Women’s World Cup: Beth Mooney went on to an unbeaten 66 as Australia recovered from an early meltdown to successfully beat Bangladesh in the last league game of the tournament on Friday at 136.
CWC 22: Australia outclass Bangladesh and go into semifinals with perfect record (AFP Photo)
- Australia rebounded from 41/4 to shoot down 136 against Bangladesh
- Australia have won all 7 games in the group stage
Australia weathered a massive scare against Bangladesh at the Basin Reserve in Wellington to end their league phase at the Women’s World Cup on a perfect record. Meg Lanning’s side rebounded from 41/4 and successfully chased 136 in a rain-affected game to remain unbeaten in the league stage and go into the semis on an unbeaten run.
Beth Mooney hit an unbeaten 66 in windy conditions and fading light as Australia shot down the target in 32.1 overs.
Mooney made 66 not-outs and combined in an uninterrupted 65-run partnership with Annabel Sutherland (26 not-outs) to ensure Australia met their 65-ball victory goal.
Play at Wellington’s Basin Reserve started late due to rain and was reduced to 43 overs a side. It was played in such a strong southerly gale – with gusts in excess of 100 km/h (60 mph) – that the umpires had to forego bails after the 11th over of the first inning.
Players clutched their caps and shivered in the outfield as the temperature dropped to around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Batters were thrown off balance and fast bowlers lost their run-up as they were blown through the crease on the downwind.
Only one group of players thrived on the conditions: Spin bowlers had a field day. Thrown up or thrown low in the breeze, the ball would drift and fall, and racquets were sometimes unable to time their shots.
Off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner and left-armer Jess Jonassen shared four wickets for 36 runs from 17 overs as Australia tied Bangladesh 135-6 after winning the toss.
The goal of 136 took on greater proportions as off-spinner Salma Khatun removed the crème de la crème from Australia’s percussion within the first 10 overs. Khatun fired inaugural players Alyssa Healey (15) and Rachael Haynes (7) and then captain Meg Lanning for an eight-ball duck on Lanning’s 30th birthday.
Australia was 26-3 then 41-4 when Thalia McGrath fell to Nahida Akter. Sutherland joined Mooney with a 70-5 aggregate score and the pair showed the Australia team’s resilience and adaptability to ensure they celebrated their seventh straight win at the tournament.
“It was really hard to see the ball at the end there,” Mooney said.
“We certainly wouldn’t have been bowling (fast bowlers) if we were out there. It was really tough conditions. Obviously they bowled really well and got us under the pump so you’ll have to work your way through if you’re out in the middle.” (With AP inputs)