It was deja vu all over again for Bangladesh. If it was South Africa in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, it was Australia in Dubai on Thursday, and the punishment on this occasion was even more severe. Sent in to bat, Bangladesh were bowled out for 73, their fourth sub-100 total of the year in T20Is, and their second of the tournament.
It was the result of some superb bowling – particularly from Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood early on and then from Adam Zampa, who polished off the lower order to pick up his maiden five-wicket haul in T20Is – but the batting was quite dire for most part too. There was a sense that Bangladesh simply sleepwalked their way to their doom, with a number of their top-order batters getting out to shots of imprecise intent, neither attacking nor defensive.
Having started the day with a net run rate that was worse than South Africa’s by more than a run per over, Australia suddenly had a chance to leapfrog their nearest rivals in a tight semi-finals race. They began their chase knowing that they’d leapfrog South Africa’s NRR if they won in 8.1 overs or less.
And their captain Aaron Finch brought to this task exactly the intent that was required. It was a slog a ball, virtually, and although there were a number of swings and misses, he also connected enough to slap his way to 40 off 20 balls. That innings set the tone as Australia romped home in 6.2 overs, leaving a massive 82 balls to spare.
With that performance, Australia moved to second on the Group 1 table, equal on points with South Africa but with a superior net run rate – 1.031 to their 0.742. Both teams have a tricky final group game on Saturday; Australia take on West Indies, who may or may not still be in contention by then, and South Africa meet the group’s runaway leaders England.
Bangladesh: 73 in 15 overs (Shamim Hossain 19, Mahmudullah 16, Adam Zampa 5/19, Mitchell Starc 2/21, Josh Hazlewood 2/8, Glenn Maxwell 1/6)
Australia: 78/2 in 6.2 overs (Aaron Finch 40, David Warner 18, Mitchell Marsh 16*, Shoriful Islam 1/9, Taskin Ahmed 1/36) (Cricinfo)