Malan inspirational as England do just enough to win first ODI with Bangladesh
Dawid Malan's sublime knock inspired England to a three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first ODI at Shere Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday.
The hosts struggled after electing to bat first, setting a target of just 210, but England's response for a while looked in danger of falling short.
Malan picked up the pace following a considered start, however, eventually finishing on 114 not out to reach 212-7 and brilliantly drag England over the line.
Tamim Iqbal (23) began purposefully but Bangladesh soon had their momentum disrupted by Mark Wood (2-34) and Chris Woakes (1-28), the former dismissing the hosts' captain with an emphatic delivery.
The spinners then took care of Bangladesh's middle order, with each England bowler claiming at least one wicket.
Najmul Hossain Shanto (58) proved the biggest nuisance, his maiden half-century crucial in helping the hosts surpass 200.
But a tremendous catch from Jason Roy sent him back to the pavilion at 159-5 in what proved a turning point – Bangladesh added only another 50 runs.
England's chase received an early blow when Roy (4) fell to a simple Iqbal catch in the first over, while Phil Salt (12), James Vince (6) and Jos Buttler (9) were not much better.
Taijul Islam (3-54) took two of the first four wickets as England found themselves on 65-4, but amid all the floundering, Malan was calmly plugging away.
A close escape from an lbw appeal in the 22nd over proved vital, with Malan first playing it steady as he reached 50 off 92, before then getting his century off 134.
He secured the ton with a clip through midwicket that brought up his 10th boundary, and another four – whacked through wide mid-on – fittingly ensured Malan clinched victory.
Malan's the man of the moment
England's bowlers did some sterling work early on, with Jofra Archer, Wood, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid all taking two wickets each, but the generally disappointing nature of the visitors' chase meant Malan had to take on the role of firefighter.
After looking all at sea at 65-4, Malan took charge. In claiming his 100, he becomes the second-fastest player to four ODI centuries.
Taijul gave Bangladesh a chance
Bangladesh were also largely better with the ball than the bat. Taijul was the pick of the bunch for the hosts, taking three wickets – more than anyone else in the match.
His efforts were central to England getting off to a stuttering start. In the end, one man's class was the difference, and to be fair to Bangladesh, Malan looked like he could bat another 50 overs and still not get removed.