England beat Bangladesh by 8 wickets to win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 opener. It was a flat track at the Oval with both sides batting well and lacklustre bowling display from either end.
A snippet of the game:-
England won the toss and fielded first which was on the cards. They made a peculiar decision to play Jake Ball instead of Adil Rashid. Morgan mentioned it was partly due to Bangladesh being comfortable vs spin and injury concern to Woakes.
The decision was justified with Woakes going off after bowling two overs. But, the overall decision to leave Rashid out back-fired. Bangladesh started quietly but got on their strides when Ball was taken for runs by Sarkar. Throughout the Tigers’ innings, England struggled to take wickets with a similar type of bowlers running in every time.
With the help of Tamim Iqbal’s 128 and Mushfiqur’s 78, Bangladesh managed to post 305. England actually came back pretty well in the last six overs where they picked 4 wickets and conceded just 46. It was more of Bangladesh throwing away after a massive platform set by Tamim and Mushfiqur.
In reply, England lost their customary first wicket with Roy getting out caught. Hales and Root then steadied the ship to lay the platform for a strong middle order. Bangladesh lacked wicket-taking options as well, allowed batsmen to settle down.
Hales then threw his wicket away on 95 leaving the game on edge. But Morgan arrived and took control of the game. Together with Root, the England skipper milked runs and hit odd boundaries to keep required in check. The home side finished the job with 8 wickets and 16 balls in hand.
A comprehensive victory to start the Champions Trophy for England. Truth be told, they never looked like nerving throughout the chase. The only concern for them is the bowling department. With Woakes out, it is mandatory to pick a seamer who can bowl yorkers at the death. Maybe, a nod for Willey and Rashid also coming in for Jake Ball, who was taken apart by the Bangladeshis today.
1.) This is the 5th century was Tamim Iqbal since the 2015 World Cup. Bangladesh haven’t lost a game post-World Cup when Tamim scores three figures, they did lose today.
2.) After the 2015 World Cup, Adil Rashid has played in 41 out of the 44 ODIs. A strange decision to leave him out in a big tournament game like Champions Trophy. Thankfully, it didn’t cost them much.
3.) Bangladesh scored just 46 runs from the last six overs losing four wickets. It proved pivotal in the end with them being 20 runs short on a flat surface. Something to work on for the Tigers.
4.) This is the first time in an ODI innings that Mustafizur Rahman has failed to take a wicket. Conceded 51 in 9 overs.
5.) Jason Roy has an average of 5.33 in the last six matches including this match. A poor return from the opener but as the England skipper said, he will back the batsman to come good in this tournament.
6.) Since the World Cup 2015, there have been 37 scores of 300+ among the top 9 teams. 18 of them have been chased down successfully including this match. A vast change to the one-day format.
7.) Root scored his 10th Century today, only Morgan (10) and Trescothick (12) have scored 10 or more centuries in ODIs for England.
It was an easy game for the batters with bowlers struggling to get in terms. England with that easy win has eased off some pressure from their bowlers. Woakes out with a side strain doesn’t look good and playing Jake Ball didn’t seem the right answer. The Nottingham bowler struggled to keep his line tight, sprayed around giving easy runs to the batsmen.
It is a worry for England with their premier bowler seemingly out for a while. Willey seems another choice who can be picked. In addition, after today’s display, it will be an easy decision to bring Rashid back to get that wicket-taking chances in middle overs which were lacking today.
For Bangladesh, their lower order batting needs some surgery. The top order can only lay a foundation and if hitters get out when required, they will always be 20 short. Their bowling lacked added pace and variations. Their first taste of flat wickets in England didn’t go well, they need an extra seamer and an off-spinner. So, a case for young off-spinning allrounder Mehedi Hasan coming in for Mosaddek. Taskin for Rubel who was erratic today.
The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is up and running with a run-fest opener. In general, it was a good game which faded out once Root and Hales settled down after an early loss. Bangladesh needs a finisher and England need balance in their bowling attack.