“Come for Test matches in Dhaka,” it was a cheeky little joke from Mushfiqur Rahim to Mitchell Marsh. But that, in itself, told how helpless the Bangladeshi players must have felt when the Aussie batter was punishing them.
Even in the face of a loss, it must have been a relief for Bangladesh that their World Cup 2023 campaign is finally over, and it was ended by a proper hammering from Mitchell Marsh, who is just adjusting to the new role of number 3, and the pressure that came with pushing Steve Smith down to number 4 as Travis Head got back in the side.
Mitchell Marsh smoked 177* runs in 132 balls against Bangladesh in a chase of 307 runs as Australia aced the chase with 8 wickets in hand, and sealed their 7th consecutive win in the tournament. They will next face South Africa in the semi-final in Kolkata.
Today, in Pune, it was the Marsh show. The lanky Aussie powerhouse walloped 17 fours and 9 sixes in his sizzling innings, the answer to which wasn’t found at all by the Bangladeshi bowlers.
Bangladesh posted 306/8, but even they would have known that it was going to be a futile defence against Australia on this good pitch in Pune. Mitchell Marsh made it even clearer. He came in early after Travis Head fell in the 3rd over and straightaway took the attack to the Bangladeshi bowlers.
David Warner got out in the 23rd over, after scoring 53 runs, before Marsh and Steve Smith forged an unbeaten stand of 175* (135), out of which Marsh cracked 109 runs in only 71 balls. Marsh’s gigantic century, and Smith’s breezy half-century, are great signs for Australia ahead of their semi-final clash with South Africa.
Here’s how fans reacted on Twitter as Mitchell Marsh blasted Bangladesh:
Player of the Match Mitchell Marsh said: “It feels great, obviously to finish off the league games with another win was great for the boys. It was important for me to back myself at 3, knowing when Head comes back, I’ll have to go down to 3. Have failed a few times, but have backed myself to perform.”