Cricket-Malan, Topley shine as England crush Bangladesh

DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) – England revived their 50-overs World Cup title defence as Dawid Malan smashed a career-best 140 and Reece Topley wreaked havoc with the ball in a 137-run hammering of Bangladesh on Tuesday.

Smarting from their nine-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in the tournament opener, England amassed 364-9 after their top order fired with Malan forging century-plus partnerships with Jonny Bairstow (52) and Joe Root (82).

Playing his first match of the tournament, left-arm quick Topley (4-43) wrecked Bangladesh’s top order in the first six overs to set England up for an easy victory.

Bangladesh were all out for 227 in 48.2 overs, and it could have been a bigger loss but for battling knocks by Litton Das (76) and Mushfiqur Rahim (51).

“I think a really good performance to bounce back from a disappointing first game and we still feel there are areas to improve,” England captain Jos Buttler said.

“I thought it was a fantastic score on that pitch, it got harder towards the end but we could’ve got more at the back end.”

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss but Buttler had no reason to feel aggrieved as he got what he had desired for England – bat first.

Bangladesh began tightly but it turned out the England openers were only biding their time in the picturesque venue with a snow-capped mountain range as its backdrop.

Malan hit Mustafizur Rahman for a couple of sixes en route to a 39-ball fifty and Bairstow could not be denied a half-century in his 100th ODI either.

Even after Bairstow departed for 52, his leg stumps pegged back by a fizzing Shakib delivery, there was no respite for Bangladesh.

Malan raised 151 runs with Root, whose 82 followed his 77 in the tournament opener against New Zealand.

Root demonstrated his current obsession with quirky shots scooping a Mustafizur delivery from outside the off-stump and depositing it in the stands over fine leg, and reverse sweeping Shakib for a four.

Malan brought up his hundred with a single off Shakib and 400 looked well within England’s target at one stage.

The left-hander clobbered five sixes and 16 fours in his 107-ball blitz before losing his off-stump to spinner Mahedi Hasan (4-71).

Shoriful Islam (3-75) dismissed Root and Liam Livingstone in successive deliveries but Sam Curran denied him a hat-trick.

Root missed his hundred but overtook Graham Gooch as England’s all-time leading run scorers in World Cup.

Bangladesh bowlers denied England the late flourish by conceding only 66 runs in the last 10 overs, while claiming six wickets.

They were still left with a mountain to climb and their chase began with two eventful overs.

In the first over, Litton hit Chris Woakes for three fours in a row and in the next, Topley dismissed Tanzid Hassan and Najmul Hossain Shanto with successive deliveries.

The hat-trick did not materialise but Topley struck a body blow in his next over castling Shakib for one as Bangladesh slumped to 26-3.

Litton and Mushfiqur Rahim tried their best and their tailender dragged the match but the target was well beyond them.

“We didn’t start well enough,” Shakib said of their bowling effort.

“If you give them a sniff, they will always come hard.”

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar)