Tamim 128 leads Bangladesh to 305-6

Innings break Bangladesh 305 for 6 (Tamim 128, Mushfiqur 79) v England
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‘On our day, we can beat anybody’ – Mashrafe

Tamim Iqbal‘s 128 set up an engrossing contest at The Oval, with Bangladesh reaching 305 for 6 against England. While the hosts have a batting line-up that can be devastating, getting the better of an occasion as big as the Champions Trophy opener will be key to their chances of a successful chase.

With Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim added 166 for the third wicket, having already helped them to a solid start in the first 20 overs. But once the pair were removed, the last five overs wasn’t quite the deluge of runs as it was being set up for.

England struggled from the word go. Eoin Morgan’s decision to bowl first was hampered when Chris Woakes walked off with left side strain after bowling just two overs. It left a dent in their planning, and was also reflected by how the Bangladesh batsmen adjusted their targets.

While Tamim and Soumya Sarkar went after Jake Ball, they were in survival mode against Mark Wood’s sharp, short deliveries. Soumya was the usual mix of classy strokes and daft thinking, and saw Moeen Ali drop a simple chance at square leg in the seventh over. He did not make full use of it, holing out at deep point off Ben Stokes’ half-tracker in the 12th over, having made 28 off 34 balls.

Imrul Kayes, who replaced Sabbir Rahman at No. 3, also started off positively while Tamim, who had been ducking and weaving Wood’s short deliveries, slowly got used to the pace of the pitch.

Tamim struck couple of sweet straight drives, one each off Wood and Liam Plunkett before taking on the short ball with fours in front of square. Wood then took a fine diving catch to remove Kayes, but it seemed to quicken Bangladesh’s effort with Mushfiqur’s arrival.

He started off with a perfect cover drive off Plunkett before swivel-pulling Stokes over midwicket. In between, Tamim lofted Moeen high over long-off and struck Plunkett through backward square-leg and past mid-off.

Tamim Iqbal celebrates his ninth ODI hundred © Getty Images

Between overs 30 and 40, the pair ran up 64 runs, having taken 62 off the previous 10 overs. In the 39th over, Tamim calmly reached his ninth ODI hundred, his fifth in the last two years. Mushfiqur too reached his half-century soon after though it went by mostly unnoticed as Tamim kicked off the last 10 overs with sixes off Moeen and Wood, both deep into the stands.

The third-wicket stand, Bangladesh’s highest partnership away from home, ended in the 45th over when Tamim top-edged Plunkett. The same bowler then had Mushfiqur caught at long-on from his next delivery, sending two fresh batsmen in for the last 5.2 overs.

Plunkett was the best of the England bowlers, watching the batsmen closely in the end overs as he finished with a four-wicket haul. Most pleasing, for the home supporters, was how he conceded just seven runs from his last two overs.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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