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Thursday, July 18, 2024

T20 WC: Cummins’ hat-trick leads Aus to crucial win in rain-interrupted match

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Antigua: Pat Cummins’ stunning hat-trick, along with a fiery innings from David Warner, propelled Australia to a crucial Super Eight win in a rain-affected match against Bangladesh at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, edging them closer to the knockout stage here on Friday.

Australia’s Mitchell Starc set the tone early, dismissing Tanzin Hasan with the third delivery of the innings, overtaking Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga to become the leading wicket-taker in Men’s World Cups across both ODIs and T20Is.

Despite the early breakthrough, Bangladesh’s top order, led by Liton Das and captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, regained their footing. Shanto’s aggressive approach saw him hit a mega six off Josh Hazlewood, driving Bangladesh to 39/1 by the end of the Powerplay.

Adam Zampa provided a crucial breakthrough by bowling Das in the ninth over. Bangladesh stood at 67/3 at the innings midpoint, with Rishad Hossain’s dismissal on the last ball before drinks adding to the pressure. Zampa struck again to remove Shanto for 41 off 36 balls, leaving Bangladesh’s middle order in a tight spot. Towhid Hridoy’s efforts to accelerate the scoring pushed Bangladesh into three figures.

However, Cummins stole the spotlight in the 18th and 20th overs. Cummins claimed two quick wickets to end the 18th and completed a hat-trick by dismissing Hridoy at the start of the 20th, becoming the second Australian to achieve this feat in a T20 World Cup, after Brett Lee in 2007, also against Bangladesh.

Cummins finished with impressive figures of 3/29 from his four overs, restricting Bangladesh to 140/8.

Australia’s chase began aggressively with Warner and Travis Head, both batting at a pace quicker than a run-a-ball. Warner’s six concluded the Powerplay with Australia at 60/0, firmly in control.

However, rain interrupted the game several times, causing delays. After a brief stoppage, Bangladesh struck back by dismissing Head for 31 off 21 and then quickly removing Marsh, momentarily swinging the momentum.

Glenn Maxwell joined Warner, and the duo continued the onslaught, pushing Australia past 100 before another shower halted play. This rain delay proved decisive, with the match eventually abandoned. Australia was declared the winner, finishing 28 runs ahead of the par score, according to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method.

This victory places Australia and India in prime positions to advance to the knockout stage, while Bangladesh faces a challenging path, needing wins against both India and Afghanistan to stay in contention.

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