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Root, Hales power England to eight-wicket win

Joe Root leans into a drive Getty Images

Joe Root and Alex Hales got England's Champions League campaign off to a winning start with a 159-run stand for the second wicket that helped the hosts eclipse Bangladesh - who had posted 305 batting first - by an eight-wicket margin at Kennington Oval on Thursday.

England's captain, Eoin Morgan, put the tourists in the bat first with the hope that the batting-friendly surface would aid his bowlers early on. He was wrong, as Bangladesh' top six batsmen, led by opener Tamim Iqbal with a 142-ball 128, with 12 fours and three sixes, found runs. The impressive display handed Bangladesh an imposing total.

England needed 6.10 runs from the onset to overturn the sizeable total, but they stuttered at the start and lost opener Jason Roy in the third over. His departure brought Root to the fore. Root and Hales dropped anchor, with Hales hammering 11 fours and two sixes in his 86-ball 95. He was unforgiving of anything pitched short or too full and smashed five boundaries in the arc between backward point and extra cover, apart from the straight sixes and the pushed fours through midwicket four times.

Root, at the other end, struggled with an ankle injury that he sustained while trying to pull the ball in the 26th over. The Root-Hales combine scored at 6.23 runs throughout their innings that lasted for 25.3 overs. Their 159-run stand put England in command. Hales' departure in the 28th over didn't affect England's momentum as Root and captain Morgan drove them home, with a 143-run stand, with 16 balls to spare. Root remained unbeaten on a career-best 133.