Jason Roy smashed 153 as England powered to a 106-run triumph over Bangladesh despite a fighting 121 by Shakib Al Hasan in the 12th World Cup match at Cardiff on Saturday. Taking first lease England posted 386 for 6, their highest world cup total hitting twice as many sixes as they had in any world cup match previously. Bangladesh’s run chase was checked by the bullish pace bowling of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood as England controlled the game from start to finish. Archer and Ben Stokes picked up three wickets apiece.Roy’s innings was of sheer controlled aggression as he and Jonny Bairstow figured in their eighth century opening stand in just 29 innings as the Bangladesh bowlers found no assistance from a green top wicket. Roy reached his century off 92 balls in the 27th over and brought up his 150 lofting Mehidy Hasan for three sixes off his sixth over. After he fell attempting a fourth hit, Jos Buttler, promoted to No. 4, continued the onslaught with 64 from 44, while Liam Plunkett later capped the effort by slamming four fours and a six. Archer, in probably the fastest-ever opening burst by an England bowler in ODIs topping more than 150kph three times in an over, clean bowled Soumya Sarkar while Wood accounted for Tamim Iqbal in the 12th over, but Bangladesh fought back through Shakib Al Hasan who was associated in a 106-run third wicket alliance with Mushfiqur Rahim. But with Al Hasan’s departure the run rate proved too much for Bangladesh who were all out for 280 off 48.5 overs. Jason Roy was adjudged Player of the Match.
Meanwhile, James Neesham claimed 5 wickets for 31 in New Zealand’s 7-wicket triumph over Afghanistan in the 13th world cup match at Taunton. Having dismissed Afghanistan for 172 off 32.1 overs, New Zealand coasted to 173 for 3 with skipper Shane Williamson striking an unbeaten 79 and Ross Taylor 48. New Zealand’s batsmen were made to work hard for their runs by Afghanistan despite the unavailability of their premier with Aftab Alam, who replaced the rested Dawlat Zadran, bowling a good length and dismissing Martin Guptill off his first delivery to a bat-pad catch to point for a duck. Opening batsman Hazratullah Zazai started Afghanistan’s innings briskly with some forceful leg side shots while Noor Ali Zadran, who had replaced the injured Mohammad Shahzad, played some exquisite front-foot drives at the other end to as Afghanistan reached 61 for no loss in the Power play. But with the advent of Neesham the rot set in with Afghanistan losing four wickets for 4 runs with Neesham collecting three in three overs to take the Player of the Match award. However, with his partners appearing and disappearing, Shahidi took his side past the 150 mark being last out.
England 386 for 6 (Roy 153, Buttler 64, Bairstow 51)
Bangladesh 280 All out (48.5 Overs) (Shakib 121, Stokes 3/23, Archer 3/29, Wood 2/52)
Afghanistan 172 All out (41.1 Overs)(Shahidi 59, Neesham 5-31, Ferguson 4/37)
New Zealand 173 for 3(32.1 Overs) (Williamson 79 n.o., Taylor 48, Alam 3/45)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-