Defending champions Australia rode on David Warner’s century to beat a resilient Bangladesh side and climb to the top of the 2019 Cricket World Cup table. Tasked to chase a mammoth total of 382, Mashrafe Mortaza’s side could manage just 333, despite putting on an inspiring show.
This defeat complicates the qualification scenario for Bangladesh but Mortaza was happy with his team’s performance, calling it their ‘best ODI side ever’.
“I think we conceded 40-50 runs more, otherwise it could have been different. Mushfiqur (Rahim), Shakib (Al Hasan), Tamim (Iqbal) batted very well. (Mahmudullah) Riyad was very good towards the end.
“That’s the best ODI side we ever had. To be honest, we were positive from the first ball. After Soumya got out, Tamim and Shakib kept going but 381 was too much to get,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Warner equaled Adam Gilchrist’s tally of 16 ODI hundreds, leaving him just two short of Mark Waugh and 13 short of Ricky Ponting. The southpaw was glad to achieve the feat but maintained that the two points mattered more.
“It’s a great achievement [equalling Adam Gilchrist’s hundred tally], but it’s more about two points and moving forward,” he said.
“You have to respect the new ball. You have to adapt to the conditions. It (the wicket) was a tad slow. But it was a grind for the bowlers, wasn’t easy to get wickets.”
Aussie skipper Aaron Finch explained his team selection after numerous changes in the playing XI were forced over the past 2-3 games due to an injury to Marcus Stoinis.
The all-rounder returned to the team after sitting out against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“A couple of changes were forced, when you lose your all-rounder. So just toying with ideas but also relying on the surface. If it’s a dry wicket, we might have two spinners,” he explained.
“Our fielding was very sloppy, early on it was a bit slippery but no excuses. We are not thinking about the semi-finals as of now.”
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David Warner showed flashes of his belligerent best with 166 from 147 balls as Australia moved to the top of the World Cup standings with a 48-run victory over Bangladesh.
Uncharacteristically restrained since returning from a 12-month ban for his role in the ball-tampering saga, Warner was again occasionally watchful in reaching his second three-figure score of the tournament before cutting loose.
Dropped on 10 in an innings containing 14 fours and five sixes, Warner’s stands of 121 and 192 with Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja respectively formed the backbone of Australia’s 381 for five at Trent Bridge, where Bangladesh were unable to mount another national-record run chase.
The Tigers had overhauled 322 with seven wickets and more than eight overs to spare against the West Indies on Monday but, despite boisterous support, they fell short here on 333-8.
It was not for the lack of trying, though, as Mushfiqur Rahim produced a defiant 102 not out while Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah also produced significant contributions in an ultimately fruitless cause.
Bangladesh’s hopes of progression to the semi-finals have therefore been left on a knife edge following a third loss but Australia’s fifth win in six matches leaves them well placed to get to the knockout stages.
Fortune seemed to be smiling on them as Finch won the toss in the tournament for the first time, and Australia’s captain and Warner continued to flourish in a partnership that stretched beyond 50 for a fifth time in six innings.
Warner, though, was unconvincing early on and was given a reprieve after slashing Mashrafe Mortaza to backward point, where Sabbir Rahman put down a difficult low chance diving to his right.
It would prove a costly drop as Warner hooked Mustafizur Rahman for six before a more authoritative slog sweep off Shakib Al Hasan produced the same result as he and the more assured Finch moved to half-centuries.
It was a surprise when Finch departed for 53, perhaps taken aback by the extra bounce of Soumya Sarkar and guiding a cut straight into the hands of Rubel Hossain in the gully region.
For a period thereafter, both Warner and Khawaja eschewed risk, progressing serenely by routinely rotating the strike. Indeed, Warner’s second fifty contained only three fours as he reached three figures off 110 balls.
There was a sense the pair should have upped the tempo sooner but, after Khawaja moved unobtrusively to a run-a-ball fifty, Warner reverse-swept Shakib for four before depositing the spinner high into the stands for six.
Warner’s acceleration took him to the top of the tournament run charts and its highest score but, with a double ton on the horizon, an uppercut off Soumya failed to clear Rubel at short third man.
Bangladesh should be proud of their efforts. They've been superb & great to watch at the World Cup:— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 20, 2019
Beat S Africa after scoring 330
N Zealand only beat them by 2 wickets
Scored 280 versus England
Beat W Indies when chasing down a target of 322
Scored 333 against Australia#CWC19
At 310-5, Glenn Maxwell was given licence to tee off and he duly did, clearing the ropes three times in an entertaining cameo of 32 off 10 balls before being run out following a mix-up with Khawaja, who then fell for 89 after becoming Soumya’s third victim.
Nevertheless, in conceding 131 from the final 10 overs, in part due to some ineffective bowling and poor fielding, Bangladesh were faced with a tournament-record chase.
It began in inauspicious circumstances when Finch threw down Soumya’s stumps following some miscommunication with Tamim, but had the Bangladesh opener dived then he may have made his ground.
Shakib’s previous four innings had yielded two fifties and two centuries but he was dismissed for 41, his lowest score of the tournament, after a leading edge from a Marcus Stoinis off-cutter went straight to Warner at mid-off.
Tamim seemed primed to anchor the chase but inside-edged Mitchell Starc on to his stumps for 62, leaving the defiant Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah, who put on 127, to carry on Bangladesh’s charge.
They had only five runs fewer than Australia did at the 40-over stage before Mahmudullah thumped Adam Zampa for two sixes in three balls en route to a 41-ball half-century, eventually holing out for 69.
The Asian side lacked the consistent firepower of their opponents in the closing stages but Mushfiqur had the consolation of going to his hundred off 95 balls in the penultimate over.
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Pakistan veteran Mohammad Hafeez said the men in green are determined to fight for a spot in the 2019 World Cup semis after being hurt by their dismal show in the tournament.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s side are just above bottom placed Afghanistan after winning one game so far and are in need of a miracle to make it to the last-four.
The 1992 champions need to win their remaining four games and require other results to go their way external in order to qualify for the knockout phase.
Fellow strugglers South Africa will be the next team to challenge Pakistan and Hafeez believes that his team is determined to stage a come-back.
“I tell you that to see the team at number nine is hurting all of us,” Hafeez, whose 84 anchored Pakistan’s innings of 348-8 in their only win over England, was quoted as saying by AFP.
Pls dont use bad words for the players yes u guys can criticise our performance we will bounce back InshAllah we need ur support 🙏🙏🙏— Mohammad Amir (@iamamirofficial) June 17, 2019
Pakistan have lost to Australia and India to go with their humiliating defeat to West Indies in their first game. They will be hoping to win against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Afghanistan that follow the crucial tie against the Proteas.
“We failed collectively as a team,” said Hafeez. “We could not produce a team effort and individual brilliance did not help us either. In cricket these days, you need a team performance.”
“We can’t blame any single person. Everyone is responsible for failing to deliver,” added the 38-year-old, who said harsh media criticism after their heavy defeat against India on Sunday had been tough on the players.
“All of us are also hurt by the negative campaign in the media where players and their families were targeted. There was talk of groupings (factions) in the team which was wrong.
“Why don’t you talk about such things when the team is winning?”
Hafeez said despite the perilous situation, all is not lost for Pakistan.
On behalf of all athletes I would like to request media and people to maintain respect levels in regards to our families, who should not be dragged into petty discussions at will. It’s not a nice thing to do— Shoaib Malik 🇵🇰 (@realshoaibmalik) June 17, 2019
“All is not finished for us,” he said. “We are focused on our next game and we are eager to win that match. We had ample time after the India game to regroup for a new beginning.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan – who led Pakistan to their 1992 World Cup win – had urged his team to bat first against India. But Pakistan sent India to bat first and suffered a comprehensive defeat. Hafeez supported his team’s decision.
“It was a team decision and that cannot be made on what someone has tweeted. It was the team’s decision. We didn’t bowl well and that’s why we lost that game,” he said.