Women’s World Cup: Beth Mooney hit an unbeaten 66 as Australia recovered from early collapse to successfully chase down 136 against Bangladesh in their final league game of the tournament on Friday.
CWC 22: Australia outclass Bangladesh to head into semis with perfect record (AFP Photo)
- Australia recovered from 41/4 to gun down 136 v Bangladesh
- Austalia have won all ttheir 7 matches in the group stage
Australia survived a massive scare against Bangladesh at Basin Reserve in Wellington to end their league stage campaign at the Women’s World Cup with a perfect record. Meg Lanning’s side recovered from 41/4 to successfully chase down 136 in a rain-affected game to remain unbeaten in the league stage and head into the semi-final with an unbeaten run.
Beth Mooney hit an unbeaten 66 in windy conditions and fading light as Australia gunned down the target in 32.1 overs.
Mooney made 66 not out and combined in an unbroken 65-run partnership with Annabel Sutherland (26 not out) to ensure Australia reached its winning target with 65 balls to spare.
The match at Wellington’s Basin Reserve began late because of rain and was reduced to 43 overs per side. It was played in a southerly gale so strong – with gusts topping 100 kph (60 mph) – that the umpires had to dispense with the bails after the 11th over of the first innings,
The players clung to their caps and shivered in the outfield as the temperature dropped to around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Batters were knocked off balance and fast bowlers lost their run-ups as they were blown through the crease with the wind at their backs.
Only one group of players flourished in the conditions: spin bowlers had a field day. Tossed up or bowled flat into the breeze, the ball drifted and dropped and batters sometimes were at a loss to time their shots.
Off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner and left-armer Jess Jonassen shared four wickets for 36 runs from 17 overs as Australia restricted Bangladesh to 135-6 after winning the toss.
The target of 136 took on greater dimensions when off-spinner Salma Khatun removed the cream of Australia’s batting within the first 10 overs. Khatun dismissed openers Alyssa Healey (15) and Rachael Haynes (7) and then captain Meg Lanning for an eight-ball duck on Lannings’ 30th birthday.
Australia was 26-3, then 41-4 when Thalia McGrath fell to Nahida Akter. Sutherland joined Mooney with the total 70-5 and the pair showed the resilience and adaptability of the Australian team to ensure it completed its seventh consecutive victory at the tournament.
“It was really tough to see the ball at the end there,” Mooney said.
“We certainly wouldn’t have been bowling (fast bowlers) if we had been out there. It was really tough conditions. Obviously they bowled really well and put us under the pump so you have to work your way through that when you’re out in the middle.” (With AP inputs)