Pune, Nov 11: Mitchell Marsh’s brilliant unbeaten 177 off 132 balls helped Australia thrash Bangladesh by eight wickets and complete their preliminary league campaign with seven wins in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 on Saturday.
After Bangladesh rode on a patient 74 by Towhid Hridoy to post an impressive 306/8 in 50 overs, Marsh, Australia’s number three slammed 26 boundaries including nine sixes in his inspired century, lighting up the second innings of the match and bringing Australia’s group stage to a spectacular close.
Marsh’s effort, along with a half-century from David Warner and good support from Steve Smith saw the Aussies make easy work of a demanding chase, sending the five-time World Champions into the semifinals full of confidence.
With this defeat, Bangladesh finished their campaign in the tournament on four points and their chances of qualifying for the Champions Trophy now hinge on the Netherlands’ result against India.
On Saturday, Australia’s top-order strength was on full display in Pune as they made short work of what could have been a challenging total.
Australia lost a wicket early on in the chase when Travis Head played on while trying to take on Taskin Ahmed. The ball took an inside edge and kissed his stumps before rolling back to the keeper.
However, Mitchell Marsh lifted Australia. Dealing primarily in boundaries, the all-rounder ensured Australia went ahead closer to seven runs an over.
The Bangladesh spinners temporarily slowed down the scoring rate, with David Warner taking his time to get going as runs flowed at the other end.
Marsh brought up his half-century off just 37 balls. And Warner followed to his own 50 off 52 balls, kicking on after getting his eye in against the spinners.
Australia’s dominant start to their chase hit a bump when Warner, who had begun to get bogged down, clipped a catch to Najmul Hossain Shanto off Mustafizur Rahman for 53 from 61.
But, with Marsh still out in the middle and playing beautifully, Australia were always in control. Marsh launched his attack in style. Supported by the returning Smith, Marsh muscled his way to an outstanding 177 not out from just 132 balls, smashing nine sixes in his phenomenal innings.
He completed his century off 87 balls, hitting 11 fours and four sixes as Australia raced past 200 runs. Marsh blazed to 150 off 117 balls, hitting 16 boundaries and seven maximums.
Smith, who had missed the last match for Australia, held up the other end as he completed his fifty in 55 balls. With Marsh and Smith sharing an unbeaten 175-run partnership, Australia romped to an eight-wicket victory.