December 8, 2023

Sports Desk: Every time Bangladeshi bowlers and fielders tried to gain the driving seat of the match English batter Dawid Malan seemed to answer by scoring a boundary and ease the pressure to affirm the control.

That was the dominant narrative in the first one-day international of the three-match series and in the end Malan’s crafty yet effortless century in difficult condition guided his side cinch the match by three wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium on Wednesday.

The hosts showcased an underwhelming performance with the bat accumulating just 209 but their bowlers and fielders did a commendable job picking up regular wickets only to see Malan making the difference.

The 35-year old left-handed batter came in the wicket after the fall of opener Jason Roy in the final ball of the over when the score was four and remained not out till the end to navigate his side home.

England lost wickets in regular intervals but the southpaw seemed to be unfazed one side of the wicket and controlled the tempo of the innings according to the situation.

Malan, who came in the series with red hot form scoring a century and a half century against South Africa in their three-match series last month, took his time reaching 50 facing 92 balls but played shots with comfort whenever the chips were down.

His dominance was clearly understood as none other could score over 26 and the highest partnership of the match was unbeaten 51 with Adil Rashid in the eighth wicket.

It was befitting Malan, who scored 114 off 145 balls, finishing the match with a boundary with eight balls to spare.

However, England seemed to be in trouble as they lost half of their side for 103 in the 26th over when Will Jacks was caught by Afif Hossain at deep square leg off Mehidy Hasan scoring 26 off 31.

It was the fist wicket for Mehidy but Taijul albeit being expensive did some early damages as he got rid off Philip Salt and James Vince for 12 and six respectively.

Taskin Ahmed, who seemed to be the most impressive bowler under the trying condition, got the vital wicket of English skipper Jos Butler, who was caught at slip, but his figure of 26-1 in nine overs did not justify his effort on the wicket that aided him with some bounce.

Moeen Ali was bowled for 14 off 32 and Chris Woaked was caught when a top edge off Taijul delivery was caught by Tamim Iqbal. But Malan and Rashid made sure no more hiccups.

Taijul returned with 3-54 while Mehidy finished with 2-35.

Earlier in the day, after winning the toss Bangladesh openers seemed to enjoy the extra pace and bounce of Jofra Archer and Woakes before Liton Das was adjudged leg before off the latter for seven when the score was 33 in the fifth over.

Tamim was beaten by the pace of Mark Wood, fastest of the English pacers, for 23 but Najmul Hasan seemed to bat with ease and elegance.

However, two senior batters Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib al Hasan got out cheaply scoring 16 and eight as Bangladesh were reduced to 106.

Another experienced campaigner Mahmudullah gave good support to Najmul but the latter slowed down a little bit felt pressure and ultimately perished scoring 58. Mahmudullah soon followed him with 31 leaving the team on a precarious condition of 162-6.

Taskin and Taijul played a few shots to get the total past 200 but it always felt inadequate against the World Cup Champions of both ODI and T20.

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