Sports, Cricket

Aussies step closer to semi-finals

Published : 21 Jun 2019 08:24 PM | Updated : 01 Sep 2020 10:37 PM

Australia have one foot in the semi-finals after a cunningly calculated David Warner century fired them to a 48-run victory over Bangladesh in the highest-scoring match in World Cup history.

Warner smashed 166 off just 147 balls as he exploded upon reaching triple figures to see the Aussies post 5-381 - their second highest score ever at the tournament.

Bangladesh’s 8-333 was still their largest ever ODI total, while the 714 total runs scored between two teams was a World Cup record, eclipsing the 688 scored between Australia and Sri Lanka in 2015.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch sensed danger during Bangladesh's unsucessful chase of 382 in the World Cup 2019 game played between the two sides at Trent Bridge on Thursday. He admitted that every Bangladesh partnership gave Australia a few butterflies. 

Bangladesh put in a brave fight in the chase but fell short by 48 runs to register a loss over the mighty Australia. Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim played a brilliant knock of unbeaten 102 and was well supported by Mahmudullah (69) during the course of their chase. 

The duo stitched together a 127-run partnership and kept Bangladesh in the hunt. However, the target turned out to be too much for them and they could manage 333/8, their highest total in ODIs.

Before that, opener Tamim Iqbal (62) and Shakib al Hasan (41) also shared a 79-run partnership for the second wicket and made sure the Bangladesh were not out of the race.

"Every time there was a partnership going, there were a few butterflies," said Finch at the post-match presentation.

"We have been pretty consistent. We have guys who have World Cup experience. Having good partnerships with bat and ball is important," he added.

With 10 points from six games, Australia are currently at the top of the table and look rest assured to be one of the participating teams in the semifinals. However, Finch feels it's a bit early for the reigning champions to think about the last-four stage of the showpiece event.

"Not yet thinking about semis. Hopefully, we will secure a place in the top four," he said.

Earlier, David Warner scored his 16th ODI hundred as his 166-run knock powered the defending champions to post 381/5 in their full quota of 50 overs. Warner, along with Finch, stitched a 121-run partnership for the first wicket and laid a solid foundation for the batsmen to follow.

Usman Khawaja, who came in next, then played sensibly and scored 89 runs and shared a 188-run partnership with Warner. Towards the end, it was a great cameo from Glenn Maxwell, who scored 32 off just 10 balls, and made sure Australia post a total which was out of reach for the Bangladesh team.

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza also praised Warner and admitted that his team gave away a little too many towards the end of the innings. "I think we gave away 40-50 on the field. Otherwise, it could have been a different chase," he said, adding "credit to Warner and other Australian batsmen".

With five points from six games, Bangladesh now need to win all their remaining three matches and hope for favourable results in matches of other teams as well if they have to secure a spot in the semi-finals in World Cup 2019.