MITCHELL Marsh blasted his second big century of the World Cup as Australia primed themselves for the semi-finals by cruising to their seventh straight victory with an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh on Saturday (11).
Australia lost Travis Head early in their chase of 307 but fellow opener David Warner (53) and Marsh (177 not out) forged a 120-run partnership for the second wicket before the five-time world champions comfortably got home in 44.4 overs.
Marsh reached his third one-day international century in 87 deliveries and ended with 17 fours and nine sixes as he turned the screws on Bangladesh in a 175-run stand with Steve Smith (63 not out), who returned to the side after a bout of vertigo.
Towhid Hridoy earlier scored his maiden half-century of the tournament on his way to 74 at Pune’s MCA Stadium, as Bangladesh finished with 306-8 from 50 overs in the final group game for both sides.
Australia gave explosive batsman Glenn Maxwell another day off ahead of their semi-final with South Africa in Kolkata on November 16, while Sean Abbott (2-61) had a good match replacing Mitchell Starc.
Bangladesh’s top-order batsmen all made solid starts after Australia skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bowl as Tanzid Hasan (36), Litton Das (36), Najmul Hossain Shanto (45) and Mahmudullah (32) took advantage of the helpful conditions.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa (2-32) snared Mushfiqur Rahim to bag his 22nd victim and emerge as the top wicket-taker after Marnus Labuschagne threw a spanner in the works by superbly effecting two run-outs. But Hridoy ensured Bangladesh had a good platform.
The 22-year-old struck five fours and two sixes in his 79-ball knock but was caught in the deep looking to accelerate in the 47th over before Bangladesh finished with their best total of the tournament, only to suffer disappointment as Australia chased down their target with overs to spare.