Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Finch hammered seven boundaries and four sixes during his knock of 71
Australia opener Aaron Finch smashed a fantastic half-century to hand his side a seven-wicket consolation win over Bangladesh in Mirpur.
Finch was well supported by his opening partner, David Warner, who scored 48 runs.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim would not have been pleased with his decision to bat first as opening batsman Anamul Haque was caught by Shane Watson at slip off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile for a duck.
Coulter-Nile struck again in his next over when Tamim Iqbal was caught by Doug Bollinger at mid-off for five runs.
Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan stabilised the innings with a magnificent 112-run partnership, during which Al Hasan brought up his half-century, before Rahim was caught by Glenn Maxwell at deep midwicket off the bowling of Watson.
Rahim’s solid knock of 47 came off 36 balls and included five boundaries and a six.
Al Hasan went on to make 66 off 52 deliveries, which included five boundaries and three sixes, before he was brilliantly caught by Maxwell at deep midwicket off the bowling of Bollinger.
Nasir Hossain managed to make a quickfire 14 before he was clean bowled by Mitchell Starc.
Bangladesh eventually finished on 153/5 at the end of their 20 overs.
Coulter-Nile was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Starc, Bollinger and Watson chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 154 to win, Australia got off to an outstanding start as Finch and Warner amassed a 98-run partnership before Warner had his middle stump uprooted by Al-Amin Hossain for 48 off 35 balls, which included five boundaries and three sixes.
Finch ended up making 71 off 45 deliveries, which included seven boundaries and four sixes, before he was caught by Nasir Hossain at deep point off the bowling of Al-Amin Hossain.
Maxwell only made five runs before he had his stumps shattered by debutant Taskin Ahmed.
Despite the flurry of wickets, Australia kept their composure and it was only a matter of time before Cameron White and skipper George Bailey mopped up the remaining runs.
Al-Amin Hossain was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Ahmed snapped up one.
Rahim was livid at having lost all four group matches, and said: “In the end we couldn’t finish it well. After losing a couple of wickets, getting around 160 plus would have been good. The wicket wasn’t turning too much and our fast bowling is not our strength. Warner and Finch batted really well. There are a few positives. Anamul and Shakib did very well, but in a world tournament we need to do well as a team. Thanks to the crowd for their support and hopefully we [repay] their faith soon.”
Bailey was pleased to have at least won one match, and said: “A little consolation. Hell of a lot better result that. All the things we wanted to do, we did today. [We] Picked the balls, picked the gaps and the bowling was good as well. [Seam-dominated attack?] Just wanted to hit them up with a bit of pace. We knew there was enough varionaiton with Maxi, Watson and Christian’s medium pace. I think it’s still a game of basics, we just haven’t done well enough in the crunch games and lost them. We had a side that was up for the challenge and I do not want to take anything from them.”
Finch was named Man of the Match, and said: “Disappointing that it’s come in this game. Nice to finish off with a win though. Wicket got better as the game went on. The way we started with the ball was good. We were in SA as well, we knew they would be slow, but we just didn’t know it would be this slow.”