England warmed up to Thursday’s Men’s Cricket World Cup opener by crushing Bangladesh by four wickets in a rain-curtailed warm-up fixture here on Monday.
The margin of victory may give an impression England was in a spot of bother, but Jos Buttler’s side was always in command - on either side of a three-hour rain interruption - to underline its intention of defending the title it won at home four years ago.
Having seen a thunderstorm depriving it of any game-time on Saturday, Buttler hoped to give his bowlers some match simulation, with rain predicted in the evening. While the bowlers - especially the left-arm trio of Reece Topley (3/24), David Willey (2/26) and Sam Curran (1/23) - made the most of the opportunity, Mark Wood ran in hard for a short three-over burst.
Riding on opener Tanzid Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s second successive impressive knock, Bangladesh gave itself a chance of putting up a fighting total. At 153 for five in 30 overs, rain forced the players to go in and the break lasted more than three hours.
When it resumed, the game was cut short to a 37-over-a-side affair and Bangladesh’s innings derailed, trudging along to 188 for nine.
Chasing a DLS adjusted target of 197 runs, England came out all guns blazing. Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, it continued to press the accelerator. Opener Jonny Bairstow (34 off 21) and captain Buttler (30 off 15) played the most impressive cameos, with Moeen Ali’s (56 off 39) powerful innings helping England finish the game off with 77 balls to spare.
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