In an action-packed encounter under the Guwahati floodlights, England emerged victorious against Bangladesh in their final preparations for the upcoming World Cup. Despite a three-hour rain delay and even an earthquake, the world champions showcased their aggressive intent with a high-octane run chase. Moeen Ali’s blistering 56 from just 39 balls, featuring six towering sixes, propelled England to a four-wicket win with a substantial 77 balls remaining in their rain-reduced 37-over chase.
Although the outcome of this encounter was not the primary focus, it provided crucial playing time for several players, including experienced campaigners like Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, and Joe Root. Wood, known for his explosive pace, made an impactful return to competitive cricket after recovering from a heel injury. He could have dismissed Bangladesh’s effective batsman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, early in his innings, but the chance went begging.
Tanzid Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman showcased their skills during the powerplay, offering glimpses of Bangladesh’s potential. However, England’s relentless aggression ultimately overwhelmed their opponents. Jonny Bairstow, in fine form, contributed 34 runs from just 21 balls, setting the tone for England’s attacking display. Jos Buttler maintained the aggressive tempo with a quickfire 30 off 15 deliveries.
Moeen Ali’s six-hitting prowess stole the show as he launched six maximums into the night sky, ensuring England’s confidence going into the tournament opener against New Zealand.
While the result was secondary, the return of Adil Rashid, who had missed recent matches due to injury, was a positive sign for England. He picked up crucial wickets, including veteran pair Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah.
The match, which spanned over eight and a half hours due to delays, allowed England to assess their bowling attack. Despite some rustiness, England’s quicks demonstrated their readiness for the tournament. Sam Curran, Reece Topley, and David Willey also made crucial contributions.
England’s response to Bangladesh’s total was aggressive from the outset, with Dawid Malan and Bairstow providing a quick start. However, Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman and Hasan Mahmud struck at key moments to keep England in check. Jos Buttler played his part with some big shots.
The only concern for England remains the form of Joe Root, who struggled to accelerate his innings. He was fortunate to survive a few chances, but his boundary count remained minimal. Fortunately, Moeen Ali’s power-packed performance ensured England’s victory.
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