While it wasn’t totally one-sided, England never really looked in doubt that they were going to win. The eventual margin, of 106 runs, suggested that England were scoring at a rate far too high for their Bangladeshi counterparts. It is notable that in their past 7 innings England’s lowest score was their 311 against South Africa, while for Bangladesh 330 is the highest score they have ever posted. Bangladesh’s only chance was to bowl England out for around 250 or under, and as soon as England pushed past 300 it felt all over. Just the same, this is a similar margin to how much England beat South Africa by, and there is no shame in this kind of loss.
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Five Things We Learned:
(1) England are a seriously powerful batting unit
7 scores in a row over 300 is a world record, and it is pretty impressive. That it included scores against South Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh, all very good ODI bowling units, makes it all the more impressive. It’d take a pretty good effort to limit them to a low score and right now it just doesn’t look like happening. 386, their score in this match, didn’t look like they were really trying either. They only lost 6 wickets and had a few things go wrong. If they’d really pushed themselves, they could have got 400, or more.
(2) Jason Roy is pretty good
He isn’t even one of the names you think of when you think of England, and yet he managed a lazy 153, off just 121 deliveries. To see his overall record, of an average of 42.04 and a strike rate of 107.06, is scarcely believable, and it just highlights how good England’s batsmen are. Jonny Bairstow averages 46 at 106, Jos Buttler 42 at 120, Eoin Morgan 39 at 90 and Joe Root 50 at 87 while the all-rounder Ben Stokes averages 37 with a strike rate of 94. Those are numbers that let you get 300 every game. No other team has batsmen with those kinds of records.
(3) Shakib al Hasan just can’t be stopped
The greatest all-rounder in the world didn’t take any wickets, after England’s batsmen were extra careful against him, but he still bowled well opening the bowling, and when he came out to bat at number 3 he scored a century, 121 off 119 balls to be precise. If only Bangladesh had 11 of him, they might have won. He stands head and shoulders above the others in the team, simultaneously the best batsman and the best bowler, all in one. He is now the leading run scorer, too, and has had 3 good matches out of 3.
(4) Bangladesh’s first up win was an upset after all
There has been a lot of talk in certain quarters that Bangladesh’s first up win over South Africa was predictable, and that Bangladesh were “red hot favourites”. Well, it wasn’t. Yes, Bangladesh beat South Africa in 2007, and they also beat them twice in 2016, but they also lost to them 15 times in between time, and the matches that Bangladesh won were in very different circumstances. In 2016 they were in Bangladesh, during Bangladesh’s form period following their 2015 World Cup quarter final loss, while in 2007 they were in the Super 8 stage, in a match that didn’t matter. Their win this time did matter, and it wasn’t at home, and it represented a massive change to their previous performances. As we’ve seen against New Zealand, who were meant to challenge for a semi-final spot, and the favourites England, in spite of Bangladesh beating England in two World Cups in a row, Bangladesh are just not at the same level. So much for a semi-final spot, that looks like a distant memory now. It’s still possible, but not likely at all.
(5) And we are back to normalcy
While I don’t get every match right with my predictions, I do get most right, and it was comforting to get this one right. Sure, so Ben Stokes didn’t fire as much as I thought he would – though he still took 3 wickets as the 6th bowler used, and nor did Joe Root, but Shakib al Hasan fired, and England won pretty handily. While I do like the odd upset, it is also nice to have predictable things happen, as they did here. Phew.