Dawid Malan struck a magnificent 114 not out to anchor a tense chase of 210 on a challenging surface and steer England to a three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first one-day international in Mirpur.
Malan’s fourth ODI ton – and second in a row, following a century in his last game in South Africa – was testament to his concentration and temperament as wickets regularly tumbled around him.
Will Jacks (26), on debut, was the next highest scorer, with only three other batters passing double figures – including Adil Rashid, whose unbeaten 17 was a key part of an unbroken fifty stand for the eighth wicket that saw England over the line.
Bangladesh’s spinners did the damage under lights, having earlier elected to bat first in the day-night clash, with Taijul Islam taking 3-54, Mehidy Hasan 2-35 and Shakib Al Hasan 1-45.
England stumbled to 65-4 at one stage, having lost their captain Jos Buttler (9) cheaply, and then to 161-7 with little more than 11 overs left as Malan was joined at the crease by Rashid.
Archer and Jacks impress as England restrict Bangladesh
Earlier, Jofra Archer (2-37) was among four England bowlers to bag a pair of wickets as he continued his return from elbow and back injuries that have sidelined him for most of the past 18 months.
Fellow England quick Mark Wood (2-34), along with spin twins Rashid (2-47) and Moeen Ali (2-35), also impressed as Bangladesh were bowled out for 209, 16 balls shy of their allotted 50 overs.
Much like Malan would prove to be for England, Najmul Hossain Shanto (58 off 82 balls) was the mainstay of the Tigers’ innings, notching a maiden ODI fifty while earning his 16th cap.
Chris Woakes (1-28) struck in the fifth over, trapping Litton Das (7) lbw, to bring Shanto to the crease, while Wood bowled the returning Bangladesh skipper Tamim Iqbal – back after missing time with a groin injury – for 23 in his opening over.
Mushfiqur Rahim (16) failed to cash in on an error from Phil Salt on the deep midwicket boundary after the England fielder overbalanced and touched the rope when claiming an acrobatic relay catch. Six runs instead awarded, Mushfiqur then holed out to the same region off Rashid soon after.
When Moeen then bowled Shakib (8) cheaply, Bangladesh were teetering on 106-4, but Shanto and Mahmudullah proceeded to share in a half century stand for the fifth wicket to seemingly weather the storm and set up a grandstand finish to the innings.
That was until the pair departed within an over of each other, Shanto first picking out Jason Roy at short midwicket and Mahmudullah getting a thin edge behind off a legside delivery from Wood.
Jacks claimed a maiden ODI wicket when Afif Hossain (9) miscued one to mid-on, while Archer helped to mop up the tail with his two wickets, albeit not before some handy runs from Taskin Ahmed (14) and Taijul (10) helped lift the hosts up beyond 200.
Malan anchors England chase amid Tigers spin threat
It might not have appeared a hugely daunting prospect, especially given England’s trademark swashbuckling style with the bat in white-ball cricket, but the pitch was offering great assistance to the bowlers, and particularly spin.
As such, it was no surprise to see Bangladesh introduce their collection of tweakers early in the innings, with Shakib claiming a wicket to end the opening over – Roy (4) skying one high into the air and to Tamim at mid-off.
Taijul added Salt (12), bowled, and James Vince (6), stumped after a wild charge out of his crease, in quick succession, and when Buttler steered a Taskin delivery straight to slip in the 17th over, the visitors were reeling at 65-4.
Jacks played nicely in his maiden ODI innings, striking three fours and one six in a promising 38-run stand with Malan, but one that was ended by Mehidy as the promising Surrey youngster picked out deep midwicket.
Moeen (14) similarly hung in there in support of Malan for a period, until becoming Mehidy’s second victim, while Woakes (7) was undone by Taijul, chipping one straight to mid-on.
All the while, however, Malan serenely and superbly ticked along to a 134-ball hundred and it was he – ably assisted by Rashid – who saw England to a memorable victory, smashing the winning runs – his eighth boundary to go with four sixes – with eight balls to spare.
The tourists take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series heading into Friday’s second ODI at the same venue.
Malan: Handling pressure is part of the job
Player of the Match Dawid Malan (114no off 145 balls)…
“I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Bangladesh, especially at this ground, which helps.
“I told Jos [Buttler] it would have been tough to chase if they’d have got 30-40 more runs.
“It’s satisfying to get over the line, handling pressure is part of the job.”
Buttler: We have plenty of areas to improve on
England white-ball captain Jos Buttler…
“We are delighted to win. These are tough conditions.
“Malan’s innings was outstanding and is an example for us on how to play on these wickets. There was plenty in the wicket for both spinners and pacers.
“There’s plenty of areas to work and improve on. It’s about small partnerships on wickets like these, 20-30 run partnerships can be really valuable.”
Tamim: We should have score more runs
Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal…
“I thought the position we were in, we should have scored at least 30-35 more runs.
“It was a good wicket for spinners. We started well and lost three back-to-back wickets.
“We tried everything in our bowling options. Whenever the wicket was there, we kept catchers in. I’m proud of the bowlers the way they bowled. Have to credit one man – Malan.”
England return to Mirpur for the second game of the three-match series in Bangladesh on Friday, aiming to wrap up a series win with one game to spare. Live coverage starts from 5.30am on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event, with play getting under way from 6am.
Watch England’s three-match ODI tour of South Africa live on Sky Sports and stream on NOW TV.