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Australia gets Pakistan into the super eights!


In a “we have to win it” match for Bangladesh and a “meh, we're basically through” match for Australia, there were a few surprises in store. Predictably, Australia won and went through comfortably to the super eight stage of the World Cup but it was not the easy ride many were expecting.
Due to an elbow infection, Australia lined up without their world class quick Mitchell Johnson. By the time they were four wickets down and only 52 runs in, however, they were no doubt feeling his absence. Not only is Johnson a quality batsman, capable of helping his side out of a tight spot, but there was a chance Australia would be defending a small total and his bowling speed would certainly go a long way.
You could feel the excitement in the Bangladeshi players; stuffed tigers were being waved in the crowd. There was the scent of upset in the air. The bouncy pitch was causing the Aussie batsmen a few problems and the Banga fans and players loved it.
Fortunately for Australia, Michael Hussey has some batting quality of his own and with the help of the twenty year old NSW spinner, Steve Smith, brought Australia through to 141 in their twenty overs. It was a total that had seemed miles out of reach fifteen overs earlier.
The first over was sheer embarrassment for an Aussie side that believes they will soon fill the one empty space in their trophy cabinet. And they don't take kindly to such things. If the bouncy pitch helped the Bangladesh bowlers, it could help the Aussie ones too.
And so it did. Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes got to work quickly and before Bangladesh knew it, they were 2 – 4, then 4 – 15. A small partnership was put together by Rahim and Shakib-al-Hassan, but once it was done away with up the Bangladeshi wickets continued to tumble. Australia's fielding was once again on song and it brought them home with 27 runs to spare. They bowled Bangladesh out for 114, with Dirk Nannes taking 4 – 18 and Hussey number two taking 2 – 8.
So the Pakistanis will be happy, as this result sends them through as well. It's a shame to see Bangladesh leave so early, because they showed a lot of quality in both of their group stage matches. Maybe next time.
But now, Australia are off to face their old foe, India, in their first match of the super eights round. 
(As the youngest of five children, and with three older brothers, Kirby grew up in a house full of people who love Australian cricket, Geelong football club and rich tea biscuits. She was doomed from birth to wear the green and gold. As an adult she moved to the UK in an attempt to save England cricket fans from themselves, but in return they stole the Ashes. Twice. She firmly believes that Steve Waugh should be knighted, Graeme Swann should be castrated and Nathan Hauritz should be her pet. She blogs over at thoughtsfromthedustbin.blogspot.com)

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