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Cummins hat-trick takes Aussies to brink of Cup semis

3 minute read

Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins and David Warner were Australia's key men in a rain-affected win over Bangladesh at the Twenty20 World Cup.

Pat Cummins.
Pat Cummins.

Australia are knocking on the door of the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals after beginning the Super Eight stage with a convincing 28-run win over Bangladesh in rainy Antigua.

Pat Cummins (3-29) became only the fourth Australian to record a T20I hat-trick, joining forces with the in-form Adam Zampa (2-24) to restrict Bangladesh to 8-140 with the bat on Friday (AEST).

Two separate rain delays interrupted Australia's run chase, but the retiring David Warner (53 not out from 35 balls) ensured they were well ahead of the DLS par score when play was called off in the 12th over.

Mitch Marsh's side finished at 2-100.

The win means Australia are likely to progress to the final four at the North American tournament if they beat Afghanistan in their second of three Super Eight games on Sunday.

"We're playing well, but there's still a long way to go," Marsh said.

Winning the toss, Australia had Bangladesh's out-of-form batting order on the back foot when a classic full delivery from Mitch Starc (1-21) cleaned up Tanzid Hasan (0) three balls into the innings.

But after that it was veteran tweaker Zampa who did the heavy lifting, twice breaking through as Bangladesh lost 3-26 either side of drinks.

Zampa ended the 58-run partnership that had helped Bangladesh recover from the loss of Hasan, his delivery bouncing from the pad of a sweeping Litton Das (16 off 25 balls) and on to the stumps.

The innings' anchor early on and its eventual top-scorer, Najmul Hossain Shanto (41 off 36) did not even contemplate a review when Zampa struck his pad with the last ball of the 13th over.

With that dismissal, Zampa moved into outright second for most wickets at the tournament (11), trailing only Afghan quick Fazalhaq Farooqi (15).

Towhid Hridoy (40 off 28) breathed life into Bangladesh's innings, but Cummins (3-29) saw to it that the underdogs never truly clicked into gear.

He bowled Mahmudullah for two, then enticed Mahedi Hasan into finding Zampa at third man with the first ball he faced.

With his opening delivery of the 20th over, Cummins had his hat-trick when Hridoy clipped him to a stretching Josh Hazlewood in the cordon.

Cummins became only the fourth Australian to take a T20I hat-trick after Brett Lee, Ashton Agar and Nathan Ellis, but admitted after the match he was unaware he'd entered the history books.

"I had no idea," he said.

"To end (my previous) over, I saw it come up on the screen (that I was on a hat-trick) so I thought, 'I'll make sure I remember'.

"I totally forgot about it until Stoiny (Marcus Stoinis) came running up."

Chasing 141 for victory, Warner rode his luck after Hridoy dropped a tough chance while the veteran opener was on five runs in the second over.

He and Travis Head (31) managed more sixes in the power play (four) than Bangladesh did for their whole innings (three) and were 0-64 when rain stopped play in the seventh over.

But impressive legspinner Rishad Hossain (2-23) gave Bangladesh hope, bowling Head and then continuing Marsh's lean run of form at the tournament.

The Australian captain burned a review after being trapped lbw for one run.

Warner flicked Taskin Ahmed for six over deep square leg to bring up his second half-century of the tournament, before rain again forced the covers on.

About an hour had been lost to play when the game was called off after midnight (local time).

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