Daily Mail

Malan makes merry in World Cup audition

Patient Dawid guides England home

- RICHARD GIBSON at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Mirpur

AlITTle more than 24 hours after an england team went down by a single run in a Test in New Zealand, their oneday counterpar­ts were dragged over the line in another nail-biter courtesy of the best hundred of Dawid malan’s career.

malan’s unbeaten 114 was his second three-figure contributi­on in as many one-day internatio­nals, coming a month to the day since he rescued his team from the perils of 14 for three by propelling them to victory over South Africa in Kimberley.

This match-winning contributi­on against Bangladesh was of greater significan­ce, however, given that the low, slow mirpur pitch is not the kind suited to a back- foot player like the Yorkshire left-hander, and has similar characteri­stics to those which await at this autumn’s World Cup in India.

malan has spent his days on the internatio­nal scene filling gaps and has been demoted a place in the order in this series to accommodat­e others.

Yet now he looks favourite to open with county colleague Jonny Bairstow in Jos Buttler’s team’s title defence. oddly, this is the final series for england before the selectors pick their squad ahead of a September 10 deadline.

Understand­ably, though, a player omitted from the Twenty20 World Cup final last November, after declaring himself fit, is yet to feel fully establishe­d.

‘It’s for me to chase the squad more than being someone fixed in, so it gives me the opportunit­y to just go bat, play the situations as I see them and try to win a game of cricket, which is something I enjoy more than looking at a stat,’ he said.

‘It’s not about your first

10 balls, or 100 balls, or whatever. It’s about how many games you win and what percentage you contribute to those wins — that’s what I pride myself on.’

The 35- year- old absorbed pressure his team-mates could not, keeping the tourists on track in a bowler- dominated contest, after surviving an umpire’s call leg before review on 26.

england slumped to 65 for four, and 90 runs were still required with half the side dismissed at the second drinks break, as a high- class Bangladesh bowling attack combining threat with thrift circled their prey.

However, it was at that juncture, with dew beginning to make the surface slicker, that malan showed the extra gears he told coach matthew mott he possessed in a heart-to-heart on his future nine months ago.

A solitary four featured in his 92-ball 50, but his second, lofted over extra cover off mehidy Hasan miraz, preceded a skip down the pitch and a beautiful straight strike for six.

The concern for england, when moeen Ali and Chris Woakes fell amid a cacophony within the space of four overs, was that he would run out of partners to make good such aggression. In a match of just two 50-run stands, though, the second between malan and Adil rashid proved most significan­t.

The former raced to his fourth oDI hundred from 134 balls and then finished things with eight balls unused by threading Najmul Hossain Shanto’s occasional spin to the midwicket rope.

Shanto’s maiden 50 had earlier repelled an england attack pairing pace bowlers Jofra Archer and mark Wood for the first time in two years.

Archer’s new- ball spell was punctuated with wides and no-balls but he overcame that early profligacy to match Wood’s two wickets, while a spin triumvirat­e including debutant Will Jacks shared five more.

Surrey’s Jacks was also england’s second top scorer, contributi­ng 26 from No 6. But it was a man who viewed himself as a specialist drinks carrier until last year’s regime change who was being toasted last night following a man-of-thematch display that opens the chance to seal a series victory on this same ground tomorrow.

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 ?? AFP ?? Dominant: Malan hits out during his superb century
AFP Dominant: Malan hits out during his superb century

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