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Bangladesh were given another lease of life in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 by the clouds that have been constantly hovering over the tournament. A group stage exit would have been confirmed for them had they lost to Australia and that seemed to be the only possible result for the better part of the match. The only positive that Mashrafe Mortaza and his men could take from this match would be that opener Tamim Iqbal is in the form of his life.
The opener was, for all means and purposes the only man who performed for Bangladesh. Out of the 182 that they made, Iqbal made 95. Only Shakib Al Hasan gave him any semblance of support. The two put up a partnership of 69 for the fourth wicket and that was the only time when Bangladesh looked stable in their innings. But that too was taken away from them when Shakib was dismissed by Travis Head. Adam Zampa kept chipping away at the opposition batting order and then Mitchell Starc was brough back into the attack after the 40th over. Starc got Iqbal off the first ball that he bowled. He then proceeded to take out Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain before narrowly missing out on a hat-trick as the ball whistled past the stumps behind Mustafizur Rehman. But Starc finished the job in the next over that he bowled and Bangladesh went 181/6 to 182 all out.
The par score at 20 overs for Australia was 41 of they hadn’t lost a wicket and 48 if they did. By the time the players left the field, Australia had made 83/1 but had batted only 16 overs. Aaron Finch was the man who was dismissed but Steve Smith and David Warner were going about business in the calmest way possible.
The equation is now simple for Australia. Their next match will be against hosts England. Win that match and they remain in contention for the knockouts, if not, Steve Smith can give a rueful look to the sky.