Australia has now virtually qualified for semi-finals (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bangladesh needed 82 off 30 deliveries with two set batsmen Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah still at the crease. Till then, both had scored their respective half-centuries and were hitting a boundary or two in almost every single over. With run-rate touching 16.5 runs an over, Bangladesh was still in the game, keeping T20 dynamics in the mind. However, Australian skipper Aaron Finch introduced his trump card in the 46th over and introduced Nathan Coulter-Nile back into the attack.
Coulter-Nile, who carries a good experience at his back played with batsmen mind and pitched a short of a length delivery to Mahmudullah who smashed it straight into the hands of mid-wicket fielder and eventually cost the game for his side. Coulter-Nile finished with two wickets in that over, and eventually helped Australia to register a comfortable 48-run victory at Trent Bridge.
In Nottingham, it was a flat deck and seeing the conditions, Aaron Finch asked the opposition to have a bowl first. Australian opener Aaron Finch and David Warner saw the initial overs and stamped their authority in next. The duo utilised their current form and hammered the Bangladeshi bowlers all around the ground. Both Finch and Warner strung a partnership of 121 runs before the former was sent back by the part-time bowler Soumya Sarkar.
Once Finch departed, Warner played with more responsibility and continued his innings with Usman Khawaja. Warner, who took 55 balls for his first two fifties, paced his innings well, taking only 30 more balls to reach 150 before becoming Soumya Sarkar's second victim. The part-time medium pacer proved effective with his variation of bumpers, yorkers and cutters and returned with 3 for 58 in his eight overs on a day when all the other frontline bowlers combined to take only one wicket.
But by the time Warner departed, the stage was set for Glenn Maxwell to unleash his destructive abilities and he did that well in his 10-ball stay, cracking 31 runs: including 19 in 5 balls off Rubel Hossain's ninth over. Confusion in running with Khawaja resulted in his run out, and possibly pegged Australia back a few runs from their eventual total.
Khawaja, who had played a fine secondary role in company of Warner, too fell in the late overs - caught behind off Sarkar for a 72-ball 89. Australia lost four wickets in the last six overs but two fifties and a century by the top order, coupled with Maxwell's late blitz, enabled them to post a sizeable total. In the end, Australia finished with a mammoth total of 381 runs on the board, which by some margin looked out of reach for Bangladesh.
For Bangladesh, Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal started off the proceedings. However, their partnership didn’t last long as there was a confusion in the middle which eventually resulted in Sarkar’s wicket. Tamim and Shakib played well for their respective scores but got out at the wrong time.
However, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah kept the hopes alive for Bangladesh as they managed to put up a partnership of 127 runs. Rahim went onto slam his seventh century but wasn’t enough to get his team over the line. The loss resulted them to stay at the fifth position in the points table.