Aiden Markram admitted South Africa rode their luck as they maintained their perfect record at the T20 World Cup with a tense four-run win over Bangladesh on Monday.

The Proteas looked to be heading for their first loss in Group D when they toiled to 113-6 in Long Island, but some slow scoring from Bangladesh left the match in the balance late on.

Requiring seven runs from the final three balls for victory, Bangladesh saw both Jaker Ali and Mahmudullah caught by Markram, who was in the right place at the right time on the boundary as South Africa's opponents went in search of a maximum.

The result keeps South Africa top of Group D and on course for a Super-8 berth with six points, four clear of Bangladesh, but Markram acknowledged they had been lucky.

"You're always pretty nervous in the final over in a game like that. It was always on a knife's edge, it can make you mentally tired," he said after the match.

"It's always nice to be in them though. Sometimes you get on the right side of it, sometimes not, but it's very entertaining. 

"That 19.5 full toss could've gone anywhere, it could've gone two more metres further and we'd have had a different conversation. 

"A few things went our way today, we were very fortunate to get on the right side.

"Today was one of those days where the seamers were bowling well, we wanted to drag it to the end where anything could happen in the last over."

Heinrich Klaasen hit a vital 46 to drag South Africa to 113 after they had been teetering on 23-4, putting up a 79-run partnership with David Miller, who hit 29.

"We're putting Klaasen and Miller under pressure but they've been exceptional," Markram added.

"They've gone back-to-back with crucial partnerships, got us to a score that was luckily enough to win but still one we could defend. It's fantastic for Klaasy to get back in form."

South Africa held off Bangladesh to maintain their perfect record at the T20 World Cup on Monday, defending a target of 113 in a thrilling finish in Long Island.

The Proteas, who had made a flawless start to their Group D campaign with successful chases against Sri Lanka and the Netherlands, looked to be up against it after a dire start to their third outing. 

Bangladesh's Tanzim Hasan Sakib needed just five overs to clinch a hat-trick as Reeza Hendricks went lbw for a first-ball duck, then Quinton de Kock (18) and Tristan Stubbs (0) followed, the latter chipping straight to Shakib Al Hasan at short cover.

Heinrich Klaasen stopped the rot, but his knock of 46 came off 44 deliveries as Bangladesh bowled efficiently, and another low-scoring affair was guaranteed when he was bamboozled by Taskin Ahmed's seam ball 18 overs in.

Bangladesh's chase got off to an inauspicious start as Kagiso Rabada had Tanzid Hasan (9) caught inside two overs, later joining Anrich Nortje on two wickets when an umpire's review showed he clipped leg stump to end Towhid Hridoy's stand of 37.

That knock had left Bangladesh requiring 18 off 12 balls in front of a fervent crowd, but like Pakistan versus India one day earlier, they were unable to get over the line. 

Proteas captain Aiden Markram was in the right place at the right time on two occasions, catching desperate attempts for a maximum from both Jaker Ali (8) and Mahmudullah (20) right on the boundary to seal South Africa's victory. 

Data Debrief: Proteas do enough... just

South Africa have still never lost a T20I versus Bangladesh in nine meetings, but they put themselves in real bother with some slow scoring in their innings.

However, the efforts of Rabada (2-19), Nortje (2-17) and Keshav Maharaj (3-27) were enough, the latter's bowling handing Markram two catches as Bangladesh were forced to hit big in the dying moments. 

The Proteas remain top of Group D with maximum points from three games, with Bangladesh now having one win and one defeat.

Afghanistan's strong start to the T20 World Cup continued on Friday as they dismantled New Zealand with an 84-run victory in Guyana.

It is now two wins in two for Afghanistan, who enjoyed another impressive opening stand as Rahmanullah Gurbaz plundered 80 off 56 balls, including five fours and five boundaries, with Ibrahim Zardan adding 44.

Azmatullah Omarzai's dismissal for 22 saw Afghanistan stumble, but with a respectable 159-6, it was always going to be hard for New Zealand to chase.

The 2021 runners-up could not find their footing, with only two of their players reaching double figures – Glenn Phillips top-scored with 18.

They stumbled to 75 all out in just 15.2 overs, suffering their first T20 international defeat to Afghanistan, and they drop to the bottom of Group C.

Elsewhere, Bangladesh survived a scare to make a winning start to their campaign, getting a two-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Dallas.

Pathum Nissanka impressed with 47 off just 28 balls, but a flurry of late wickets saw Sri Lanka stumble to 124-9 after a strong start.

Bangladesh’s chase started poorly, with both openers being dismissed in the first two overs. However, after Towhid Hridoy's 40, and Liton Das' 36, Mahmudullah's 16 not out helped them over the line at the end of the 19th over.

Data Debrief: Dominant Afghanistan strike again

Afghanistan have opened an ICC Men's T20 World Cup campaign with back-to-back wins for just the second time, last doing so in 2016. They have now won their last four T20Is, their longest streak since 2022. 

Gurbaz hit 50 for the second game in a row, improving on his 76 runs in their win over Uganada with 80 in this win. 

United States all-rounder Harmeet Singh declared the team will not be "walkovers" at the T20 World Cup, having scored a huge upset over Bangladesh on Tuesday.

The USA, who sit 19th in the T20 world rankings and will co-host next month's World Cup alongside West Indies, chased down a target of 154 for a five-wicket win in the first of four warm-up matches in Dallas.

Harmeet was named man of the match after teaming up with Corey Anderson to get USA over the line with three balls to play, smashing 33 runs off 13 deliveries.

Speaking after the win, Harmeet said the USA had sent out a message ahead of their home campaign, which begins against Canada on June 2.

"You don't always get an opportunity to win a game against a big side like this every day," Harmeet said. 

"The way the boys have been training, it is a personal effort from everybody. It means a lot to us to put on a show against Bangladesh. 

"We are no walkovers. I think our potential is immense. We have a lot of match-winners in the team. It gives us the edge. We bat as well now.

"I told the guys before the game that Bangladesh are a good team on paper, but if we go down without a fight, it won't send a good message."

Harmeet also thought Bangladesh may have taken their hosts lightly, particularly when choosing the wrong end for Mustafizur Rahman to bowl from and giving the USA's batters the advantage of high winds against other bowlers.

Mustafizur conceded 32 runs within the space of two overs before changing ends. 

"When I saw him bowl from the other end, with the wind, I thought we had a chance to sneak in a 20-run over from the other side," Harmeet said. 

"I think either they took us lightly or I don't know, they didn't have bowlers to bowl with from the other side."

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced an action-packed schedule for the West Indies Men, featuring three international home tours against South Africa, England and Bangladesh, from May to December 2024.

The home tours begin with a visit from South Africa, for three (3) T20 Internationals (T20Is) at Sabina Park, prior to the start of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.  The Proteas then return to the region, after the West Indies Test Tour to England in July, with a two (2) Test Match Series to be played in Trinidad and Guyana, followed by a second three (3) match T20I Series at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad, ahead of the Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Following a white ball tour away to Sri Lanka in October, the West Indies will welcome England to the Caribbean for a white-ball tour consisting of three (3) CG United One Day Internationals (ODIs) and five (5) T20Is.  The series will be played across Antigua, Barbados and Saint Lucia with travel packages on sale from today from CWI’s Official Tour Operators.

Bangladesh then completes the action-packed year with an all-format tour before Christmas with two (2) Test Matches in Antigua and Jamaica, three (3) CG United ODIs in St. Kitts and three (3) T20Is in Saint Vincent.

CWI Chief Executive, Johnny Grave urge fans to rally around the West Indies team for the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup, as well as for the three home series.

“West Indies will welcome South Africa, England and Bangladesh to eight of our host countries in the West Indies, including Saint Vincent for the first time since 2012. With significant improvements being made to the National Stadium in Grenada and Windsor Park in Dominica we were unable to host International cricket there this year, but we are already looking forward to returning to both venues in 2025," Grave said

"Fans can purchase tickets online from Friday for the first Series against South Africa in Jamaica and with our official travel partners for the England Tour later this year, with all other tickets expected to go on sale in July after the ICC Men’s T20 World. We urge fans to rally behind our Men in Maroon as we strive for a historic third T20 World Cup title and seek to secure all important points in the ICC World Test Championship," he added.

Full Schedule

South Africa Tour

May 23 – 1st T20I @ Sabina Park, Jamaica – 3 pm (Eastern Caribbean time)

May 25 – 2nd T20I @ Sabina Park, Jamaica – 3 pm 

May 26 – 3rd T20I @ Sabina Park, Jamaica – 3 pm

July 31-August 4 – Four-Day warm-up @ Brian Lara Stadium, Trinidad – 10 am 

August 7-11 – 1st Test @ Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad – 10 am

August 15-19 – 2nd Test Match @ Guyana National Stadium – 10 am

August 23 – 1st T20I @ Brian Lara Stadium, Trinidad – 3 pm

August 25 – 2nd T20I @ Brian Lara Stadium, Trinidad – 3 pm

August 27 – 3rd T20I @ Brian Lara Stadium, Trinidad – 3 pm

England Tour

October 31 – 1st ODI @ Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, Antigua – 2 pm

November 2 – 2nd ODI @ Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, Antigua – 9.30 am 

November 6 – 3rd ODI @ Kensington Oval, Barbados – 2 pm

November 9 – 1st T20I @ Kensington Oval, Barbados – 4 pm

November 10 – 2nd T20I @ Kensington Oval, Barbados – 4 pm

November 14 – 3rd T20I @ Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia – 4 pm

November 16 – 4th T20I @ Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia – 4 pm

November 17 – 5th T20I @ Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia – 4 pm

Bangladesh Tour 

November 15-18 – Four-Day warm-up @ Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua – 10 am

November 22-26 – 1st Test @ Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, Antigua – 10 am 

November 30-December 4 – 2nd Test @ Sabina Park, Jamaica – 11 am (ECT)

December 8 – 1st ODI @ Warner Park, St. Kitts – 9.30 am

December 10 – 2nd ODI @ Warner Park, St. Kitts 9.30 am 

December 12 – 3rd ODI @ Warner Park, St. Kitts – 9.30am

December 15 – 1st T20I @ Arnos Vale, St Vincent – 8 pm

December 17 – 2nd T20I @ Arnos Vale, St Vincent – 8 pm

December 19 – 3rd T20I @ Arnos Vale, St Vincent – 8 pm

 

Alice Capsey has set her sights on World Cup glory with England this year after a rollercoaster 2023.

The teenage sensation has enjoyed a rapid rise since starring in the inaugural Hundred at the age of 16, being snapped up by franchise leagues around the globe and making her international bow in both white-ball formats during the ensuing two-and-a-half-years.

Capsey played her part in the drawn Women’s Ashes last summer, but was also involved in the England team which lost in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup at the start of 2023.

The next World Cup will take place in Bangladesh later this year and the explosive batter wants to help Heather Knight’s side go all the way.

“Hopefully we can go one better this year and not have the same disappointment we had,” Red Bull athlete Capsey told the PA news agency.

“What we’ve got in the dressing room at the moment is a really fun and supportive culture. Everyone is loving being a part of it and the freedom we’re given.

“People really came out and watched us in the Ashes, so we want to keep building momentum. We want to keep showing what women’s cricket is about.

“We speak a lot in the dressing room about inspiring and entertaining. I think that shows in how we play and I hope it does, but that’s another thing we’ll look to build on and do even better this year. It is a really exciting year.”

Last year started with Capsey facing a race against time to be fit for the T20 World Cup in February after she broke her collarbone in the West Indies two months earlier.

Capsey recovered but was out for a duck in England’s semi-final loss to South Africa before she was whisked off to India for the inaugural Women’s Premier League, where she helped Delhi Capitals finish runners-up.

 

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A maiden Ashes series was the next assignment for Capsey, who struck a classy 46 in a memorable five-wicket victory over Australia at a packed Lord’s and followed it up with an important 40 in another nail-bitter at Bristol.

The final act of 2023, after featuring in the Hundred and Big Bash League in Australia, was England’s tour of India where red-ball disappointment followed for the 19-year-old after she had also been overlooked for the one-off Ashes Test in June.

“It has definitely been a rollercoaster,” Capsey admitted.

“Yeah, international cricket and any international sport is hard. It takes a toll on the mind and also physically so those couple of injuries didn’t help me, but I am starting to find my way now of how to manage it all.

“It was a season of highs and lows, but I probably didn’t perform as well as I would have liked. I was a bit inconsistent and that is something I want to work on and is definitely a goal I am looking towards for 2024.

“It was a really enjoyable year. A lot of firsts again which sounds a bit crazy after the last three years but it was brilliant.

“Playing in a World Cup and things like that, they are all high-pressure moments. Hopefully the more moments like that I have, the better I will get at competing in them and the more experiences I will have to look back on.

“I guess it is kind of building a toolbox so you can come back to when the pressure is on.”

Capsey begins 2024 in India with another edition of the WPL before she joins up with the England squad for the final two T20s of a five-match series in New Zealand.

It kickstarts an action-packed year of white-ball cricket, but the all-rounder’s Test ambitions still burn brightly.

“Everyone had a lot of conversations with the management staff and it was definitely a combined decision over what was best for the individual,” Capsey explained regarding her WPL participation.

“We have a World Cup in Bangladesh and looking even more to the future we have a 50-over World Cup next year in India and this is part and parcel of my development.

“I have targeted an area I want to work on, which is spin and it is another stepping stone in my development to spend a bit longer out here and pick the brains of the people who play spin the best.

“If individuals are getting better and learning how to play their best games in those conditions, it will benefit England as well.

“Having that aspiration to continue working really hard and that end goal to make my Test debut is definitely something at the forefront of my mind and something I’m working towards.”

Red Bull athlete Alice Capsey is an England and Delhi Capitals all-rounder. Find out more about her here.

Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews has criticised opponents Bangladesh for the appeal that led to him becoming the first player to be timed out in 146 years of international cricket during their World Cup clash in Delhi.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan appealed to the umpire for the batter’s wicket as Mathews, who had called for a replacement helmet after appearing to notice his strap was broken, was not ready to face his first ball within the two minutes required by the competition rules.

Bangladesh went on to record a three-wicket win that eliminated Sri Lanka from the competition and Mathews said at a post-match press conference: “It is obviously disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh.

“If they want to play cricket like that and stoop down to that level, there’s something wrong, drastically. Up to today I had the utmost respect for him and the Bangladesh team.”

Shakib stood by his decision, insisting that it was within the rules of the game. He said in a post-match interview: “One of our fielders came to me and said that if I appealed, he would be out.

“The umpire asked me if I was serious. It’s in the laws, I don’t know if it’s right or wrong.”

Smiling, Shakib continued: “I felt like I was at war. Whatever I had to do, I did it. There will be debates. Today that (the time out) helped, I won’t deny that.”

After much deliberation and no withdrawal of the appeal, Mathews was forced to walk off the field having not faced a ball.

The World Cup rules state that “after the fall of a wicket or the retirement of a batter, the incoming batter must, unless time has been called, be ready to receive the ball or for the other batter to be ready to receive the next ball within two minutes of the dismissal or retirement. If this requirement is not met, the incoming batter will be out, timed out.”

Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis was disappointed with the events he saw on the field.

He said on Sky Sports: “I didn’t enjoy what I saw out there.

“The spirit of the game, I always believe in that and the appeal and whole drama, I thought it was a bit too much for my liking.

“He came at the crease and he was standing there when he tried to pull that strap and the strap came off and he was just asking for another helmet.

“Yes, he came out a little bit late and in the law of the game he is out, but spirit of the game, I didn’t like it.”

Fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock explained the decision making and revealed Mathews had already gone beyond two minutes before he realised his helmet strap was broken.

He said: “When it comes to timed out, the incoming batter has to be in position and ready to receive a ball within two minutes and we have certain protocols where the TV umpire at a fall of the wicket monitors the two minutes and he will relay the message on to the on-field umpires.

“In the instance this afternoon, the batter wasn’t ready to receive the ball within those two minutes, even before the strap became an issue.

“The fielding captain initiated the appeal to Marais Erasmus that he wanted to appeal for timed out.”

Bangladesh went on to take their second victory of the tournament with a three-wicket win.

Charith Asalanka’s second one-day international century proved to be in vain as he helped Sri Lanka reach 279.

In reply, a key partnership between Najmul Hossain Shanto (90) and Shakib (82) took the game away from Sri Lanka as Bangladesh picked up their first win since their opening fixture against Afghanistan.

Pakistan are targeting a late push for the Cricket World Cup semi-finals after a convincing seven-wicket win over Bangladesh.

Faced with a target of 205 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Pakistan made light work of knocking it off, thanks in large part to opener Fakhar Zaman's 74-ball 81, which included seven sixes.

That victory moved Pakistan onto six points, with two pool matches - against third-placed New Zealand and lowly England - remaining.

Should they win both, then Babar Azam's side stand a strong chance of qualifying, though they will also rely on both the Black Caps and Australia, who both have a match in hand, slipping up.

 

"Credit to the boys, the way they played in all three departments," said captain Babar at the post-match presentation.

"We know how well Fakhar plays when he's going and it was good to see him do it.

"We are trying to win our remaining matches and see where we stand. This win hopefully gives confidence in the coming matches."

Bangladesh, meanwhile, have been eliminated, with their captain Shakib Al Hasan saying: "Not enough runs.

"We lost an early wicket, then we had partnerships but not big ones that would allow us to go big in the last ten overs."

Shakib put on 43 to complement a 45 from Litton Das and Mahmudullah's 56, but Bangladesh were bowled out for 204 after only 45.1 overs.

Fakhar's superb knock and Abdullah Shafique's 68 swiftly paved the way for Mohammad Rizwan (26 not out) and Iftikhar Ahmed (17no) to seal victory for Pakistan in the 33rd over.

It was just the fourth time Pakistan had defeated a team with at least 100 balls remaining in an ODI, having last done so against West Indies in 2011. The big win boosted their net run rate, which may still prove decisive in the battle to reach the semis.

 

"I practiced a lot after the Asia Cup," said Fakhar, who after hitting three successive ODI centuries earlier this year, had failed to score above 33 in his 11 innings since the start of May and lost his place in the side.

"Thankfully, I was feeling very good in the camp. I was looking forward to scoring for my team, but it's cricket, Today I got a chance. I had worked hard for this and it paid off.

"It doesn’t matter how the wicket will play, I know I can hit sixes, so I was just looking to play out the first four overs.

"My role is always to make it easy for my partner. I know my role, it was to see off the first four overs and then go for the ball. We were just looking to finish the game before the 30 overs.

"After too many failures I was always looking just to score the first 30 runs and I was struggling to get that. I’m very happy – hopefully I'll make it big in the next games."

Shaheen Afridi, meanwhile, joined Australia spinner Adam Zampa at the top of the wicket-taking charts for the tournament with figures of 3-23.

Reece Topley insisted he was just getting started on his “unfinished business” in World Cup cricket after blowing Bangladesh away with four wickets in Dharamshala.

Topley claimed four for 43 as England coasted to victory against the Tigers, making a big impression after being recalled to the side following defeat to New Zealand.

It was a welcome day in the sun for a 29-year-old who has had to endure more than his fair share of dark times due to a litany of injury problems that could easily have ended his career.

Five different stress fractures in his back left him sidelined for long periods and denied him the chance to push for a place in the triumphant 2019 campaign, while his luck got even worse on the eve of last year’s T20 tournament in Australia.

 

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The 6ft 7in left-armer had been lined up to play a key role with the ball, only to trip on a boundary sponge during a fielding drill and rupture ligaments in his left ankle. When England went on to lift the trophy at a packed MCG, it was hard for him not to imagine his own hands on the silverware.

Now he has a real chance to control his own story. With his body holding up well and his game in good order, things are finally falling into place.

“When I came out here I certainly felt like there was some sort of unfinished business with World Cups,” he said.

“Last year it was certainly an opportunity missed, I was bowling really well in the lead-up and then sort of had the rug pulled out from under my feet.

“The last-minute injury was very disappointing, but I’ve been wrapped up in cotton wool this time and it’s nice to be here. Hopefully there are more contributions because I don’t feel like I’ve sort of scratched the surface with World Cups.

“Obviously being injured and not being able to do what you are good at, what you love, is awful. Watching others take your wickets or score your runs is another horrible thing.

“But you have to ask yourself what are the choices? Do you sit around and feel sorry for yourself or do you just have to crack on and get yourself back to full fitness?”

England’s circuitous route around India sees them playing in eight different cities across nine group games – with Ahmedabad and Dharamashala already in the rearview and Delhi up next for Sunday’s game against Afghanistan.

The constant cycle of internal flights and coach transfers means rotation has been discussed, especially among the fast bowling department, but Topley has already missed enough games for a lifetime and has no desire to sit out.

He described his omission in favour of spinner Moeen Ali against New Zealand as a “take your medicine” situation, but is willing to be a workhorse if required as the competition unfolds.

“There’s a lot of chat about the schedule. To be honest, it’s one game every five days, it seems,” he said.

“I mean, county cricketers do much worse. If we play for Surrey, we’d be more tired. It’s not really an excuse for us. Sevens games is 70 overs maximum.

“In our changing room, we’ve all played county cricket, which can be quite a torrid time. You have to play a lot more regularly than this seven weeks, so I think everyone in our team can handle it pretty well.”

Dawid Malan vowed to “keep silencing people” after his century helped England get back to winning ways at the World Cup with a convincing display against Bangladesh.

Now 36, Malan has had to scrap hard for every opportunity he has had in international cricket and only inked his name into the World Cup side a matter of days before jetting out to India.

As recently as last month he was viewed as a versatile reserve batter for the tournament rather than a starter, but Jason Roy’s untimely battle with back spasms and Malan’s own player-of-the-series showing against New Zealand finally saw him nail down a spot at opener.

A false start in the tournament curtain-raiser against New Zealand put the pressure on England as defending champions, but for someone who has felt his credentials being placed under the microscope regularly Malan was well placed to stand up and be counted in Dharamshala.

He put on 115 with Jonny Bairstow (52) and 151 with Joe Root (82) on his way to 140 from 107 deliveries, three more than the final winning margin as the Tigers failed to live with a target of 365.

It was his sixth hundred in just 23 ODI appearances – the same number Sir Andrew Strauss managed in 127 caps and the explosive Alex Hales in 70 – but he still feels motivated by the struggles he has faced to find a place with England.

“I’m just hungry, hungry to play, to play well, hungry to score runs and win games of cricket,” he said.

“I’ve wanted to be part of this team for so long and it’s been impossible to break into with players that have been so good. I’m desperate to do well in this format and prove a point that I deserve to be in there.

“I feel like every series I’m under pressure. For me to keep silencing people is all I can do. If I can score as many runs as I can and help contribute to wins hopefully eventually people’s opinions might change.

“To be able to score a hundred and say that I’ve been able to score a hundred in a World Cup game for England is fantastic.”

Malan is, in many ways, an unlikely magnet for critics given his outstanding 50-over record. He boasts an average of 63.15 and a strike rate of 98.44, with exactly 1,200 runs on the board, but he is all too aware of those who remain sceptical about his ability to accelerate.

“There’s been a lot of strange narratives around over the last couple of years,” he said.

“But the majority of my cricket for England has been T20 cricket and I’ve always said, I can play it like a T20 game if you want me to. Just ask me to do what you need me to do and I’ll do it.”

Ahead of the game England had expressed concerns over the state of the outfield at the HPCA Stadium, with the loose, sandy soil composition making for uncertain conditions underfoot.

But the scale of their victory meant they were not forced to take any undue risks in the field and were able to bank the points without any scares.

“It was pretty bad. We’re pretty happy to get through that game without any injuries – both teams, I think,” said all-rounder Sam Curran.

“We don’t have to come back here. But hopefully the outfield does get better: it’s not very nice, what’s happened to it. But I thought the wicket was really good.

“Luckily, there weren’t too many balls we had to sprint after, we’re just pretty happy that no-one’s injured coming into the next game.”

An outstanding century from Dawid Malan and Reece Topley’s eye-catching return put England’s World Cup defence back on track as they hammered Bangladesh by 137 runs in Dharamshala.

The 2019 champions were bruised by a thumping loss to New Zealand in the tournament opener but banked a handsome win of their own to cap their visit to the outer ranges of the Himalayas.

Malan was the architect, rolling out a career-best 140 in 107 balls as he carried England to 364 for nine with a fourth century in his last nine innings.

At one stage they would have backed themselves to post 400, but a flurry of wickets at the back end kept them to a less flashy figure.

It was still their biggest World Cup total on foreign soil and easily enough to get the job done against outmatched opponents who were railroaded by Topley on his recall to the starting XI.

England bolstered their pace attack by swapping out spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali for the 6ft 7in left-armer and it proved an inspired decision as Topley blew away the Bangladesh top order and finished with four for 43.

He took two in two balls in his opening over, clean bowled captain Shakib Al Hasan with a wonderful ball and circled back for the battling Mushfiqur Rahim.

He was the pick of the pack throughout and will take some budging from the teamsheet now.

Bangladesh lost their way entirely with the bat, ambling aimlessly to 227 all out and helping repair much of the previous damage to England’s net run-rate.

Malan was only inked into the starting XI last month, embarking on a compelling run of late summer form just as the selectors were losing faith in the form and fitness of Jason Roy.

A lethargic start against the Black Caps in Ahmedabad did not show him at his best, but the 36-year-old removed any doubt about his readiness with a wonderfully-paced knock.

His first 50 runs came in a hurry, taking just 39 balls, and, after taking 52 more to convert his half-century, he showed off some extra gears by slamming 40 off his last 16 deliveries.

Malan’s ambitious streak was evident from the outset, with two glorious sixes off Mustafizur Rahman the highlight of England’s 61-run powerplay.

The first saw him stoop low enough to engineer a slog-sweep over deep square, a shot requiring equal parts bravery and timing, and the second saw him stand tall and pull hard.

When Bangladesh retreated to spin he took a different method, rarely allowing himself to go aerial, threading his shots into gaps and pulling out a reverse sweep against the steadying hand of Shakib.

He took the lion’s share of a 115-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow (52), who had earlier joined England’s 100-cap club after a presentation from former captain Eoin Morgan and was looking solid until Shakib snuck one into his leg stump.

Malan also outscored Joe Root in the decisive third-wicket stand of 151 that kept England ticking for almost 20 overs.

Root, who emerged alone in credit against the Black Caps thanks to a well-made 77, was calm and controlled again, cutting loose only briefly to reverse ramp Mustafizur for six.

In reaching 82 he moved past Graham Gooch as England’s leading run-scorer in World Cup cricket, easing past his mark of 897.

When Malan departed in the 38th over, after unloading a torrent against Mehedi Hasan, he had left the power-hitters in the middle order a perfect platform of 266 for two.

To score 98 more for the loss of seven wickets was an underachievement, down in no small part to Sofiul Islam, who removed Jos Buttler, Root and Liam Livingstone in the space of nine deliveries.

Despite that, they already had more than enough, with Topley’s new ball showing settling the issue.

Having watched from the sidelines as England took a single wicket last time out, he doubled that tally in his first over.

His fourth delivery swung enough to take Tanzid Hasan’s outside edge and carried to second slip and his second left Najmul Shanto as he sprayed to backward point.

Shakib survived despite misreading the hat-trick ball but was soon undone by something even better, beaten on the outside edge by one that held its line and clipped the top of off.

When Chris Woakes nicked off Mehidy Hasan Miraz it was hard to see a way back from 49 for four and they never really attempted to tackle the spiralling required rate.

Liton Das (76) and Mushfiqur (51) made England work before Woakes and Topley returned to add to their hauls, but the sense of any danger had long disappeared.

Livingstone countered his first-ball dismissal with the bat by producing a first-ball wicket of his own and Adil Rashid opened his account in his 16th over of the tournament.

Bangladesh’s passivity saw them survive almost until the end, but Mark Wood and Sam Curran hit the stumps late on to wrap things up.

Dawid Malan’s superb century did the hard work for England as they racked up 364 for nine against Bangladesh in Dharamshala, a game they hope can kickstart their World Cup defence after a sticky start.

Malan reeled off a perfectly paced 140 in 107 balls at the top of the order, a career-best knock from a man who only inked his name in the first-choice XI a matter of days before the squad was finalised, to give his side their highest ever World Cup total away from home.

The 36-year-old, frequently an afterthought in England’s white-ball revolution but now a leading man in his own right, shared stands of 115 and 151 with Jonny Bairstow (52) and Joe Root (82) as the reigning champions recovered some of their swagger following a nine-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in the tournament opener.

At one stage, with a power-packed middle order queuing up in the dugout, they looked ready to shoot for 400 but their over-exuberance allowed Bangladesh to find a way back in the closing stages.

England lost five for 27 at one stage, but still walked away with a new record total at the HPCA Stadium, with Malan overtaking Indian superstar Virat Kohli’s 127 as the biggest individual score at the ground.

He paced his run perfectly, scoring his first fifty off 39 balls in the powerplay, taking 53 more to convert his half-century and then smashing 40 off his last 16 as he cut loose. With 16 fours and five sixes, it was an eloquent response to critics who worry about his ability as an aggressor.

For Bairstow there was a fifty to mark his 100th ODI cap, handed over in person by his former captain Eoin Morgan in the team huddle, while Root made his second telling contribution in as many games.

He was alone in emerging in credit from the thrashing in Ahmedabad, making a measured 77, and here moved past Graham Gooch’s mark of 897 runs in World Cup cricket.

England’s bid to get their World Cup defence back on track could be hampered by the condition of the outfield in Dharamshala when they face Bangladesh today.

A surprise thumping at the hands of New Zealand in their opener has narrowed England’s margin for error but concerns in the lead-up to their second fixture have centred on the field of play.

Uneven grass coverage and a loose sandy make-up at the HPCA Stadium in the foothills of the Himalayas led England captain Jos Buttler to suggest “the integrity of the game” could be compromised.

Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman came close to a nasty injury on Saturday when his knee lodged in the surface as he slid to stop a boundary, with debris spraying up from the soil as he landed.

The International Cricket Council stressed the outfield was rated ‘average’ by the officials at that game, while match referee Javagal Srinath has declared himself satisfied after a fresh inspection.

But England have had two training days at the venue and are unimpressed by conditions, which appear to fall short of international norms.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Buttler said: “I think it’s poor, in my own opinion. It’s not as good as it could be or should be.

“Certainly if you feel like you’re having to hold yourself back, it’s not a place you want to be as a team, or as a player, or in a World Cup match.

“You want to dive through a row houses to save a run, so it’s obviously not ideal, the way the surface is. We won’t be using it as an excuse, we’ll just have to be a bit smart.”

He subsequently took his misgivings even further, telling the BBC: “The powers that be are comfortable, the only thing I would question is, if you are telling players not to dive and stuff does that question the integrity of the game?

“Worse case scenario is something bad happens, but fingers crossed that doesn’t happen for both teams.”

England are likely to draft left-arm quick Reece Topley into their starting XI as they ponder shifting the balance of the side to include an extra specialist seam option.

While Ben Stokes engaged in another long batting session in the nets, his second in as many days, there is no prospect of him being risked as he continues to recover from a hip injury.

England’s World Cup-winning former captain Eoin Morgan gave a wholehearted endorsement of Stokes’ importance to their title defence, given how essential he was to the cause in 2019.

Morgan believes his presence carries even more weight than it did previously, given the achievements he has racked up along the way as a T20 world champion and inspirational Test captain.

“Is he as influential as he was? Even more so I’d say,” said the Irishman, who is in India as an ICC World Cup ambassador.

“He just continues to deliver when the team needs and creates belief and confidence around that and if you play with a guy that has already crossed the finish line on numerous occasions, and speaks in straight lines and not riddles, it’s genuine.

“I think the thing that we can’t measure when it comes to Ben is how much he contributes in the changing room and how much he makes other players better around him.”

England captain Jos Buttler has suggested the state of the outfield in Dharamshala could compromise “the integrity of the game” when his side face Bangladesh on Tuesday.

The HPCA Stadium is one of the most visually stunning grounds in the world, set against the Himalayan mountain range of Dhauladhar, but the field of play is causing serious concerns due to its loose, sandy make-up and uneven grass coverage.

Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman came close to a nasty injury on Saturday when his knee lodged in the surface as he slid to stop a boundary, with debris spraying up from the soil as he landed.

The International Cricket Council have stressed that the outfield was rated ‘average’ by the officials at that game, while match referee Javagal Srinath has declared himself satisfied after a fresh inspection.

But England have had two training days at the venue and are unimpressed by conditions, which appear to fall short of international norms.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Buttler said: “I think it’s poor, in my own opinion. It’s not as good as it could be or should be.

“Certainly if you feel like you’re having to hold yourself back, it’s not a place you want to be as a team, or as a player, or in a World Cup match.”

He subsequently took his misgivings even further, telling the BBC: “The powers that be are comfortable… the only thing I would question is, if you are telling players not to dive and stuff does that question the integrity of the game?

“Worse case scenario is something bad happens, but fingers crossed that doesn’t happen for both teams.”

Buttler appeared particularly frustrated at the idea of asking his side to hold back – particularly as they look to provide a rousing response to their hefty nine-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the tournament opener.

“Any time you’re talking about being careful diving, or maybe being careful when you’re fielding, it goes against everything you want to be as a team,” Buttler said.

“You want to dive through a row houses to save a run. so it’s obviously not ideal, the way the surface is.

“I think it’s definitely one where you’re going to have to be a little bit careful, which isn’t what you want to be doing when you’re playing for your country.

“You want to put your body on the line and be trying to save every single run and have confidence in the field.

“We won’t be using it as an excuse, we’ll just have to be a bit smart.”

Liam Livingstone unleashed a six-hitting spree the last time he visited the Himalayan city of Dharamshala and believes it could be the perfect place for England to put their World Cup campaign back on track.

The reigning champions had a stuttering start to their title defence, thrashed by nine wickets after a timid performance in the curtain-raiser against New Zealand, and will be eyeing a much-improved performance against Bangladesh on Tuesday.

The game takes place at the picturesque HPCA Stadium, framed against the backdrop of the Dhauladhar mountain range and sitting 1,500 metres above sea level.

The altitude provides a boost for big-hitting batters, with the ball travelling further in the thinner air, and Livingstone had a chance to test the theory in the IPL earlier this year. He smashed 94 in just 48 balls for Punjab Kings, launching nine sixes along the way.

And, after labouring to an under-par 282 against the Black Caps in their opener, there could not be a better venue for England to rediscover their power-hitting mojo.

“It’s an incredible ground and an incredible place to bat if it’s anything like it was that day,” said Livingstone.

“Conditions here should suit us and the boys are really excited. We want to get over what happened the other day and almost go twice as hard. We want to put on a really good show and get things kickstarted in this tournament.

“Because of the altitude the ball just flies really well here. You can feel it, it makes you more confident to take on the boundaries.

“They aren’t that big anyway and the altitude just makes it better with the power we’ve got in our line-up. It certainly helps as a batter, standing there knowing you can take the fielders on.

“It’s the kind of place you can really set up the back end of the innings and score highly. Personally, I’ve got good memories here and hopefully I can repeat it.”

Despite the remote nature of Dharamshala, an area better known for its proximity to the Dalai Lama’s residence just 10km away in McLeod Ganj, Livingstone is not the only squad member to have played here.

Sam Curran and Jos Buttler have also passed through on IPL duty, while Buttler, Joe Root and Chris Woakes all played in England’s first ever international at the venue in 2013.

England beat India on that occasion, taking seven wickets with fast bowlers, and they are likely to be tempted by an extra seamer this time.

Left-armer Reece Topley was unlucky to miss out against New Zealand and heads the queue to come in, while Gus Atkinson and David Willey also stand by with Moeen Ali’s spot vulnerable.

“It’s a good pitch, with good pace and carry and it can nip around,” Livingstone said.

“It’s probably as English a pitch as there is out here and will probably suit us more than many grounds around the country. Hopefully that can play in our favour.”

The one change England would most like to make, bringing Ben Stokes back in to bolster their middle order, is unlikely to happen as he continues to struggle with a hip problem.

Without him the onus will fall on others to fashion a fitting response to their loss in Ahmedabad and Livingstone insists they are ready to oblige.

He was part of the team that lost to Ireland in the group stages of last year’s T20 World Cup and went on to lift the trophy and is unfazed a single setback.

“There’s no point looking back and regretting. We could have lost by one run or the way we did, either way, we move on,” he said.

“One game doesn’t define a tournament and if you’re going to lose a game like that you’d probably rather it was the first one.

“You can lose games and win a World Cup, we’ve shown that before. The one thing this group does well when we’ve lost a game of cricket is double down on our aggressive approach and we’ve got a chance to do that on Tuesday.”

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