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Warner leads Australia to win over Bangladesh

The opener’s century set up a winning score of 381 for five.

David Warner celebrates his second century of the World Cup (Simon Cooper/PA)
David Warner celebrates his second century of the World Cup (Simon Cooper/PA)

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 for eight.

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.

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(PA Graphic)

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.

At 313 for one, 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.

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Usman Khawaja reverse-sweeps on his way to 89 (Simon Cooper/PA)

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.

PA

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