CWC19: Australia vs Bangladesh – Five Things We Learned

What did we learn from the Australia and Bangladesh run fest in Nottingham?

It was one-way traffic from the start to the end, and Australia were never in any doubt whatsoever of winning, and yet the eventual margin wasn’t all that big, just 48 runs, which goes down in history as one of the closest margins ever between these two teams. Bangladesh got their highest ever ODI score, their 333 bettering their previous best scored earlier in the tournament to beat South Africa, when they scored 330, but still lost by 48 runs, and the margin would have been bigger but for an unfortunate runout of Glenn Maxwell thanks to Usman Khawaja changing his mind about a run far too late. With that, Australia have all but guaranteed their semi-final place and are also top of the table, while Bangladesh are now all but out of semi-final contention. They now need to beat India and improve their run rate and have other games go their way.

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Five Things We Learned:

(1) Bangladesh still can’t beat Australia

In 2005, Bangladesh shocked the world by beating Australia, until we realised why: because Andrew Symonds turned up to the game drunk – not hungover but still drunk. Since then, and before then, Bangladesh has not come close and they didn’t come close today. While the eventual margin was only 48 runs, Bangladesh was never winning. While they managed two massive upsets, they are still 2 wins and 3 losses and any dreams of beating Australia proved to be a pipe dream.

(2) Who said that David Warner was out of form?

Not only did David Warner get man of the match for his 166 off 147 balls here, but this is his third man of the match award out of six matches, the most man of the match awards of anyone in the World Cup, and he is now the leading run scorer as well, and yet, incredibly, ridiculously, some were claiming he was out of form. He has a better strike rate than Kane Williamson yet Kane is said to be in great form but not Warner. Warner is in great form, make no mistake of it. Just because he has a different batting technique than previously doesn’t make him a worse player. He’s just a different player. I’ve got him behind Shakib al Hasan, Jofra Archer and Mohammad Amir in 4th place in terms of player of the tournament chances. How is he not in the Pinch Hitters World Cup XI? He would have been there if I had picked it!

(3) Glenn Maxwell is a phenomenon

Most players take a few overs to get themselves in but not Glenn Maxwell. First ball 2, second ball 4, then 6s galore and 25 off an over and suddenly he’s on 32 off 9 balls when Usman Khawaja decides to call for a run then changes his mind half-way through and decided to not do the team thing and run himself out, instead getting rid of the form batsman. Had Australia got 25 per over off the last 4, as they did off the 46th, they would have got 446. That runout cost Australia perhaps as many as 64 runs. Australia still won by 48 but had Khawaja not messed up they might have won by 112. Not Maxwell’s fault, though.

(4) Shakib al Hasan can fail

For four games out of four, Shakib al Hasan was either the player of the match or at least the best player in the team, but not this time. This time around Mushfiqur Rahim well and truly bettered his efforts, while Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal also did better. While 41 off 41 isn’t exactly a failure, it was a lot worse than he’d done in previous matches – and I picked it!

(5) Australia look a whole lot better with this line-up

Having Stoinis being able to share some overs with Maxwell and having 6 useable bowling options is far better than struggling along with your 3rd – and Coulter-Nile nearly took a hat-trick! While Starc and Cummins were head and shoulders above Australia’s other bowlers, and Zampa perhaps may lose his spot to Lyon for the next match, this was definitely a superior combination to the other ones.

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