In the opening fixture of the double-header Saturday at the MCA Stadium in Pune, Australia clashed with Bangladesh in the 43rd match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, won the toss and elected to bowl first. With Mitchell Starc given a rest, Sean Abbott found a place in the playing XI, and Marcus Stoinis replaced Glenn Maxwell. Having already secured a semi-final spot with six consecutive wins, Australia aimed to continue their winning streak in the tournament..
Australia’s bowling performance in the initial 10 overs was lacklustre, conceding 62 runs without claiming a wicket. The breakthrough came in the 12th over when Sean Abbott dismissed Tanzid Hasan. In the middle overs, Adam Zampa applied the brakes to the flow of runs, taking crucial wickets of Litton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim. Despite Bangladesh initially looking on course for a 350-plus total, they concluded their innings at 306-8 in 50 overs.
Australia Had A Shaky Start In 307 Chase Against Bangladesh
In pursuit of 306, Australia faced a shaky start, losing Travis Head for just 10 off 11 balls. However, in-form batsman David Warner and Mitchell Marsh formed a crucial 120-run partnership, steadying Australia’s innings. Marsh went on to register his second hundred of the tournament, reaching the milestone off just 87 balls. Supported by Steve Smith’s brilliant 63*, Australia successfully chased down the target, winning by 8 wickets and 32 balls remaining.
Mitchell Marsh’s unbeaten innings worth 177 not only played a pivotal role in the victory but also resolved Australia’s middle-order conundrum in the tournament. With runs under his belt, Steve Smith also heads into the semi-finals with confidence. Australia’s comprehensive win places them in a formidable position as they look ahead to the knockout stages of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup where they are set to meet South Africa in the semifinal and should they go on to win that, the winner of the first semifinal between India and New Zealand in the summit clash.