England face anxious Woakes wait

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Shukriya Pakistan

England’s joy at launching their Champions Trophy campaign with a commanding win over Bangladesh was tempered by the prospect of all-rounder Chris Woakes missing the rest of the tournament.

Woakes, a key member of England’s one-day international side, managed just two overs with the new ball against the Tigers before going off with a left side strain and played no further part in a match where the all-rounder was not required to bat.

England, set 306 for victory, enjoyed a commanding eight-wicket victory on Thursday.

Joe Root’s career-best 133 not out plus major contributions from Alex Hales (95) and captain Eoin Morgan (75 not out) saw them win with 16 balls to spare as England completed the highest successful run-chase in Champions Trophy history at a sun-drenched Oval.

Liam Plunkett, whose haul of four wickets for 59 runs included the dismissals of in-form Bangladesh batsmen Tamim Iqbal (128) and Mushfiqur Rahim (79) with successive deliveries, helped England compensate for the loss of fellow paceman Woakes during the match.

– ‘Mainstay’ –

But there was no hiding Morgan’s concern regarding Woakes, with the skipper telling reporters: “It is a worry when he goes off the field and can’t come back on and bowl.

“He’s going to have a scan tonight.

“He’s obviously been very impressive for us over the last couple of years — and a mainstay, very reliable guy,” the former Ireland international added.

“Side strains are a big confidence thing, aren’t they?. He would definitely be a loss if he couldn’t play.”

Morgan, however, was proud of the way England’s attack coped with Woakes’s absence.

“You know, when one of your main bowlers can only bowl two overs, it’s asking a lot of the rest of the team to be able to stem the flow.

“At one stage, Bangladesh looked like they were getting 330 — and to peg it back from there I thought was a credit to them.”

Meanwhile Root moved to allay fears over his fitness after he suffered cramp in his calf while batting.

“It’s alright — it looks like it’s just a bit of cramp,” he said.

“I must not have eaten well enough this morning. I don’t see it as too big an issue.”

Morgan, who was able to watch from the other end as Root completed his 10th ODI hundred, said: “Obviously Alex continued his form — Joe, unbelievable, as usual — and it was nice for me to get some runs as well.”

The only disappointment in an otherwise impressive England innings was when opener Jason Roy fell for one on his Surrey home ground.

It was Roy’s fifth single figure score in his last six ODI innings.

But Morgan, who gave Roy a resounding vote of confidence in his pre-match news conference, made it clear he would keep his place for England’s next Group A fixture against New Zealand in Cardiff on Tuesday.

“I thought he was terribly unlucky today,” said Morgan after Roy was superbly caught at short fine leg off an attempted ramp shot.

“It was quite smart, bowling a slow ball, and brave … a big gamble.

“That sort of stuff can happen. You can get out in that sort of fashion when you’re short on runs. But yes, certainly we believe in him.”

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was left to reflect on how Tamim and Musfiqur’s exits off successive Plunkett balls in the 45th over probably cost his side a total in excess of 330.

“After Tamim got out, then Mushfiqur, the next ball, that was the problem for us,” he said.

“I think we were 20 to 30 runs short, especially on that sort of wicket.”

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