|First ODI, Bangladesh v England, Mirpur|
|Bangladesh 209 (47.2 overs): Shanto 58 (82); Wood 2-34, Moeen 2-35|
|England 212-7 (48.4 overs): Malan 114 (145); Taijul 3-54 Mehidy 2-35|
|England won by three wickets|
Dawid Malan scored a battling century to lead England to a hard-fought three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first of three one-day internationals.
The left-hander’s fourth ODI ton held the tourists’ chase together as they overhauled Bangladesh’s 209 all out with eight balls to spare.
On a pitch offering assistance to seamers and spinners alike, wickets fell at regular intervals in the chase.
But Malan hit the winning boundary to put England ahead in the series.
Earlier, Bangladesh had made a strong start to their innings after opting to bat first before being pegged back, with six England bowlers sharing the wickets.
Chris Woakes took the first before Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Moeen Ali took two wickets apiece, and debutant Will Jacks also chipped in.
The home batters largely struggled in the low-scoring contest with Najmul Hossain Shanto’s 58 from 82 balls the only other score over 50 in the match.
The sides will stay in Mirpur for Friday’s second ODI as they continue to build towards the autumn’s World Cup in India.
Malan shows value of patience in brilliant knock
Since England’s white-ball revolution began following the 2015 World Cup debacle, the emphasis has been on all-action, attacking cricket and it has helped deliver 50-over and Twenty20 World Cup titles.
There are times, though, when another more subtle approach is required as Malan proved in a perfectly-paced knock at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Coming in at the end of the first over following Jason Roy’s tame dismissal, the 35-year-old showed all of his experience to battle through as wickets continued to fall at the other end.
When Jos Buttler edged Taskin Ahmed behind in the 17th over, England were 65-4 and Malan’s wicket held the key to the match.
His calm demeanour never wavered, though, and throughout useful partnerships with Will Jacks and Moeen Ali, he controlled the rate superbly with a canny ability to find the boundary just when the pressure was building on a tricky pitch.
Malan was able move through the gears as England closed in on their target, bringing up a brilliant hundred in the process, and while Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and others are still to come back, he continues to make a compelling case for selection come the World Cup.
Wood and Archer reunion boosts England firepower
While Malan will take deservedly take the plaudits, perhaps the most pleasing thing for England as their white-ball focus zeroes in on their World Cup defence, was a bowling attack that featured both Wood and Archer.
The pair were instrumental in the 2019 triumph, engaging in a friendly competition to see who could register the fastest delivery of the tournament – Wood clocked 95.1mph in the final to edge it – and taking plenty of wickets along the way.
Injuries to both bowlers have meant they rarely featured in the same team since but the value of having two such high-quality genuine quicks was clear in Mirpur as they made the most of the extra bounce in the surface to get Bangladesh’s batters jumping about the crease.
Wood needed just three balls before his express pace did for Tamim Iqbal with the Tigers skipper taking a glancing blow on the elbow before the ball splattered his stumps.
Archer had not enjoyed such a bright start, going for 12 in his first over, but his next nine overs – split across three spells – cost only 25. And once he was in rhythm, he was like the bowler of old with all the tricks to make him a threat at any stage of an innings.
England don’t possess quite the same depth of talent in their bowling as they do with their batting, so with the countdown to India on, the return of two difference makers – who both regularly top 90mph – is a huge boost.
‘Toughest conditions to face’ – reaction
England captain Jos Buttler: “It wasn’t an easy task. We are obviously delighted to win that game. We spoke a lot about the conditions before the match. These are some of the toughest conditions for us as a group to face.”
Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal: “I thought the position we were in we definitely should have scored 30 to 35 runs more. It was a difficult wicket, especially against the spinners. I thought we started extremely well, there was a nice partnership going and then we lost three wickets. That was the damage.”