Dawid Malan’s superb century did the hard work for England as they racked up 364 for nine against Bangladesh in Dharamshala, a game they hope can kickstart their World Cup defence after a sticky start.
Malan reeled off a perfectly paced 140 in 107 balls at the top of the order, a career-best knock from a man who only inked his name in the first-choice XI a matter of days before the squad was finalised, to give his side their highest ever World Cup total away from home.
The 36-year-old, frequently an afterthought in England’s white-ball revolution but now a leading man in his own right, shared stands of 115 and 151 with Jonny Bairstow (52) and Joe Root (82) as the reigning champions recovered some of their swagger following a nine-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in the tournament opener.
At one stage, with a power-packed middle order queuing up in the dugout, they looked ready to shoot for 400 but their over-exuberance allowed Bangladesh to find a way back in the closing stages.
England lost five for 27 at one stage, but still walked away with a new record total at the HPCA Stadium, with Malan overtaking Indian superstar Virat Kohli’s 127 as the biggest individual score at the ground.
He paced his run perfectly, scoring his first fifty off 39 balls in the powerplay, taking 53 more to convert his half-century and then smashing 40 off his last 16 as he cut loose. With 16 fours and five sixes, it was an eloquent response to critics who worry about his ability as an aggressor.
For Bairstow there was a fifty to mark his 100th ODI cap, handed over in person by his former captain Eoin Morgan in the team huddle, while Root made his second telling contribution in as many games.
He was alone in emerging in credit from the thrashing in Ahmedabad, making a measured 77, and here moved past Graham Gooch’s mark of 897 runs in World Cup cricket.