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Australia and Bangladesh did not get off to the best of starts in the ICC Champions Trophy group stages. Where Australia got lucky to survive a possible onslaught from New Zealand with rain coming to their aid and earning a point in the process, Bangladesh lost theirs against England in the opening game.
Australia seamers went for plenty of runs and at the same time, one of them, got the job done at the death to dismiss New Zealand for 291 runs from 45 overs. The Aussies went for three seamers from four – Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. Starc and Cummins were unable to create a dent in the Kiwi batting but Hazlewood picked up six wickets to affect New Zealand’s eventual total. In reply, Australia were 53/3 in 9 overs before rain came calling and the tie was eventually abandoned.
For Bangladesh too, it was a horror show with the ball. They scored 305 runs batting first with Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim scoring solid runs but in reply, Joe Root and Alex Hales got England over the winning line with relative ease.
So for both teams, when they meet on Monday in a day night contest, the main task would be to make the bowling work. But for Australia, the game at the Oval is a chance to make the batting tick too – something that wasn’t visible against New Zealand.
“There were, I think, a few rushed overs there especially in the first 10 [overs]. We probably didn’t allow ourselves to actually pick off the ones and twos and play normal cricket shots,” said David Warner prior to facing Bangladesh. “We tried to heave it a bit too much and wait for the bad ball too much I think. And as we know with New Zealand how they are, they are very disciplined in their line and length. They made us play a different kind of way to how we usually play. And from my stance, me and Finchy [Aaron Finch], I think we were a little bit disappointing.”
In this quick-fire format, it is a must-win game for both teams. The washout between Australia and New Zealand massively favoured England who are all but certain to finish in the top-two teams from the group.