When Mahmudullah Riyad hit the biggest six of the match, a 95-metre straight hit off Adam Zampa in the 42nd over, and Mushfiqur Rahim neared his seventh ODI ton, it was easy to wonder what could have been had Australia been held to 30 runs fewer. After a 48-run loss, individual milestone and a spirited chase aside, Bangladesh were left having to win all three of their remaining matches and needing some other results to go their way to have a chance of making the World Cup semifinals.
It was a strong display from the batsmen as the top order fired and carried the Tigers to 333 for eight when skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza holed out to deep midwicket off the last ball of the match. However, it was Bangladesh’s bowling shortcomings and a superb -- if lucky -- 166 from Australian opener David Warner that made the difference as Australia first piled on 381 for six on a flat track in Trent Bridge.
While Australia take top spot with five wins and one loss, Bangladesh remain in sixth position with five points from six matches.
Bangladesh’s batting responded well to the Herculean task with Tamim Iqbal scoring his first half-century of this edition. After a mix-up saw fellow opener Soumya Sarkar being run out in the fourth over, Tamim put on a 79-run stand with Shakib Al Hasan. The plan, as Tamim later revealed, was to lose as few wickets as possible and get to 180 to 200 after 30 overs and then give it a go. However, against a well-oiled Australian attack, the Tigers lost wickets just when they were getting a hold on the match. Shakib departed for his first sub-50 score of the World Cup in the 19th over, caught off a leading edge off Marcus Stoinis. After scoring 62 off 74 balls, Tamim himself departed when he was bowled by Mitchell Starc off an inside edge, trying to dab a ball to third man in the 25th over.
Liton Das, who scored 94 in Bangladesh’s clinical win over West Indies, was trapped leg before by Zampa for 20 in the 30th over and at 175 for four, all hope seemed to be lost. But a 127-run fifth-wicket stand between Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur in just 96 balls would have made the strong Bangladesh contingent in Trent Bridge rue the untimely dismissals and, most of all, the profligate bowling in the last 10 overs. Mahmudullah hit five fours and three big sixes in a 50-ball 68 before being caught at the square leg fence off Nathan Coulter-Nile in the 46th over. Sabbir Rahman, playing his first match of the edition in place of the injured Mosaddek Hossain, departed for a golden duck next ball and Mehedi Hasan Miraz also fell cheaply, but by that time the interest surrounded whether Mushfiqur would bring up his ton.
He did complete a fine century -- marked by trademark reverse sweeps against Zampa and cuts against the Aussie quicks -- and ended unbeaten on 102 off 97 balls with nine fours and a six.
Earlier, Bangladesh’s bowling suffered from a lack of penetration in the first 30 overs, bad execution in the next 10 before a mixture of both those failings and Australia’s brilliance realised 131 runs in the last 10 overs. With his 16th century and sixth 150-plus score in ODIs, Warner made Bangladesh pay a heavy price for giving him a life early on, when he was on 10 and Sabbir Rahman dropped a difficult chance at backward point off the bowling of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the fifth over.
Apart from that, and a missed run out chance -- also by Sabbir -- in the 26th over when the batsman was on 72, Warner played the perfectly paced innings, concentrating on singles interspersed with the odd boundary for the first 35 overs or so, when Bangladesh’s bowling retained some discipline and adherence to plans. Warner reached his 100 off 110 balls and scored his next 66 runs in just 37 deliveries before becoming part-time bowler Soumya Sarkar’s second victim in the 45th over. The score, at the fall of the second wicket after a 192-run partnership with Usman Khawaja, was 313. Given Bangladesh’s strong reply, a win could have been possible if Australia were kept to within 350, but Glenn Maxwell played an electric cameo of 32 off 10 balls as 60 runs came off the last five overs.
The start had been disciplined enough from Bangladesh after they were asked to field first as Mashrafe and Mustafizur Rahman kept Australia to 47 without loss after nine overs, and six runs from Shakib’s first over saw them concede a respectable 53 without loss in the first five overs. However, Shakib suffered a rare off day with the ball, which meant that he could not play the vital role of keeping a lid on the scoring in conjunction with Mehedi Hasan Miraz, who bowled his 10 overs on the trot and was Bangladesh’s most economical bowler, conceding 59 runs. With little pressure being built from either end, Warner and skipper Aaron Finch built a 121-run opening stand. Against the run of play, Finch was caught at short third man in the 21st over, Soumya’s first, off a ball that bounced more than the right-hander expected. The left-handed Khawaja came in instead of Steven Smith, presumably to negate the left-arm spin of Shakib and, helped by a few long hops, they did exactly that.
Sabbir was again the culprit when he missed a chance to run Warner, then on 72, out as he failed to collect the ball at mid on while the two batsmen were undecided about going for a run.
Still, on a belter of a wicket, Bangladesh managed to stay with the Aussies for much of the innings. The run rate went past the six-per-over mark only in the 38th over, when Rubel Hossain conceded 12 runs. It was then that the carnage started, and was magnified by Maxwell before he was run out with a direct hit from Rubel at short third man. Soumya added the wicket of Khawaja, caught behind off an attempted hook for 89 in the 47th over. There was a 25-minute rain break when Australia were 368 for five after 49 overs, but it did no change anything as Mustafizur’s last over was taken for 13 after resumption.