuild the innings. However, Rahim's struggles came to an end with Rashid dismissing him before Moeen castled the key man Shakib.

Brief scores: Bangladesh209 in 47.2 overs (Najmul Shanto 58, Mahmudullah 31; Mark Wood 2/35, Moeen Ali 2/35) lost to England 212/7 in 48.4 overs (Dawid Malan 114*; Taijul Islam 3/54, Mehidy Hasan 2/35) by three wickets

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