Jason Roy helped himself to a sparkling century as England got back to winning ways at the World Cup with a 106-run victory over Bangladesh.
An unexpected setback against Pakistan had raised the stakes of this Cardiff clash, but if there was any lingering tension, Roy’s commanding knock of 153 in 121 balls blew it away in style.
He was responsible for five of England’s 14 sixes, including three in a row immediately before his exit, setting the scene for a daunting total of 386-6.
As well as being a new ground record for Sophia Gardens it also represented England’s best ever score in the competition, eclipsing 2011’s previous high by 48.
Bangladesh never threatened to go close in reply, during which both Jofra Archer and Mark Wood touched 95mph, but Shakib Al Hasan’s classy 121 spared them a rout.
Archer topped and tailed the innings to finish with three for 29, with Wood claiming two and Ben Stokes chipping in with three of his own.
Moeen Ali’s off-spin was certainly not missed, the all-rounder somewhat surprisingly dropped in favour of the returning Liam Plunkett, with England’s pace barrage rolling Bangladesh for 280 in the penultimate over.
The only real concern of the day concerned Jos Buttler, who hurt his right hip during a fine knock of 64 and played no part in the second innings as Jonny Bairstow took over wicketkeeping duties.
After winning the toss Bangladesh predictably opened with Shakib’s left-arm spin. He was hoping to replicate the the success of Imran Tahir and Shadab Khan against England’s openers but instead burned through five chanceless overs. Roy and Bairstow were cautious at first but quickly caught up, peppering the boundary en route to a century stand inside 15 overs.
Roy was the primary aggressor, driving straight and hard and pulling with authority, but Bairstow departed for 51 when Mashrafe Mortaza found a leading edge. Roy never looked likely to do the same, hammering anything short and driving sweetly.
There was an inevitability about his hundred and a peculiarity to its arrival. A misfield in the deep nudged him over the line but his celebrations were delayed after he raced towards the non-striker’s end and barrelled into umpire Joel Wilson, who tumbled to the turf.
Having helped him to his feet, Roy finally had time to toast the moment. With a ninth international ton in the bank he upped the ante, tearing into the spinners as he moved from 100 to 150 in 28 balls. For a moment he even threatened to join the ‘six sixes’ club, nailing Mehidy Hasan for three successive maximums to start the 35th over.
A fourth was clearly on his mind when he swung hard at the next delivery, but this time it looped to cover.
Buttler picked up the baton with his usual flair, thrashing four more sixes, but his efforts came at a cost. Having cleared long-off with a mighty back-foot baseball swing he hobbled for the remainder of his innings and did not re-emerge.
This match might be fizzling out but earlier today it was set alight by a thrilling opening spell by Jofra Archer - the fastest bowled by an England bowler in ODIs since 2006 (the start of our ball-tracking database). #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/jigOs9oklg— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) June 8, 2019
Joe Root and Stokes missed out but a 45-run flurry from Chris Woakes and Plunkett ensured there would be no respite for a weary attack.
Few in attendance expected Bangladesh to scale their target, but an unforgiving burst from Archer forced them to the wall. He started with two immaculate maiden overs, produced extreme pace without breaking sweat and forced Bairstow into respectful retreat – the Test keeper standing closer to the boundary than the stumps.
The highlight came when he responded to a drop at slip by spearing one past Soumya Sarkar’s outside edge and flicking the off bail, a picturesque dismissal completed when the ball sailed over the ropes on the full.
Tamim Iqbal survived his spell but emerged from it with a scrambled mind. No other explanation would account for his decision to walk down the pitch towards Wood, tangling himself in the process and fending straight to cover.
If England were sensing an early finish, Shakib had designs of his own. He joined Mushfiqur Rahim to put on 106 for the third wicket, the pair working the gaps diligently but never grappling with a run-rate that was spiralling ever upwards.
Plunkett eventually parted them, Mushfiqur well taken by Roy at point, and Mohammad Mithun lasted only two balls before nicking a teaser from Adil Rashid. By the time Shakib was yorked by Stokes the result was long settled, but England pushed to finish the job. Stokes struck twice more, Wood removed Mahmudullah and Archer proved far too fast for Mehidy and Mustafizur Rahman.
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Rohit Sharma has a lot going for him as he prepares for India’s 2019 World Cup clash against Australia on Sunday. The India vice-captain averages more than 60 against Australia and scored a fighting unbeaten 122 to seal victory against South Africa in their World Cup opener.
However, Rohit said history won’t matter a lot when the teams collide at The Oval.
“The past is past,” Rohit was quoted as saying by the ICC.
“What’s gone before means nothing, it’s just about being better on the day, nothing else. I will not look back, it gives you confidence but it’s just about tomorrow, not the history. Self-belief has played a big part in these past five or six years, I know I can get the job done for the team.
“I don’t look at records or milestones or where I am in rankings, it’s just about playing well and doing a good job for the team. Perhaps there will be external rewards but that’s for the end of my career, not now.”
India have won just five of their 15 ODI matches at The Oval. Moreover, Australia came from behind to win the bilateral ODI series in India earlier in the year. Rohit said his team will need to be on top of its game.
“We’ve got a good rivalry, we played some really good cricket there and they played really well in India. We just need to focus on the basics and then everything will follow,” he added.
“I was happy with my performance against South Africa, I had to curb my natural instincts and play to the conditions and that gives me immense satisfaction. It wasn’t my best innings but it was one of my best innings.”
The one bit of recent history that Rohit did look into was Australia’s struggles against the short ball against the West Indies. While they did well to recover from 38-4, Rohit said India quicks – led by Jasprit Bumrah – know what needs to be done.
“If the batsmen is finding it uncomfortable we will welcome him with some short stuff but these guys play bouncers all the time growing up in Australia,” Rohit added.
“Even the best batsmen will find it difficult against short-pitched bowling and we’ve definitely got the attack to do that. However, we shouldn’t get carried away, we need to read the conditions and keep their batsmen guessing.”
Virat Kohli’s men will look to build on their convincing win over South Africa, while Australia attempt to make it three wins from three after beating West Indies in a thriller.
There’s no love lost between the two teams, who have consistently battled at the top for two decades. We look ahead to the big game.
Will ghosts of 2015 haunt India?
A Steve Smith led Australian side dominated India and dumped them out of the World Cup in the 2015 semi-finals. The Aussies set India a target of 329 runs and won the game by a massive 95 runs.
Smith is now back from a one-year ban and if his performance against West Indies is anything to go by, the former skipper has shown that he could be the resolute batsman Australia need to anchor the innings should they suffer from another top-order collapse.
Meanwhile, India will be eyeing retribution as they look to bury the ghosts of the humiliating defeat in Sydney four years ago.
India’s spin-attack could rattle the Aussies
The spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are fresh from their demolition of South Africa’s middle-order. The pair picked up five wickets, with Chahal claiming a four-wicket haul.
The ball was turning brilliantly for Chahal in particular and it was his first spell that took the game away from the Proteas.
In the last innings played at the Oval, spinners claimed six of the eight wickets as Bangladesh failed in their attempts to keep New Zealand from reaching a target of 245. Should the Indian spinners pick up from where the Bangladeshis left off, Australia could be in big trouble.
The Aussies have Adam Zampa in their ranks but are likely to be more reliant on pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins who are enjoying a great start to their World Cup.