David Warner slammed his 16th ODI hundred to help Australia register a 48-run victory over Bangladesh who fought valiantly but in the end fell short, in a rain-interrupted World Cup clash on Thursday.
Australia posted a mammoth 381/5 in 50 overs after electing to bat first, their second highest score in World Cups. Warner, who smashed 166 off 147 balls (14x4, 5x6) equalled Virat Kohli as he became only the second batsman to complete 16 ODI tons in 110 innings. This is Warner's sixth 150-plus score, the second century this World Cup and the third overall.
Chasing the stiff total, Bangladesh gave a brilliant account of themselves as Mushfiqur Rahim remained unbeaten on 102 off 97 balls, his superb innings laced with nine fours and a six while Mahmadullah (69; 50b 5x4, 3x6) and Tamim Iqbal (62; 74b, 6x4) supported him well. Bangladesh ended with 333/8 in 50 overs.
Mushfiqur and Mahmadullah shared a 127-run stand for the fifth wicket after Shakib Al Hasan (41; 41b, 4x4), who missed out on a fifty, and Tamim joined hands for a 79-run second wicket partnership but in the end it was too tall a task for the men in green.
The Aussie bowling looked lacklustre as Mitchell Starc (2/55), Nathan Coulter-Nile (2/58) and Marcus Stoinis (2/54) returned with two wickets apiece. Reigning champions Australia now have eight points from five outings and find themselves in third place while Bangladesh remain fifth with five points from the same number of games.
But the day belonged to Warner as he led the superlative Australian batting show.
Besides Warner, skipper Aaron Finch continued his good form with the bat to score 53 off 51 deliveries (5x4, 2x6) while Usman Khawaja also contributed with a brilliant 89 off 72 balls, hitting ten fours.
Glenn Maxwell hit a 10-ball 32 -- tonking three sixes and two fours -- before being unceremoniously run out. The Aussies scored 131 runs in the last 10 overs as Stoinis (17 off 11) and Alex Carey (11) remained unbeaten.
Warner was slow off the blocks, but with Finch keeping the scoreboard ticking at the other end, the dashing southpaw allowed himself time to settle down. Finch got to his 50 in 47 deliveries but perished soon after, trying to run the ball down and getting caught instead by Rubel Hossain at short third man. Soumya Sarkar picked up a wicket in his first over, bringing an end to the marathon opening wicket stand that put the Aussies firmly in the driver's seat.
But there was not respite for Bangladesh as Khawaja joined the party to bring up his half-century. The pair got a move on in the last ten overs as Mustafizur Rahman was taken for 19 runs in the 42nd over, Khawja hitting Bangladesh's premier pacer for four fours.
Warner shifted gears too, smacking Rubel for two back-to-back boundaries in the 44th over before expertly reaching out to a full toss from Sarkar to slap the ball through point off balance.
Against the run of play, Warner lobbed an easy catch to Rubel at short third man in the next ball, the dismissal similar to the manner in which his captain got out.
The damage, though, was already done as alongwith Khawaja, Warner shared a 192-run partnership that further consolidated the team's position.
Maxwell came out all guns blazing, smacking two sixes and a four in Rubel's 46th over which saw the bowler leak 25 runs. Just when he was looking at his menacing best, he was run out by Rubel with a direct hit after Khawaja refused a single, leaving Maxwell furious.
Khawaja got out soon after, caught behind by Mushfiqur Rahim off Sarkar, who until this game, had only one ODI wicket to his name.
Steve Smith had an off day, trapped in front by Mustafizur as rain stopped play with one over to go. In the last over, Stoinis hit Mustafizure for successive fours to take the Aussies tally further up.
Brief Scores: Australia: 381/5 in 50 overs (David Warner 166, Usman Khawaja 89, Aaron Finch 53; Soumya Sarkar3/58) vs Bangladesh 333/8 (Mushfiqur Rahim 102 not out, Mahmadullah 69, Tamim Iqbal 62, Shakib Al Hasan 41; Mitchell Starc 2/55, Marcus Stoinis 2/54) - IANS