England had 12 years of World Cup pain against Bangladesh. They had lost in 2011. They had lost in 2015 in Adelaide. The loss four years earlier brought about a revolution in England cricket in which they had shunned their conservative approach to play attacking, aggressive cricket. The pain of 2015 and the benefits post that debacle were out on full display at Sophia Gardens. Jason Roy, one of the new crops to emerge out of ‘New England’ demonstrated his class by blasting 153, the second-highest individual score by an English player in World Cups. England reached 386/6, the highest by any team against Bangladesh and despite Shakib Al Hasan’s ninth century, England finally got the better of Bangladesh by 106 runs at Sophia Gardens on Saturday.
Bangladesh’s decision to bowl on a flat deck raised some questions but the move seemed to have worked initially when England managed to score at just three runs an over in the first five overs. However, Jason Roy opened up with two boundaries off Mashrafe Mortaza and followed it up with two more fours off Shakib Al Hasan. Roy and Jonny Bairstow regularly found the boundary and the partnership went past 50. Roy notched up his fifty in grand style by blasting Saifuddin straight down the ground for a six and then steering a short ball to the third man fence. Roy made serene progress and neared a century. At the other end, Bairstow, who had endured a wretched run in the first two games, notched up his 10th fifty but fell to a good catch from Mehidy Hasan off Mashrafe Mortaza.
The right-hander got to his milestone, his ninth in ODIs by flicking Mustafizur Rahman to the deep square leg fence where the fielder misfielded. Having reached the landmark, Roy proceeded to punish the bowling. Saifuddin got the big wicket of Joe Root for 21 but it was the start of the carnage. Roy blasted two fours and a six off Shakib and he then took full toll of Mehidy Hasan by clobbering three consecutive sixes to reach his 150. Roy was one hit away from becoming the highest individual scorer in a World Cup for England but he miscued the fourth ball off Mehidy and the catch was taken as he fell for 153. Roy’s 153 was the third time he had gone past 150+ in ODIs, the most by an England batsman. His score was the second-highest in World Cups behind Strauss’ 158.
Although Roy fell, England maintained the aggressive scoring with Jos Buttler smashing two sixes and a four off Mosaddek Hossain. The England wicketkeeper notched up yet another aggressive fifty and he was well-supported in the end by Liam Plunkett and Chris Woakes as England reached a massive score.
Bangladesh do not go for it
In response, Bangladesh could not handle the pace of Jofra Archer and Soumya Sarkar fell for 2. Shakib joined Tamim Iqbal at the crease and the veteran duo looked to stabilize the innings. When Tamim fell for 19 to Mark Wood, Bangladesh had lost the fight and they were content on playing just for pride. Shakib regularly found the boundary while Mushfiqur Rahim focused on consolidation as Bangladesh looked to salvage pride. The duo notched up a partnership of 100 runs, with Shakib getting to his third consecutive fifty-plus score. Liam Plunkett broke the 100-run stand when Rahim (44) got a leading edge to point and Roy made no mistake.
Shakib reached his century and looked to be aggressive but once he fell for 121 to Ben Stokes, the rest of the Bangladesh innings collapsed. When Archer took the final wicket, England had defeated the nation that had ushered in their transformation and erased all the pains of 2015.