Dubai: The contest between Bangladesh and England was so one-sided that the actual turning point proved to be the toss in the final analysis of the game. Excepting winning the toss, nothing else went right for Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza the moment he elected to bowl first against a rampaging side that mercilessly attacks the bowlers.
Any captain would have who won the toss and put their rivals to bat on a wicket that had a good layer of green tinge, especially after a spell of rain the day before. Hoping that it would provide some assistance, Mashrafe is right in electing to bowl first. But the wicket played differently to what was expected off it. It had true bounce from start to finish and not much seam movement off it despite blustery conditions.
Jason Roy, who went on to score 153, and Jonny Bairstow took the match away right from Bangladesh with an impressive opening partnership, that laid the foundation for a total in excess of 350, which will be an uphill task for any team chasing such a score in a World Cup.
Though Shakib Al Hassan led the record chase gallantly, it was never possible to surpass England’s total of 386 for six as the Bangladesh batsmen were under constant pressure to keep up with the run-rate, only to lose by 106 runs.
Things could have gone differently had England won the toss and elected to bowl first. Bangladesh batsmen would have played with far more freedom and a total around 300-plus, as they have done against South Africa given the depth in batting, could have given them the chance to put pressure on the England batsmen, just the way the Pakistan bowlers did. However, that was not to be.
Mashrafe could have even used Mustafizur Rahman to open the attack, instead of Shakib. Yes, the spinners have tasted success against the England openers in the last couple of clashes, but the bowlers were leg-spinners and the conditions were different.
The Tigers, going for the hunt after suffering a narrow loss in the clash against New Zealand in their earlier clash, were hunted again and now they will be ready to bring their campaign back on trail to stay in with a chance after tasting blood in their opening win against South Africa.