Bangladesh were the reason why England got pushed out from the 2015 World Cup and after four years they’ve become the favourite title contenders. They announced their come back in style against the same side, defeating them by 106 runs.
Similar visuals were seen in the match where New Zealand knocked down Afghanistan by 7 wickets. Rashid Khan’s departure for the day, after hit on the grill by a bouncer and two failed concussion tests, certainly took it all away from the Afghans.
However, openers Zazai and Noor Ali made the Kiwis nervous during the initial phases of their batting but they continued to be clinical and now sit atop the points table with three consecutive wins. The Afghans got off to a good start but toppled from 66/0 to 70/4, thanks to Neesham, who later claimed his maiden ODI fifer.
Also read: World Cup: India-Australia face-off to be a clash of bowlers
Kane Williamson’s men clinched the match at ease as the captain himself led from the front. Lockie Ferguson finished with four wickets. The trick of creating pressure in the middle overs worked wonders with pace, bounce and varying movements. The batting and fielding too has improved and the Kiwis have a couple of days off before they face India, so adapting to new venues and conditions would play an important role.
For England, the batsmen put up 387 as the target and their openers, finishers and the quicks fired the match away from Bangladesh. Jofra Archer’s 3-29 in 8.5 overs and Mark Wood’s 2-52 in 8 overs tied the Bangla Tigers to 280 all out even after Shakib Al Hassan’s century. Ben Stokes, as good an allrounder he is, took everyone by surprise in the middle overs by picking up 3 wickets in 6 overs.
But it was all not a bowlers’ match. English openers Jason Roy (153) and Jonny Bairstow (51) gave the biggest head-stat much needed to win the match even before the start of second innings. Jos Buttler (64), Eoin Morgan (35) and Liam Plunkett’s 27 runs of 9 balls finished their innings in style by setting an unbeatable 387 target.
Apart from the toss, nothing went in favour of Bangladesh. After conceding a defeat against Pakistan, England has bounced back in the best possible way. Even though, the openers failed to score in the first two matches, their partnership blew the match from Bangladesh. However, credit to Shakib who’s 121 knock saved Bangladesh’s net run rate from a massive beating.
It was a much anticipated Saturday (June 8), but the world awaits to witness the ultimate cricket rivalry India vs Australia in The Oval, London on Sunday (June 9) at 3 PM IST.