Australia has wrapped up their group stage World Cup campaign on a high ahead of their next match in the semis on Thursday v South Africa, having finished 3rd on the ladder at joint 14 points with SA who had a better net rate difference in 2nd. They might have lost the toss where the Aussies had to bowl first while seeing Bangladesh bat big earlier on (306/7), but responded really well though with five overs to spare as they win by three wickets thanks to a Mitch Marsh masterclass (177* off 132 balls) as well as 50s off Dave Warner & Steve Smith. The only teams they’ve lost so far is against South Africa and India (potential Final opponent in the other semi v New Zealand on Wednesday) which was their first two games of the campaign as batting first by setting up a big score would be the key towards hopefully winning a 6th World Cup title next Sunday.
Love the fast start by the Bangladeshi batters who made the bowlers feel frustrated when piling up these runs on the board. However, the on-field and bowling performance later on unfortunately couldn’t stop the Aussies from scoring – despite another good start after getting Travis Head out early. They finished 8th of 10th just ahead of the under fire Sri Lanka side (9th) after they won two games – one was v Afghanistan and another was a big win v Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, it’s up to the seamers again to get the job done who were always underwhelmed against a free-flowing Bangladeshi batting cohort. The only positive I can say that Sean Abbott got his World Cup debut so that Mitchell Starc can rest up for the big semi on Thursday & he too got two wickets on hand which isn’t bad. Speaking of positivity, the batting was still the best though that will hopefully make other teams hard to chase – such as the always tremendous Davey Warner including two returnees at the right time in both Steve Smith (vertigo illness) & Mitchell Marsh (personal family reasons after his grandfather died last week).