Australia made light work to see off Bangladesh in their rain affected super eight encounter at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. After restricting Bangladesh to 104-6 in 22 overs, Australia raced to the victory in just 13.5 overs without losing any wicket. Wet outfield caused by overnight rain forced a curtailed match of 22 overs a side.
In-form Aussie opener Matthew Hayden remained unbeaten on 47 runs and his opening partner Adam Gilchrist scored a fluent 59 runs in 44 balls in the 106 run partnership. Bangladesh wasted the only opportunity when young wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim misjudged an outside edge from Gilchrist of the bowling of Tapsh Baisya which went for a boundary.
Australia made a terrific reply and raced to 50 in just 6.4 overs, spinners reduced the run flow but failed to cause any damage in the Australian innings and they reached the target with more than 8 overs to spare.
Earlier, a disciplined bowling display from Australia led by Glenn McGrath restricted Bangladesh to a meager 104-6 in the stipulated 50 overs. McGrath took 3 wickets for 16 runs to reduce Bangladesh to 25-3 and Bangladesh never recovered from that position.
Bangladeshi top order batsmen played too many shots too early and that caused their downfall. Dashing opener Tamim Iqbal was first to go when he was deceived by a slower from Nathan Bracken. McGrath immediately removed Shahriar Nafees by a beautiful Yorker and Bangladesh lost the momentum required to post a competitive total.
Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Ashraful played some beautiful shots but failed to carry on and went cheaply which effectively blown away the opportunity to crate any upset against Australia.
Habibul Bashar played a patient innings of 24 taking 43 balls which slowed Bangladesh progress remarkably. A 36 ball 25 from Saqibul Hasan and some late hitting from Mashrafe Mortaza lifted Bangladesh score to 104.
Nathan Bracken continued his impressive form in the tournament and picked 2 wickets for 20 runs, Shaun Tait who was the most expensive among Australian bowlers picked 1 wicket for 28 runs.
There were plenty of drama and uncertainty before the start of the match as overnight rain resulted in a wet outfield with a number of patchy areas. After an unscheduled delay of about 5 hours and six bouts of inspection the match was finally started at 14:30 local time (18:30 GMT) and was curtailed to 22 overs a side.
Two big quagmires on the boundary's edge were the main area of concern for umpires in every inspection. Poor ground management and lack of initiatives from WICB caused resulted in longer delay than expected.
First, the ?super sopper? broke down and then the grounds men lacked resources to make the field ready for play. Some ground staff even tried to soak water by jumping on pieces of sponges. The efforts were inadequate to say the least and as the sun was shining and there were good wind, the field was finally left to the nature?s will to dry up.