NEWS

England take fast Root to emphatic Champions Trophy victory

June 2, 2017

Joe Root's highest one-day international (ODI) score enabled England to cruise to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy at the Kia Oval.
 
Root's unbeaten 133, his tenth ODI century, helped the hosts make short work of a target of 306 on a flat pitch, while Alex Hales made 95 and skipper Eoin Morgan finished on 75 not out.
 
Having won the toss and decided to bowl, England had hoped to make early inroads into the Bangladesh batting. Instead, the only early damage was that sustained by Chris Woakes, who left the field with a side strain after just two overs and has now been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament.
 
After a circumspect start, Bangladesh started to cash in. With Woakes off the field and Adil Rashid left out, Ben Stokes had to bowl more overs than his suspect knee might have warranted, although skipper Morgan said his star all-rounder is now in good shape.
 
However, with Jake Ball going at more than eight an over, Bangladesh built a very strong platform, built on the foundations of another century by Tamim Iqbal. The opener has an outstanding record against England, having announced himself with centuries in both Tests of the 2010 tour and another when the Tigers enjoyed their first Test win over England last autumn.
 
His 128 and Mushfiqur Rahim's 79 took Bangladesh to 261-2 in the 45th over, only for both batsmen to fall in successive balls against Liam Plunkett. This took the momentum out of the innings and the final score of 305-6 never looked like being enough.
 
Even so, England suffered an early wobble when the out-of-form Jason Roy made just a single before being caught at fine leg playing a ramp shot against the bowling of Mashrafe Mortaza.
 
However, Root swiftly settled in and with Hales regularly and successfully targeting the midwicket boundary against the slower bowlers, the pair added 159 before Hales holed out attempting to reach three figures with a six.
 
Root, however, remained fairly untroubled, although there was an injury scare when he appeared to hurt his ankle playing a pull shot. However, he was able to keep going and said afterwards he merely had a slightly sore calf and ankle.
 
Bangladesh's last hope came and went when Tamim claimed what appeared to be a brilliant diving catch from a lofted Morgan shot, but the batsman was convinced the ball had bounced just in front of the fielder and the third umpire agreed.
 
With the skipper maintaining his recent fine form, the pair added an unbeaten 149 as England sailed home.
 
Fans booking corporate hospitality for the Kia Oval Test against South Africa later this summer will hope England can enjoy more success at the venue, but before the switch to red balls and white clothing, the home side will hope they can go all the way in the tournament.
 
With Woakes now on the sidelines, England's bowling may be a potential weakness when they face the strongest sides in the event. But the batting is exceptionally strong. With Root able to score a hundred batting almost on one leg, the home side may be able to rely on knocking off whatever totals they face, no matter how large.

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