T20 World Cup: Australia thrash Bangladesh to boost semi-final hopes

By Callum MatthewsBBC Sport
ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Duabi
Bangladesh 73 all out (15 overs): Shamim 19 (18); Zampa 5-19, Hazlewood 2-8, Starc 2-21
Australia 78-2 (6.2 overs): Finch 40 (20), Warner 18 (14)
Australia won by eight wickets
Scorecard; Tables

Australia boosted their hopes of qualifying for the Men's T20 World Cup semi-finals with an eight-wicket thrashing of already-eliminated Bangladesh in Dubai.

Bangladesh were bowled out for just 73 and Australia chased the target in 6.2 overs to significantly improve their net run-rate and climb above South Africa into second place in Group 1.

Aaron Finch made 40 and David Warner 18 before Mitchell Marsh pulled for six to win the game with 82 balls to spare. Adam Zampa took a career-best 5-19.

It was a woeful batting display from Bangladesh but Mitchell Starc exploited the early swing with the left-armer and Josh Hazlewood both taking two wickets.

Australia knew that chasing the target in 8.1 overs would see them overtake South Africa and after three quiet overs, they took 21 off Mustafizur Rahim to propel their chase.

Finch and Warner were bowled by Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam but Justin Langer's side cruised home and capped off an all-round perfect display.

England, who top Group 1, are still not guaranteed a semi-final spot but it would require a huge defeat against South Africa on Saturday for them to not progress.

If South Africa beat England then Australia must beat the already-eliminated West Indies to progress to the final four.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup Group 1: England 8, Australia 6, South Africa 6, Sri Lanka 4, West Indies 2, Bangladesh 0

The tournament of leg-spin?

After his five wickets, Zampa is now the joint leading wicket-taker in the Super 12s stage of the World Cup with 10 wickets.

As is often the case in this format, leg-spinners are thriving in the tournament with Zampa joined in the top five by Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga, England's Adil Rashid and Afghanistan's Rashid Khan.

Zampa, who picked up the final five wickets of the innings and recorded the best figures in the tournament, cleverly changed his pace on occasion to hurry the batters but continually targeted the stumps in a high-class bowling display.

He was aided by some excellent catching with wicketkeper Matthew Wade doing well to take a big nick from Shamim, while captain Finch took two good catches at slip to dismiss Afif Hossain and Shoriful Islam.

Zampa, who is ranked sixth in the world, completed the job after Starc, Hazlewood and Maxwell tore through the top order with relatively ease.

Starc went very full, almost consistently yorker length, and that brought the wicket of Liton Das in the first over, while Hazlewood stuck to his Test-match line and length to force Soumya Sarkar to drag on and Mohammad Naim to miscue a pull to square leg.

In the chase, Warner and Finch were watchful at the start before Warner hit three fours off Mustafizur and Finch a towering six over deep square leg.

The next over saw Finch hit Taskin for successive sixes - one a gorgeous drive over extra cover - to practically guarantee victory via the massive margin they needed.

'A really clinical performance' - what they said

Australia captain Aaron Finch: "It was a really clinical performance. Our bowlers set the tone at the start.

"Behind the scenes the coaches had an eye on the net run-rate but as players we just wanted to focus on what we could control.

"We talked about if we could get into a position to really win big then to take advantage of that but you never plan that because T20 is such a fickle game and you can very quickly be on the end of a defeat."

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah: "When you have this sort of performance it's hard to say a lot of things. There are a lot of areas we need to look into, especially our batting.

"When we get back to Bangladesh we'll have a chat to see what we can do.

"Before the World Cup we had to get some wins under our belt using our conditions. As a professional cricketer you have to adapt to wherever you play but we let a lot of things go and we need to pick those up."

Player of the match Adam Zampa: "It's a pretty nice feeling. A five-for in T20 cricket has eluded me for a while.

"The overs I bowled today was purely about taking wickets. We needed to chase down a low score today so we tried to be aggressive."

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