Australia overcame a few anxious moments before getting past Bangladesh by five-wickets, a win that ensured them a top-of-the-table finish after the group stage matches of the ICC Women's World Cup in Wellington on Friday. (More Cricket News)
Australia took regular wickets through spin to reduce Bangladesh to 135 for six from their 43 overs after the start of the contest was delayed by rain.
Spin continued to dominate as Bangladesh took the ball, Salma Khatun reducing Australia to 41 for four at the first drinks break before a defiant Beth Mooney guided her side with an unbeaten 66.
Put into bat, Bangladesh made a steady start before the spin of Ashleigh Gardner and Jess Jonassen was introduced.
Gardner got the first wicket, dismissing Murshida Khatun for 12 from 17 balls as Rachael Haynes held on to a good catch.
That brought Fargana Hoque to the crease and she became the first Bangladeshi woman to pass 1000 ODI runs before nicking Annabel Sutherland behind to Alyssa Healy for eight.
Australia then smartly reviewed to have Sharmin Akhter given out LBW as Bangladesh slipped to 58 for three.
The experienced Nigar Sultana and Rumana Ahmed played calmly, taking five runs off the next 25 balls before Nigar departed for seven from 30 balls when trying to relieve the dot ball pressure.
Bangladesh continued to build promising partnerships. Rumana and Lata Mondol added 33 for the fifth wicket before the former was caught by Jonassen at mid-off for Gardner, leaving the Tigresses on 95 for five with 8.4 overs remaining.
Lata was the final wicket to fall as Megan Schutt had her stumped after she top-scored with 33 from 63 balls, wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy whipping off the non-existent bails after they were removed due to the blustery conditions.
Salma was there at the end on 15 not out from 23 balls as Bangladesh set Australia 136 to win, no easy task given the weather.
But it wasn't the wind that caused Australia problems, it was Bangladesh’s bowlers with Salma the principal architect of the initial collapse.
Healy (15) was first to go after holing out to Jahanara Alam as Salma became the first Bangladeshi bowler to take a wicket against Australia in the first ever ODI clash between the sides.
Meg Lanning’s 30th birthday did not come with a present from her opponents as she was clean-bowled for a duck by a peach of a delivery from Salma, only the fourth time the Australian captain has failed to trouble the scorers in 98 ODIs.
Haynes departed for seven from 23 deliveries as Salma single-handedly reduced Australia to 26 for three.
Tahlia McGrath only made three, given out LBW off the bowling of Nahida Akter. Mooney combined with the hard-striking Gardner to build the biggest partnership of the innings so far, adding 29 runs.
But Gardner had to go when she was bowled by Rumana.
Mooney steadied a rocking Australia ship with a fifty from 60 balls, scoring only four fours as she realised the aerial route spelt danger, instead rotating the strike with Sutherland as the light began to fade.
Bangladesh: 135/6 in 43 overs (Lata Mondol 33, Sharmin Akhter 24; Jess Jonassen 2/13, Ashleigh Gardner 2/23)
Australia: 136/5 in 32.1 overs (Beth Mooney 66 not out, Annabel Sutherland 26 not out; Salma Khatun 3/23).