Mitchell Marsh’s spectacular unbeaten century propelled Australia to a commanding eight-wicket victory against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Marsh’s stellar knock of 177 not out, supported by Steve Smith’s unbeaten 63, helped Australia chase down a challenging target of 307 with 32 balls to spare in their final league match of the World Cup.
Australia faced an early setback when Travis Head was dismissed in the third over by Taskin Ahmed. However, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh joined forces to resurrect the innings.
Marsh, in sensational form, took charge by aggressively dismantling the Bangladeshi pacers, setting the tone for the chase. Warner contributed to the partnership before being dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman.
Unfazed by Warner’s departure, Marsh continued to dominate, leaving Bangladesh skipper Shanto searching for ideas.
Meanwhile, Steve Smith showcased his return to form with an impressive display of shot-making, further strengthening Australia’s grip on the match. Smith’s ability to handle spinners and pacers alike bodes well for Australia as they head into the knockout stages.
Earlier, Bangladesh posted a total of 307 runs, a score that could have been more substantial if not for missed opportunities and outstanding Australian fielding.
Tanzid Hasan and Litton Das provided a strong start, surviving the first powerplay without losing wickets. However, Hasan’s dismissal and Shanto’s run-out halted their momentum.
Despite Das and Shanto’s promising partnership, Bangladesh faced a collapse as Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Rahim, and Hasan succumbed to poor shot selection.
Cummins utilized a variety of bowling options, including Stoinis and Abbott, to restrict Bangladesh. The lower order attempted to counterattack but fell short, and Bangladesh finished at least 50 runs below their potential total.
With this convincing victory, Australia concludes the group stage with seven wins, securing the third spot in the table. Marsh’s exceptional form, coupled with contributions from Warner and Smith, positions Australia as a formidable force heading into the knockout stages.
Their semi-final clash against South Africa promises to be a thrilling encounter, with Australia aiming to extend their impressive World Cup campaign.