Roy kicked things off authoritatively, playing the sort of innings that he has been threatening to in the midst of a red-hot run of form into the World Cup. He and Jonny Bairstow further cemented their position as one-day cricket’s most potent pairing, putting together their eighth century stand in just 29 innings: twice as many as any other opening pair has made since they started opening for England in this format.
The only way Bangladesh were ever going to rein a fearsome England batting line-up in was early wickets, and that’s what Mashrafe Mortaza was hoping for when he decided to bowl first on a pitch that looked like it would help the seamers. The track looked as green and tufty as a martian’s chest-hair, but Bangladesh’s bowlers – seam or spin – found no sign of life upon it.
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Shakib, opening the bowling, was seen off with minimal fuss, and England were chugging along happily at a run a ball by the time the Powerplay was up. Mashrafe overcame the frailties of his creaking body and a flat performance in the field to inspire a breakthrough, nipping Bairstow out shortly after he had raised a maiden World Cup fifty, but an assured response from England’s middle order meant Bangladesh were unable to find any further advantage.
Roy cruised to a 92-ball hundred in the 27th over – his ninth ton in his 77th ODI innings – and when he sent the first three balls of Mehidy Hasan’s sixth over careening over the boundary to bring up his 150, it appeared a World Cup double-hundred was within reach.
He fell attempting a fourth hit, having raised England’s tempo, and Jos Buttler was promoted up to No. 4 to force the issue. He swatted and slogged his way to 64 from 44, while Liam Plunkett later capped the effort by slamming four fours and a six in the nine balls he faced. Buttler, however, tweaked a hip hitting one of his four sixes, with news filtering in midway through the game that he would not take the field for England to keep wicket, Bairstow filling in in his absence.
Not that the mid-innings switch seemed to affect England’s bowling plans one iota. Archer cruised through what may well have been the fastest-ever opening burst by an England bowler in ODIs, topping more than 150kph three times in an over during which he also clean bowled Soumya Sarkar, the ball thudding off the stumps and carrying all the way over the 54 metre boundary behind the wicketkeeper, such was its velocity.
An uncomfortable Tamim Iqbal was put out of his misery by Wood in the 12th over, but Shakib then shared in yet another significant stand with Mushfiqur Rahim, the pair adding 106 for the third wicket, as Bangladesh briefly steadied themselves. But he was made to huff and puff along the way and by the time his tired arms failed to get his bat down fast enough on a Stokes toe-crusher to be bowled for 121, Bangladesh’s chase was already long over.
Unable to get on top of a clinical English bowling outfit, the required rate ballooned steadily to double figures, and well beyond. There was nary a whimper from the lower order as Bangladesh folded, Archer returning to mop up the tail.
Buttler’s hip was really their only worry throughout, and England appeared in a different league as they rebounded from defeat to Pakistan earlier in the week. What’s more they made it look easy. On a record-breaking day – their total was also the highest in List A cricket at Cardiff – the abiding sense was of a team who are only getting started.