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Cricket-England rout Bangladesh to close in on semis berth

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By Reuters
Cricket-England rout Bangladesh, inch closer to semis in T20 World Cup
Cricket-England rout Bangladesh, inch closer to semis in T20 World Cup   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

By Amlan Chakraborty

DUBAI -England continued their march towards the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup with their second successive victory, an eight-wicket romp against Bangladesh in a Group I match in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday.

Spinner Moeen Ali (2-18) struck in the powerplay and Tymal Mills (3-27) dominated the death-overs to restrict Bangladesh to a below-par 124-9.

Opener Jason Roy smashed 61 off 38 balls as England, bidding to become the first team to hold the 50-overs and 20-overs World Cups at the same time, triumphed with 5.5 overs to spare.

“The bowlers have started the tournament exceptionally well,” captain Eoin Morgan said as England maintained their top spot in the six-team group.

“Again today, very disciplined and backed up with really good catching and ground fielding.

“It’s nice for Roy and Dawid (Malan) to get some time at the wicket. The way Jason plays is so imposing,” Morgan added.

“When you play like that on a really slow wicket, it’s difficult to set fields.”

Earlier, Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat on what their skipper Mahmudullah described as a “belter” at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Mahmudullah was soon left to rue that decision as England reduced Bangladesh to 27-3 after the six powerplay overs.

Moeen has enjoyed operating with the new ball in recent times and the off-spinner once again was in the thick of things removing both the openers in the third over.

Liton Das offered a top-edge at backward square leg and Mohammad Naim sent the next ball straight to the mid-on fielder and Bangladesh’s powerplay woes were not over yet.

Adil Rashid took a tumbling catch running backwards at short fine leg to dismiss Bangladesh’s talismanic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for four.

Mushfiqur Rahim made a run-a-ball 29 before trying to reverse-sweep Liam Livingstone and getting trapped lbw in the process.

Bangladesh had to wait until the penultimate over for their first six in their innings when Nasum Ahmed smashed a couple of them against Rashid though they still fell short of the 125-mark.

England began their chase briskly to snuff out any prospects of an upset in the first ever 20-overs contest between the sides.

Jos Buttler fell for 18 but Roy killed off the contest with his whirlwind knock that included three sixes.

England fielded the same XI which had outplayed https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-cricket-t20worldcup-eng-win-idUKKBN2HD0ES defending champions West Indies on Saturday.

“We were disappointed with the batting,” Mahmudullah said after Bangladesh slumped to their second successive defeat in the Super 12 stage.

“It was a good wicket but we didn’t start well and didn’t have any partnerships in the middle either.”

England face Ashes rivals Australia in their next match on Saturday, while Bangladesh meet West Indies on Friday.