Joe Root hit a century, despite suffering an apparent ankle injury, to inspire England to beat Bangladesh in their first match of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy at the Oval in London on Thursday.
England won by eight wickets after Root, who finished on 133, Alex Hales and captain Eoin Morgan helped them to 308 for two, after Bangladesh had set a daunting target to chase by posting 305 for six.
In the process, England made history in the Champions Trophy, per ESPNcricinfo:
England break the record for the highest successful chase in Champions Trophy history https://t.co/YFSeH7v7mu https://t.co/bQqPyVEGp12017-6-1 17:12:28
The Bangladesh score was built on some fine performances at the wicket, most notably from Tamim Iqbal, who hit 128. Progress stalled when Liam Plunkett took two wickets from consecutive balls. It proved to a turning point in the Bangladesh innings.
England set about their chase with gusto, despite an early setback for Jason Roy. He was dismissed on one when he was caught by Mustafizur Rahman off a delivery from Mashrafe Mortaza.
Fortunately, England could rely on a terrific partnership between Root and Hales. The latter was the first to 50, but Root, undoubtedly the star attraction of the day, soon followed, encouraging the crowd in the process, per Test Match Special:
Test Match Special @bbctms
The first cry of Roooooooooot of #CT17. 50 for @root66 @englandcricket 129/1 in 23rd. https://t.co/wO02LtlpRv https://t.co/Y6vYcDeNmC2017-6-1 15:07:33
While the crowd was buzzing, Sky Sports Cricket noted how Root's progress to the half-century had actually been quite steady:
Sky Sports Cricket🏏 @SkyCricket
Root follows Hales to fifty, reaching his off 59 balls with just four fours. Eng 126-1 need 180 off 28 overs on SS2: https://t.co/GE8EOofG75 https://t.co/0t2z6uLcSS2017-6-1 15:07:11
Root and Hales weren't just scoring in bunches; they also used strong and smart running to turn one run into two more than once. However, the pair could still find the boundary when needed, as Hales demonstrated when he smashed a six off Sabbir Rahman.
Joy turned to despair one ball later, though, when a crafty leg-spin delivery from Sabbir forced another bold swing from Hales. He was caught by Sunzamul Islam and left the field on a respectable 95.
There was also a scare for Root when he appeared to turn his ankle when setting off for a quick single. The Yorkshireman briefly required treatment on the field but was able to continue.
England escaped another scare when Morgan, Hales' replacement, looked to have been caught by Iqbal. Yet a video review appeared to show the ball hitting the ground first.
However, it was a close call, as Sky Sports Cricket showed:
Consecutive fours took Morgan past his 50, as a clearly hobbled Root inched toward his century. A smart shot behind gave Root enough time to snatch two and claim his 100.
He soon added a pair of fours to give England the win and cap a fine Man of the Match display.