Champions Trophy 1st Match: Root hammers career-best 133* as England waltz past Bangladesh

Root celebrates after scoring his 10th ODI century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England got their Champions Trophy campaign off to a great start as batsman Joe Root struck a career-best 133 not out to lead his side to an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh at The Oval.

Root, who was instrumental in helping England chase down the highest score in Champions Trophy history, was well supported by opener Alex Hales and captain Eoin Morgan, who scored 95 and 75 not out respectively. Pace bowler Liam Plunkett also deserves credit as he took four wickets.

Being put in to bat first, Bangladesh got off to an excellent start as Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar amassed a 56-run partnership before Sarkar was dismissed by Ben Stokes for 28.

Imruk Kayes only managed to make 19 runs before he was sent packing by Plunkett.

Despite losing two wickets in a short period of time, Bangladesh recovered as Iqbal and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim put together a 166-run partnership, during which Iqbal sailed past his hundred and Rahim his fifty.

With Bangladesh in cruise control, England were in dire need of a wicket, and it was Plunkett who provided it once again as he removed Iqbal for 128, which came off 142 balls and included 12 boundaries and three sixes.

Iqbal’s ninth ODI hundred went in vain

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Plunkett struck again the very next ball as he took out Rahim for 79 off 72 deliveries, which included eight boundaries.

Rahim struck his 25th half-century in ODI cricket

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Even though Bangladesh continued to lose wickets after the departure of Iqbal and Rahim, Sabbir Rahman’s quickfire 24 helped them reach 305/6 off their 50 overs.

Plunkett was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Stokes and Jake Ball chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 306 to win, England lost opener Jason Roy for one run in the third over, but Hales and Root made up for it with a 159-run stand, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries.

With England sailing towards their target, Bangladesh tried to find a way to slow them down. Ultimately, it was Sabbir who did the trick as he dismissed Hales for 95, which came off 86 balls and included 11 boundaries and two sixes.

Hales fell five runs short of his sixth ODI century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

That was to be Bangladesh’s last taste of success as Root and Morgan finished things off with an unbeaten 143-run partnership, during which Root registered his century and Morgan his fifty.

Root finished on 133 off 129 balls, which included 11 boundaries and a six, while Morgan remained undefeated on 75 off 61 deliveries, which included eight boundaries and two sixes, as England won the match with 16 balls to spare.

Morgan made his 33rd ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Sabbir and captain Mashrafe Mortaza claimed one wicket each.

Mortaza was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “I think 305 was a little bit short, but they batted really well and took the game away from us. Initially, getting used to the pitch, the openers take a bit of time; at the end, when we have wickets in hand, we have to do better. [Balance of side?] First match we decided to go with eight batters, but we have to think about it. The main bowlers must bowl better. [Tamim catch?] I think the umpires’ decision is final.”

Morgan was thrilled to have started the tournament on a high, and said: “When the guys bat like that, it’s certainly a lot easier than it used to be. Joe Root and an in-form Alex Hales are huge factors. Joe is the glue in our side, he’s scored a lot of runs, he’s not slow, it’s at pace and today he was outstanding.

“I want to lead from the front this tournament, put ourselves in a good position after this game, two to go in the group stages. [Bowling display?] I thought from 25 to 40, we minimised the damage, Tamim can be destructive but they didn’t get away from us. [Miss Rashid?] No, thought we went with the right decision, considering the short boundary and it didn’t turn a great deal. Went with Moeen, who’s been in great form, unfortunate that Chris Woakes limped out. Chris is the biggest concern, has to go for a scan, the rest of the guys aren’t a major worry. We’ll assess everything in the morning.”

Root was named Man of the Match, and said: “There’s a lot of confidence in the dressing room, we back each other and it rubs off on everyone. Nice know you’ve got guys like Ben Stokes waiting to come in. [Plan was] making sure we had plenty of wickets in hand at the back end, one of the top four being not out between 70 and 100, we did a really good job. [Pleased to score hundred?] That worked out today, thrilled to bits to get off to a good start. Ankle’s all right – more of a calf issue – hopefully just bad cramp.”

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