Australia has put Bangladesh’s bowlers to the sword in its World T20 group match after a record-breaking opening partnership between Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney.
Healy and Mooney’s opening stand set the table for a monster 86-run win for the tournament hosts and set up a mouth-watering clash with New Zealand to decide their World T20 finals fate.
New Zealand still needs to play Bangladesh on Saturday but even if they lose they could beat Australia in Melbourne on Monday and still progress on net run-rate.
The explosive opening pair put on 151 before Healy eventually perished for a blistering 83, her second half-century in three matches so far this tournament.
Healy and Mooney’s lethal opening stand shattered Australia’s existing record T20 partnership of 147 set by Karen Rolton and Kate Blackwell against England back in 2005.
The opening stand was also comfortably Australia’s highest opening partnership in T20 history, beating the 121 made by Elyse Villani and Ellyse Perry against Ireland in 2015.
After being dismissed without scoring in Australia’s last match against Sri Lanka, Healy came out of the gates on fire and reached her half-century in just 26 deliveries.
Healy’s partner Mooney started slowly and was lucky to survive after several chances were squandered by the Bangladesh fielders.
Mooney capitalised on her lifelines, finishing with an unbeaten 81 off 58 as Australia posted an imposing total of 1-189 off their 20 overs.
Former Australian captain Mark Taylor was delighted with Mooney and Healy’s stand, explaining why it will benefit the side’s World Cup hopes.
“Very impressed by the way Australia have played so far,” he said on Nine’s coverage.
“I like the fact that they batted first on a good pitch at Manuka and they’ve made the most of it. They didn’t go mad, they played a lot of good cricket shots, and the good news for Australia is now Healy, Mooney, Gardiner, Lanning and Haynes all have runs in the tournament.
“That bodes well for Australia going into what will probably be the quarter final that they’ve got some form at the top of the order because that’s what they really didn’t have over the last two or three weeks in the lead-up to this World Cup.
Australian seamer Megan Schutt (3-22 off four overs) led the bowling attack while Annabel Sutherland (1-21) took her first World Cup wicket as Bangladesh were limited to 9-103.
Ellyse Perry bowled (0-12) ferocious pace to quell rumours she’s carrying a serious shoulder injury, while Nicola Carey (1-16) was also tidy.
Jess Jonassen (2-17) bowled Jahanara Alam (1) in the final over before consecutive run-outs completed a team hat-trick.
Fargana Hoque (36 off 35) and Nigar Sultana Joty (19 off 32) were the only Bangladesh batters to spend valuable time in the middle.
Earlier on Thursday, India beat New Zealand by three runs in Melbourne to book their semi-final berth.
– With AAP