Bangladesh put a brave show but fell short of a ruthless Australian team to effectively kill off their semi-final hopes in the World Cup 2019 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Thursday.
Faced with an uphill task, Mushfiqur Rahim hit his maiden World Cup hundred while Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal added two fifties to give Bangladesh their highest ever one-day international score of 333-8, but they could never panic Australia apart from giving them a few headaches.
The defending champions went on to win the contest by 48 runs after David Warner’s 166 off 147 balls took them to a massive 381-5, effectively batting Bangladesh out of the contest.
The Tigers had to improve the World Cup record for the highest successful run chase by some distance to shock Australia and were practically in the contest until the 40th over of their innings when they made 245-4.
But they lacked the power to muster 137 runs in the last 10 overs, which eventually separated the two teams.
Mushfiq was batting on 75 when Bangladesh entered the final 10 overs of their innings alongside Mahmudullah, whose two sixes off leg spinner Adam Zampa in one over hinted a bit of competition.
But the required run rate was too much for Bangladesh to achieve against such a quality attack, featuring at least three bowlers with an ability to bowl over 140km speed.
The match tilted towards Australia’s way when Nathan Coulter-Nile ended Mahmudullah’s merry-going 50-ball innings of 69 with a short ball and bowled Sabbir Rahman in the next ball.
Mushfiq, 102 not out, hung on to complete his maiden World Cup century with a single off Mitchell Starc amid loud cheers from a large number of Bangladeshi fans, who apparently ignored the defeat and took satisfaction in the fighting spirit.
Bangladesh had to start positively in pursuit of such massive target but unlike the previous game against West Indies, when they knocked off 321-8 in 41 overs, it was not the case this time.
The opening pair of Tamim and Soumya Sarkar lasted little less than four overs before a bizarre run out ended their partnership.
Sakib al Hasan and Tamim repaired the innings after Soumya’s departure for 10 with a 79-run stand but found the Australian bowling too good to handle.
Marcus Stoinis deceived Sakib (41) with a slower to force a top-edge, dismissing the batsman for the first time in this World Cup before he could reach half-century.
When Tamim chopped a delivery off Starc onto his stumps to get dismissed for 62, Bangladesh began to lose hope only for Mushfiq and Mahmudullah to
revive it with their 127- run stand.
Bangladesh lost the game mostly with their bowling, which lacked any kind of penetrating power that could trouble the Australian batsmen on a docile pitch.
The ordinary fielding of the side also did not help the bowlers as Warner took full advantage of his dropped chance on 10 by Sabbir Rahman off Mashrafee to score his second century in the tournament and take the total beyond Bangladesh’s reach.
Soumya turned out to be Bangladesh’s best bowler with 3-58 while most others had an ordinary day in the business.
Rubel Hossain was involved in his first two wickets but not before the Australian batsmen punished Bangladesh heavily.
Warner and Aaron Finch (53) shared 121 runs in the opening stand without facing much trouble before Soumya struck in his first over.
Warner then added 192 runs with Usman Khawaja for the second wicket to leave Bangladesh short of ideas.
Ironically, it was Soumya, who struck again and Rubel took the catch at third man to deny Warner a bigger innings.
His inning set the perfect platform for Glenn Maxwell to launch a scathing attack and he made no mistake in doing so.
Rubel ended Maxwell’s 10-ball cameo of 32 runs with a direct throw before Soumya had Khawaja caught at back by Mushfiq but the damage
was already done as Australia added 131 runs in the last 10 overs.
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