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Alex Hales shows worth after Adil Rashid falls victim to England tradition | Ali Martin

Opener laid foundation for successful chase but leg-spinner dropped at 11th hour felt badly missed when Tamim Iqbal was sending Bangladesh fans into a frenzy

The importance of Alex Hales to England’s one-day team can feel undervalued at times, such that when the architects of their post-World Cup revival are reeled off his name tends to lag behind the weapons-grade hitting of Ben Stokes or Jos Buttler, the steely invention of Eoin Morgan or the gleaming jewel in the batting crown, Joe Root.

But as Morgan’s side opened their Champions Trophy campaign with an eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh, it owed much to the Nottinghamshire opener breaking the back of the chase. His 86-ball 95 set the platform for two of his more vaunted team-mates, an unbeaten 133 from Root and Morgan’s 75 not out polishing off the target of 306 with minimal fuss.

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