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Aussies Make Mincemeat Of Bangla Tigers

Riding on the massive nine-wicket verdict against the minnows, Australia set up a semi-final clash with Sri Lanka. More Coverage

Aussies Make Mincemeat Of Bangla Tigers

Australia inflicted a crushing nine-wicket defeat on minnows Bangladesh in a Group A league match in Colombo today to set up a semi-final clash with hosts Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy cricket tournament.

Electing to bat, Bangladesh could manage only 129 runs before being bowled out in 45.2 overs. In response, Australia knocked off 133 for one in just 20.4 overs to register their second victory which paved their way to the semi-final from the group.

Openers Matthew Hayden, who remained unbeaten on 67, and Adam Gilchrist put on 113 runs for the first wicket. Gilchrist was adjudged leg before wicket to Mohammad Rafique for 54 off just 44 balls with nine fours.

Hayden then completed the formality in the company of his captain Ricky Ponting who remained unbeaten on nine runs.

Earlier, Bangladesh recovered from a hopeless 13 for four at one stage to post a total in excess of 100. Alok Kapali led a spirited fightback from the late middle-order, comprising captain Khaled Mashud and Tushar Imran.

However, the total put up by Bangladesh proved highly inadequate and the Australian openers toyed with the bowling attack to run away with the match.

Hayden did the early damage, repeatedly coming out of his crease to smash the bowling to the area of his choice and picking up easy boundaries. Gilchrist followed suit, and after struggling to get his timing right initially, launched a familiar onslaught on the bowling.

Bangladesh bowlers compounded their misery by bowling short of length and made it quite easy for the two seasoned batsmen.

Hayden completed his half-century off 53 balls with seven fours and a six. Gilchrist followed him on the milestone one ball later, bringing up his fifty in just 44 balls.

Bangladesh won a consolation wicket when Gilchrist was caught leg before wicket while trying to sweep Rafique to fine leg fence.

Earlier, Jason Gillespie and Glenn McGrath destroyed the Bangladeshi top-order, which lost two wickets without even a single run on the board.

Gillespie, who was the most successful of Australian bowlers claiming three wickets for 20 runs, sent back opener Al Sahariar and Habibul Bashar with the second and fourth balls of his first over.

McGrath dismissed the other opener Javed Omar (4) in the fifth over before Gillespie struck again in the eighth over to dismiss debutant Mazharul Haque for three and leave Bangladesh tottering at 13 for four.

Imran and Mashud then got down to resurrect the innings a bit through their fifth wicket partnership before Lee struck for Australia.

Imran was caught by Michael Bevan off Lee for 27 which contained five hits to the fence.

Bangladesh batsmen looked much more comfortable against the spin attack of Warne and Darren Lehmann. In fact, the eight overs Lehmann sent down allowed them to settle down and play freely. Warne too was tackled with comparative ease and conceded 33 runs off his 10 overs.

But once the pace attack came back in the final overs, Bangladesh innings crumbled again.

Watson, who was introduced into the attack in the 42nd over, struck with his third ball when he trapped Khaled Mahmud leg before wicket, a decision for which the third umpire had to be consulted.

Kapali, who grew in confidence as he batted along, was out as the ninth wicket, clean bowled by Lee. His 45 contained three boundaries.

PTI

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