Dawid Malan’s superb century did the hard work for England as they racked up 364 for nine against Bangladesh in Dharamshala, a game they hope can kickstart their World Cup defence after a sticky start.
Malan reeled off a perfectly paced 140 in 107 balls at the top of the order, a career-best knock from a man who only inked his name in the first-choice XI a matter of days before the squad was finalised, to give his side their highest ever World Cup total away from home.
The 36-year-old, frequently an afterthought in England’s white-ball revolution but now a leading man in his own right, shared stands of 115 and 151 with Jonny Bairstow (52) and Joe Root (82) as the reigning champions recovered some of their swagger following a nine-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in the tournament opener.
At one stage, with a power-packed middle order queuing up in the dugout, they looked ready to shoot for 400 but their over-exuberance allowed Bangladesh to find a way back in the closing stages.
He paced his run perfectly, scoring his first fifty off 39 balls in the powerplay, taking 53 more to convert his half-century and then smashing 40 off his last 16 as he cut loose. With 16 fours and five sixes, it was an eloquent response to critics who worry about his ability as an aggressor.
For Bairstow there was a fifty to mark his 100th ODI cap, handed over in person by his former captain Eoin Morgan in the team huddle, while Root made his second telling contribution in as many games.
He was alone in emerging in credit from the thrashing in Ahmedabad, making a measured 77, and here moved past Graham Gooch’s mark of 897 runs in World Cup cricket.
With a little early swing on offer, Malan was beaten a couple of times on the outside edge before asserting himself on proceedings with a pair of audacious sixes off the pacy Mustafizur Rahman.
Bangladesh retreated to spin but found Malan well up to the challenge, threading Mehidy Hasan Raza into gaps at will and deftly reverse-sweeping the reliable Shakib Al Hasan.
Bairstow took a little longer to get up to full speed but marked his landmark appearance with a 54-ball half-century before losing his leg stump to Shakib as he aimed to mid-wicket.
Root and Malan accumulated more prosaically for a period, persuading Shakib to bowl his full allocation in just 32 overs, but Root signalled the end of that phase when he pulled out his trademark reverse ramp for six over deep third.
Malan had slowed somewhat as he moved towards three figures, going 9.1 overs without a boundary at one point, but once he was over the line it was a different game.
Having celebrated his ton, a sixth in just 23 games, he went hard. Mehidy was thrashed for 22 in an over, with two sixes and two fours, while Taskin Ahmed was dumped into the stands.
He lost his off stump to Mahedi Hasan looking for more of the same, allowing England’s heavy hitters their chance.
Ultimately they stumbled, with Shoriful Islam grabbing three wickets in nine deliveries. Jos Buttler dragged a wide one into off stump, Root skied a top edge and Liam Livingstone was clean bowled by a ripper for a golden duck.
Harry Brook’s 20 was the best of the rest as Bangladesh kept a lid on the death overs and picked up regular wicket to leave England nine down at the end.