England registered a hard-fought three-wicket win over Bangladesh in Mirpur, thanks to a match-winning knock from Dawid Malan. The left-hander remained unbeaten on 62 off 110 deliveries, hitting three fours and two sixes. The win helped England take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.
England was chasing a target of 210, but their top order stuttered as they lost four wickets for 65 runs. Bangladesh’s spinners were causing problems for England, but Malan held his nerve and batted with determination.
He played out the threatening Mehidy Hasan Miraz to ensure England stayed in the game. Malan found an able partner in Adil Rashid, and the duo added an unbeaten 51 runs for the eighth wicket to guide their side to victory with eight balls to spare.
Malan has been in terrific form over the past nine months, scoring hundreds in each of the last four bilateral ODI series he has featured in. He has been a peripheral member of the England ODI set-up for most of his career, but with his recent performances, he has put himself in contention for a spot in the World Cup squad.
The match was played just 24 hours after the conclusion of the Test match between England and New Zealand in Wellington, which England lost by an inning and 12 runs. The teams were completely different, with Will Jacks being the only player to fly from Wellington to Bangladesh and make his ODI debut.
Joe Root, England’s leading scorer at the 2019 World Cup, was unavailable for the match due to the fixture clash. However, he is expected to bat at No. 3 when the schedule allows him to return to the ODI side. Meanwhile, Malan has also shown his versatility as an opener, making him a strong candidate to partner Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order.
Batting first, Bangladesh struggled to build partnerships throughout their innings. Najmul Hassan Shanto was the top-scorer for the hosts, scoring a gritty 58 off 82 balls. His knock was similar to Malan’s, as he battled hard against the England bowlers. Mahmudullah was the only other batsman to score over 20 runs, as the Bangladeshis were bowled out for 209 in 48.5 overs.
England shared the wickets around, with their three seamers and three spinners accounting for five batters each. Mark Wood, playing his first ODI since July 2021, bowled with pace and picked up two wickets. Adil Rashid was the most successful bowler for England, finishing with figures of 3-44.
The second match of the series will be played on 22 March at the same venue. England will look to seal the series, while Bangladesh will hope to bounce back and level the series.