Heavy rains saved the day for Bangladesh who seemed to struggling to get past their Australian counterparts after being restricted to just 182 courtesy some exceptional bowling by Mitchell Starc. Australia seemed to be steering towards an easy win before the rains stripped them of an easy point.
Bangladesh won the toss and their captain Mashrafe Mortaza decided to bat, despite forecasts suggesting rains, claiming that the pitch was ideal for batting. Bangladesh brought in Mehedi Hasan to replace Mosaddek Hasan while Australia replaced John Hastings with Adam Zampa. Both the teams brought in their premier spinners to utilise the footmarks created after the South Africa Sri Lanka matchup.
Australian pacers pin down Bangladesh
The duo of Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal started off slowly playing each ball at its merit because the Australian fast bowlers, on a pitch that didn’t have too much for the pacers, were generating great pace to keep them at bay. Josh Hazlewood got the first breakthrough of the day when he cleaned up Sarkar at 3 in the sixth over which further slowed the pace of the innings resulting in Bangladesh scoring just 39 runs at the end of the first powerplay. Pat Cummins then got his name on the scoreboard after he dismissed Imrul Kayes for 6 just after the powerplay. The Bangladesh batsmen kept on playing cautiously but failed to build any major partnership as Mushfiqur Rahim squandered away his wicket at 9. Next to come in was Shakib Al Hasan who complemented Tamim Iqbal brilliantly as the two rotated strike quite well to keep the scoreboard ticking. Tamim then stepped on the accelerator in the 23rd over and scored 16 runs off Moises Henriques to provide the much-needed boost to the run rate. The 28-year old brought on his 37th ODI fifty as Bangladesh looked solid at 94/3 at the halfway mark.
Starc and Zampa dismantle the Tigers
Shakib and Tamim continued rotating the strike with occasional boundaries and looked to steer Bangladesh towards a competitive total. However, Travis Head dismissed the set Shakib Al Hasan when the latter tried to come down the wicket and hit Head for a biggie. From then on it was the duo of Hazlewood and Pat Cummins who choked the runs out with some disciplined pace bowling. However, it was Adam Zampa who reaped the benefits of the pressure as the leg-spinner struck twice in two consecutive overs to put Bangladesh in a spot of bother. Meanwhile, Tamim continued his stint and kept dealing in singles to keep Bangladesh alive in the game. However, the Bangladesh opener was undone by Starc’s short pitched delivery and missed out on what would have been his second consecutive century of the tournament by five runs. Starc then bundled out two more batsmen in the same over to finish an exquisite wicket maiden. It was then a matter of time before the Bangladesh innings was brought to an end and the inevitable happened when Pat Cummins bowled out Mehedi Hasan to scalp his second of the match restricting Bangladesh to a modest total of 182.
Rains play spoilt sport as Australia looked to close in on first win
The opening pair of David Warner and Aaron Finch got Australia off to a flyer as the two batsmen scored with ease and kept their side leaps and bounds ahead of the asking rate as the danger of heavy showers loomed large. However, it was Finch, once again, who departed early continuing his dismal run of form in recent ODIs. Australian skipper Steve Smith came out to the crease to join Warner and the lethal pair kept the scoreboard ticking without taking high risks. Warner reached the 4000 ODI runs landmark in the 14th over and became the third fastest batsman in history to do so. Australia was miles ahead of the DLS score of 39 when the rains interrupted play in the 16th over.
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