Australia stutter to five-wicket victory over Bangladesh at blustery Basin Reserve as Beth Mooney hits 66 not out; Southern Stars make it seven wins out of seven at World Cup, reaching target of 136 in 32.1 overs; Meg Lanning's side 26-3 and 70-5 before Mooney leads recovery
Friday 25 March 2022 08:36, UK
Australia secured a seventh win out of seven at the Women's World Cup but were made to work by a spirited Bangladesh during a five-wicket victory at Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Chasing just 136 in a rain-reduced 43-over-a-side game, table toppers Australia stuttered to 26-3 and 70-5 before Beth Mooney (66no) ushered her side home in 32.1 overs alongside Annabel Sutherland (26no).
Mooney and Sutherland shared an unbroken partnership of 66 from 87 balls for Australia, who, as group winners, will face the fourth-placed side in next week's semi-finals, set to be one of England, West Indies or India.
Bangladesh spinner Salma Khatun struck three times inside the first 10 overs, dismissing Alyssa Healy for 15, Australia captain Meg Lanning for a duck and Rachael Haynes for seven.
Bangladesh 135-6 from 43 overs: Jess Jonassen (2-13), Ash Gardner (2-23), Lata Mondal (33)
Australia 136-5 in 32.1 overs: Beth Mooney (66no off 75 balls), Salma Khatun (3-23 from nine overs)
Player of the Match: Beth Mooney
Tahlia McGrath (3) and Ash Gardner (13) also fell cheaply as Australia wobbled, only for Mooney to anchor the rebuild with her 11th ODI fifty and first of this year's World Cup.
Australia maintained their 100 per cent record in the tournament, while Bangladesh's slim hopes of reaching the semi-finals are over after a fifth defeat in six.
Bangladesh, who face semi-final-chasing England in their final group game this weekend, were playing Australia in a one-day international for the first time.
|Played||Won||Lost||Points||Net Run Rate|
|1. Australia (Q)||7||7||0||14||+1.283|
|2. South Africa (Q)||6||4||1||9||+0.092|
|3. West Indies||7||3||2||7||-0.885|
|6. New Zealand||6||2||4||4||-0.229|
The Asian side were inserted in a game that began two hours late due to wet weather and lost wickets at regular intervals as they were reduced to 95-5 amid extremely blustery conditions before posting 135-6.
Sharmin Akhter (24) and Murshida Khatun (12) put on 33 for the first wicket, the second-highest opening stand against Australia in this World Cup.
But Bangladesh found it hard to score quickly against the Southern Stars' powerful bowling attack in the cold and the wind - spinners Gardner (2-23) and Jess Jonassen (2-13) impressing for Australia.
No 6 batter Lata Mondal (33 off 63) top-scored for Bangladesh, adding 33 with Rumana Ahmed (15) for the fifth wicket and then 36 with Salma Khatun (15 off 23) for the sixth.
Salma Khatun's three-wicket burst gave Bangladesh hope of an upset but Mooney rallied Australia, who have now won 36 of their last 37 one-day internationals.
Their only blip in that time came when they lost at home to India in September, a defeat which snapped a world-record 26-match winning streak in the ODI format.
There are three group games to go at the World Cup, starting with New Zealand against Pakistan (9.30pm, Friday, Sky Sports World Cup).
England face Bangladesh on Saturday (9.30pm, Sky Sports World Cup and YouTube) knowing a victory will take them into the semi-finals.
The league phase concludes with already-qualified South Africa up against semi-final hopefuls India (1.30am, Sunday, Sky Sports Cricket World Cup, via the red button).