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Australia breeze past Bangladesh
31 Mar 2007
By: Zac Gelman

Glenn McGrath starred with the ball today, as Australia thrashed Bangladesh by 10 wickets in their Super 8 clash.

A wet outfield delayed the start of the game and by the time play could finally start, the match had been reduced to 22 overs a side. This played to Australia's strengths however and after winning the toss, Australian captain Ricky Ponting put Bangladeshi in to bat.

Knowing the only way to beat Australia would be to get a big total on the scoreboard, Bangladesh came out to hit big. The plan was easier said then done however, and Nathan Bracken had his and Australia's first wicket in his second over after Tamim Iqbal tried to send the ball over Brad Hogg's head but was less than successful.

A couple of balls later and Glenn McGrath had equaled Wasim Akram for the most dismissals in a World Cup after he removed Shahriar Nafees' off-stump. Nafees out for just the one run and Bangladesh were in serious trouble.

It wasn't long before McGrath had his next scalp, the wicket of Aftab Ahmed making the metronomic fast bowler the most successful in World Cup history. Ahmed, trying to drive over mid-off was given out after a dazzling Nathan Bracken catch.

The Bangladesh innings went from bad to worse as McGrath turned up the heat to remove Mohammad Ashraful not long afterwards. Ashraful, the danger man, the one who lead Bangladesh to that memorable upset over Australia in 2005 was gone for just 6.

From then on the result was a forgone conclusion as Bangladesh limped to the finishing line with 104 for the loss of six wickets.

Full credit must go the Australian's, they bowled and fielded magnificently, took wickets at regular intervals and suffocated the runs. The chase was never going to be a problem and it wasn't.

Openers Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist played a calculated and crafted innings. Picking up the singles and the regular boundary, they saw their side home by 10 wickets, the victory brought up by two spectacular Hayden sixes.

The match was marred by injuries to both sides. Shane Watson, the all-rounder who missed the recent Ashes series with a hamstring injury was forced from the field early on with a calf strain. Tapash Baisya for Bangladesh also appeared to be in visible pain as he limped from the field with a possible ankle injury.

Australia now have a week off before they take on England for the first time since their shock Commonwealth Bank defeat earlier in the year in Australia. Bangladesh aren't so lucky however, they take on New Zealand on Monday at the same venue where they will have to fight to keep their World Cup chances alive.

Bangladesh 104/6
Mashrafe Mortaza 25, Saqibul Hasan 25
Glenn McGrath 3-16, Nathan Bracken 2-20

Australia 106/0
Adam Gilchrist 59, Matthew Hayden 47

Australia won by 10 wickets

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