NOTTINGHAM, England: Australia continued their march towards the Cricket World Cup semifinals on Thursday as a tournament-high 166 by opener David Warner helped them pile up 381-5 before they restricted Bangladesh to 333-8 to win by 48 runs.
Australia’s fifth victory in six games put the five-times champions top of the standings on 10 points and looking assured of a top-four finish, probably alongside England, India and New Zealand.
It was a third defeat in six for Bangladesh and though they are still fifth on five points, they will need a run of wins and other results to go their way to make the knockout phase.
Warner and Aaron Finch have been by far the most productive opening partnership in this World Cup and they again did their foundation job, eschewing too many high-risk shots to put on 121. Finch went first for 53, with Warner, still something of a shadow of his pre-ban swashbuckling self, moving solidly to three figures for the second time in the tournament.
He then began to connect with some big hits and when he was caught in the deep his tournament-leading aggregate had moved to 447. It was the second-highest score in a World Cup by an Australian — beaten by his own 178 against Afghanistan in 2015.
Usman Khawaja added a stilted but worthy 89 during a mid-innings lull, before Glenn Maxwell picked up the pace considerably by smashing 32 from 10 balls — his dashing innings ended by a run out that left him glaring furiously at Khawaja.
Marcus Stoinis (17 not out) and Alex Carey (11 not out) continued the big hitting to push the score far beyond anything previously successfully chased in a World Cup.
“Today was a great foundation for our batting,” said Warner, who hit 14 fours and four sixes. “I felt a little bit bogged down and frustrated, I kept hitting fielders but I managed to hang in there.”
Having chased down 322 with eight overs to spare against the West Indies on Monday, Bangladesh would not have been daunted by the prospect of even what would have been the second-highest successful run chase in one-day cricket history.
Their joyous fans certainly gave all the support they could while Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal were looking fluent together.
But when Shakib was out for 41 — caught by Warner — and Tamin was bowled by Mitchell Starc to leave them 144-3 at the halfway mark, their hopes were effectively over.
They deserve credit for getting so close, though, as Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah put together a lively partnership of 127 before Nathan Coulter-Nile had Mahmudullah caught on the boundary for 69 and bowled Sabbir Rahman for a golden duck.
Rahim reached his century to end 102 not out but it was scant consolation as Australia chalked up their 19th victory in 21 ODIs against Bangladesh.
“We had a good partnership at the top of the order but 381 was too much. It has become that every match that needs to be won now, but you never know,” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said. — Reuters