- England emphatically see off Bangladesh
- Malan and Topley produce big performances
- Pakistan with World Cup record chase to see off Sri Lanka
At the ICC Cricket World Cup England responded to their opening defeat to New Zealand with a convincing win over Bangladesh while Pakistan staged a remarkable comeback to make it two wins from two.
England back in business with 137-run win
England rebounded from their World Cup opener defeat with a commanding 137-run victory over Bangladesh in Dharamsala.
After a substantial loss to New Zealand last week, Dawid Malan’s outstanding 140 off 107 balls anchored a significantly improved England innings, finishing at 364-9.
Malan established a formidable opening stand of 115 with Jonny Bairstow, and later, a brisk 151-run partnership with Joe Root, who contributed a composed 82 off 68 deliveries.
At one point, Root and Malan had propelled the score to 266-1 by the 38th over. However, a flurry of wickets, resulting in eight dismissals for 96 runs, prevented England from maximising their advantage.
Nonetheless, their total proved more than sufficient. Reece Topley, drafted in to replace the spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali, delivered a stellar performance with the new ball. He claimed two wickets in as many balls during the second over and later dismissed Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan for a single in the sixth.
While Liton Das displayed resilience with his 76, and Mushfiqur Rahim contributed a solid 51, the required run-rate consistently mounted. Topley returned to remove Mushfiqur, ultimately finishing with figures of 4-43. Bangladesh gradually fell to 227 all out in 48.2 overs.
This triumph propels England to Delhi, where they are set to face Afghanistan on Sunday, riding a wave of momentum and boosted confidence. Notably, their net run-rate has also received a significant boost.
Pakistan win thriller
In Tuesday’s other World Cup encounter, Pakistan delivered a masterful World Cup record run chase of 345 to triumph over Sri Lanka in the standout match of the 2023 tournament thus far, held in Hyderabad.
With their target seeming distant at 37-2, a remarkable partnership of 176 off 156 balls between Abdullah Shafique and Muhammad Rizwan set the foundation for Pakistan’s pursuit. Shafique, drafted in for Fakhar Zaman, posted an impressive 113 off 103 balls before being caught at point. Rizwan, despite grappling with a back injury and calf cramps, exhibited heroic determination.
The wicketkeeper concluded unbeaten on 131 from 121 deliveries. He steered his team to victory alongside Iftikhar Ahmed (22*), with 10 balls to spare after the dismissal of Saud Shakeel for 31.
Sri Lanka compiled a challenging total of 344-9 in their allotted 50 overs, fueled by Kusal Mendis’s spectacular 122 off 77 balls and Sadeera Samarawickrama’s commanding 108 off 89.
This match etched its place in World Cup history with a record four centuries.
With two consecutive victories, Pakistan continue to shine, while Sri Lanka faces a daunting start with two losses.
England’s superb win will be a huge confidence boost to the holders after an opening defeat to New Zealand. And Pakistan’s performance showed that they cannot be discounted. Bettors need to analyse the two performances along with results and performances from the other nations to work out their picks, both for individual matches and for the tournament as a whole.
At the time of writing, Betway still have the hosts India as favourites with odds of 6/4, ahead of England who are at 11/2. Pakistan are sixth favourites with odds of 8/1 but, after two wins from two, another couple of good performances will see this price come down.