Australia captain Aaron Finch admitted he was fearing being on the end of a stunning Bangladesh run chase in their high-scoring Trent Bridge clash.

The defending champions eventually secured a 48-run victory to move a step closer to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup.

But after posting 381-5 the result should never have been in doubt, and the fact Bangladesh could reach 333-8 and threaten at one stage to get much closer was worrying to Finch.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah put on 127 for Bangladesh's fifth wicket but the run rate eventually became too demanding. Mahmudullah's dismissal for 69 precipitated a lower-order collapse and Australia were comfortable enough winners in the end.

Asked if he was getting butterflies at any stage, Finch said: "Absolutely. Every time a team starts to get a partnership going, and they're experienced players – I think that's what worries you a lot at times, the experience of the players.

"When they get in they know how to get home in a run chase. I thought our boys held our nerve pretty well though."

Mushfiqur went on to reach 102 not out, and Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order also made a useful 62.

Finch accepted Australia's error-ridden fielding had been uncomfortable to experience.

"Very sloppy, wasn't it," he said. "It was disappointing actually because we always pride ourselves on our fielding. Early on it was quite wet and slippery but no excuses… pretty poor."

Australia opener David Warner made a superb 166 – his second century of this World Cup and 16th in ODIs.

It puts him joint third with Adam Gilchrist in the ranks of Australia's most prolific century makers in the 50-over format, and Warner said on receiving his man-of-the-match award: "Obviously it's a great achievement. But I think for us it's about getting these two points and then moving on to the next game at Lord's."

England are Australia's next opponents, on Tuesday.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said: "When we batted I thought Mushy, Shakib [Al Hasan] and obviously Tamim batted so well. I think 381 is just too much."

David Warner dominated Bangladesh with the highest score of the Cricket World Cup as Australia took another stride towards the semi-finals with a 48-run victory at Trent Bridge.

Warner has been in outstanding form and moved to another level in Nottingham, capitalising on being dropped by Sabbir Rahman on 10 by smashing 166 off 147 balls to become the leading run-scorer in the tournament.

The opening batsman's explosive 16th ODI hundred was Australia's second-highest individual World Cup score - Warner having also posted the biggest of 178 versus Afghanistan four years ago.

Usman Khawaja (89) returned to form after Aaron Finch struck 53, with Soumya Sarkar taking 3-58 as the holders put 381-5 on the board in another Nottingham run-fest.

Mushfiqur Rahim (102 not out) made a brilliant first World Cup century and there were half-centuries for Tamim Iqbal (62) and Mahmudullah (69), yet Bangladesh were unable to pull off a repeat of their huge successful run-chase against West Indies on Monday.

The Tigers did post their highest ODI score of 333-8, but they nevertheless suffered a defeat that strikes a major blow to their hopes of reaching the last four as Australia went top of the table.

 

IMPERIOUS WARNER PUNISHES SABBIR

Sabbir was brought in to make his first appearance of the tournament as one of two changes to the Tigers side and he did not get off to the best of starts, putting Warner down at backward point before he had got going.

The left-hander made him pay in brutal fashion after biding his time, slog-sweeping Shakib Al Hasan for a massive six and bringing up his half-century in 55 balls.

Warner then accelerated with a magnificent combination of power and improvisation following Finch's exit, clearing the ropes five times and putting on 192 for the second wicket with Khawaja, who passed 50 for the first time in the tournament.

 

MUSHFIQUR AND MAHMUDULLAH PROVIDE RESISTANCE

Glenn Maxwell (32 from 10) also did some late damage after Warner and Khawaja had been dismissed by Soumya, who missed out with the bat when he was run out by Finch following a big mix-up.

The fit-again Marcus Stoinis (2-54) claimed the big wicket of the in-form Shakib (41) and the Tigers were 144-3 almost halfway through their innings when Tamim chopped on.

Mitchell Starc rattled Liton Das on the helmet straight after ending Tamim's knock and the number five was on his way after being trapped in front by Adam Zampa, but Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah made a game of it.

 

STARC AND AUSTRALIA RISE TO THE SUMMIT

Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-58) ended an 83-ball stand when Mahmudullah holed out after hitting three sixes and five fours in a swashbuckling 50-ball knock, while the Australia seamer compounded Sabbir's misery by bowling him first ball.

Starc (2-55) became the top wicket-taker in the tournament and, although the excellent Mushfiqur reached three figures in the penultimate over, Australia comfortably made it five wins out of six.

Australia captain Aaron Finch claimed his side could have passed 350 in a win against Sri Lanka that moved them top of the Cricket World Cup's group-stage table.

Opener Finch blasted 153, the joint-highest score of the World Cup so far, as well as equalling his own ODI record tally, as Australia racked up 334-7 at The Oval on Saturday.

And with Mitchell Starc in fine form, taking 4-55 including removing dangerous opener Kusal Perera for 52, Australia had their fourth win from five games as Sri Lanka fell short by 87 runs.

A semi-final spot is now in sight for Australia, with Finch's side next in action against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

"It was nice to get a couple away early, it's key to my batting and if I'm getting drives away it's a good sign," said Finch after collecting his award for player of the match.

"It's a nice wicket, I've been working on getting my balance spot on from ball one. I've been out first ball a few times so it's key for me to do that.

"We lost some wickets when I was trying to take the game on, maybe a bit too much at times, but the first partnerships were key to getting our score.

"They bowled excellently, we could have got over 350, but they put the pressure on superbly at the end."

Steve Smith made 73 as the duo put on 173 for the third wicket to take the game away from Sri Lanka.

"He gets off strike so easily and scores boundaries so easily," Finch said of Smith. "He just hits the ball in the gap and it's a great skill early in the innings."

In response Sri Lanka were 115 without loss and seemingly on track to chase down a massive score but they were pegged back by Starc as well as Pat Cummins, who took 2-38, and Kane Richardson, whose 3-47 included the scalp of captain Dimuth Karunaratne.

"Finch and Smith batted well, but we came back strongly," said the Sri Lanka skipper, who made 97.

"We started well, but the middle order couldn't capitalise. They had to handle pressure and keep the momentum going.

"Starc and Cummins are world class, we knew what they could do, we had to keep a plan but we didn't.

"We lost couple of games to the rain, now we need to win a couple of games."

Sri Lanka's next game is against hosts England in Leeds on Friday.

Australia captain Aaron Finch smashed the joint-highest score of the 2019 Cricket World Cup before the competition's leading wicket-taker Mitchell Starc returned 4-55 in an 87-run victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval. 

Australia captain Aaron Finch smashed 153 against Sri Lanka at The Oval to record the joint-highest score of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Finch, who has also made the most runs in this tournament having accrued 343 in five innings, blasted five sixes and another 15 fours in a 132-ball knock as Australia piled on the runs.

The opener was eventually dismissed when he skied a slower ball from Isuru Udana straight into the air to give Dimuth Karunaratne a simple catch at cover.

That total meant the Australian emulated England opener Jason Roy's World Cup knock against Bangladesh one week ago, while Finch also equalled his own best ODI score having made an unbeaten 153 against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in March.

Finch had put on 80 with David Warner (26) in their opening stand before he combined in a third-wicket partnership worth 173 alongside Steve Smith (73), with Australia moving beyond 300 in the 45th over.

Australia captain Aaron Finch was relieved his side survived a Pakistan revival at Taunton.

A gripping match saw Australia put 307 on the board before bowling Pakistan out for 266, but until the late stages the contest was firmly in the balance.

And that was reflected in Finch's verdict as he acknowledged some big hitting down the order from Pakistan had given his bowlers a headache.

Pakistan looked to be sinking at 160-6 but it was a different story at 264-7 after Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and captain Sarfraz Ahmed led a big-hitting rearguard action.

Mitchell Starc made a key double breakthrough at that stage though, firstly when Australia used a DRS review to show Riaz nicked a delivery through to Alex Carey, and then when bowling Mohammad Amir for a duck.

Glenn Maxwell threw down the stumps to run out Sarfraz and win the match, with Australia thankful they avoided another defeat after losing to India last time out.

Finch agreed Pakistan had put his players under pressure, saying: "They certainly did. It's always tough when you've got guys like Hasan and Wahab coming out and swinging.

"When they start to get on a roll it can be tough to stop. We just had to bowl our best ball, whether that was a length ball or whether it was a yorker. You had to commit to that ball 100 per cent. We saw that if your execution is slightly off on a small ground like this you go for six.

"We didn't bat out 50 overs, which was really disappointing. When you go in with the extra batter you stack the batters to do that job.

"We probably tried to go a little bit too hard too early and ended up probably 20-30 runs short."

Sarfraz said his bowlers came back well after disappointing opening spells allowed Australia to start well, with David Warner going on to make 107 and Finch 82.

"We conceded too many runs in the first 20 overs. Except for Amir the other bowlers did not bowl really well," Sarfraz said at the post-match presentation.

Amir took 5-30 but had little support, while Pakistan were left to lament a number of batsmen failing to convert reasonable starts into big innings.

"If we want to win, the top four have to make runs," Sarfraz said.

Pakistan face India next, and already face a battle to stay in semi-final contention.

A win over India would lift spirits and Sarfraz said: "We will try our level best."

Man of the match Warner admitted Australia should have gone on to reach 340 or 350 after their strong start.

"Credit to the way Pakistan bowled," Warner said. "Their second spells were fantastic. They hit their lines and lengths and made it hard for us. They bowled very straight lines to me and gave me no width."

Assessing the tense finish, he added: "It was probably a lot closer than we expected but I thought it was a great game."

Aaron Finch will expect Australia to respond like champions when they face Pakistan in what could be a shortened Cricket World Cup match on Wednesday.

India ended the world champions' 10-match winning ODI run with a 35-run victory at The Oval on Sunday.

Australia will be without Marcus Stoinis (side strain) when they look to hit back against the ICC Champions Cup holders at Taunton.

Pakistan were left frustrated when their match against Sri Lanka last Friday was washed out after defeating favourites and hosts England at Trent Bridge.

A brilliant performance in Nottingham last Monday halted an 11-match losing streak and gave another demonstration that Pakistan are a major threat, despite enduring such a poor run heading into the tournament. 

With showers forecast after a dry and cloudy start, it appears unlikely a full match will be possible.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

Australia eased to a seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan and beat West Indies by 15 runs before coming unstuck against India, making 316 all out in reply to 352-5 in a run-fest at The Oval.

Pakistan started with an embarrassing seven-wicket thumping at the hands of the Windies after being dismissed for only 105, but beat favourites England by 14 runs. They were unable to follow that up with a victory over Sri Lanka, as no play was possible in Bristol last Friday due to rain.


WHAT THEY SAID

Australia captain Finch: "I think Pakistan are obviously a very dangerous side. We've seen consistently throughout, especially ICC tournaments, that they win a lot of games and they get themselves in a position to win the tournament. And they had a great Champions Trophy. So regardless of what kind of form Pakistan go in with, they're always incredibly dangerous."

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed: "Our morale is very high, we have momentum. So hopefully we'll do very well against them tomorrow. We can't control the weather, but definitely if the match is shortened, the plan changes."


OPTA FACTS

- Australia have won 14 of their last 15 ODI clashes with Pakistan, including their last eight in a row and most recently a 5-0 series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates.

- Steve Smith has reached 50 in seven of his last eight Cricket World Cup matches.

- Pakistan and Australia have met four times before in World Cup matches in England, winning two apiece.

The net bowler hospitalised after being hit by a shot from Australia batsman David Warner has walked for the first time since the incident.

Local cricketer Jaykishan Plaha was helping Australia in the build-up to their Cricket World Cup clash with India at The Oval on Saturday when a drive from Warner hit him in the head.

The training session was delayed for approximately 20 minutes as the bowler was attended to by Australia's medical staff and paramedics, with the batsman showing visible signs of distress.

Captain Aaron Finch confirmed the man had been taken to hospital following the incident, describing Warner, 32, as "shaken up" after what had happened.

Fortunately, Cricket Australia later confirmed that the individual, who was monitored for signs of concussion, had been cleared of major damage by a CT scan.

And Plaha revealed on Monday that he had taken his first steps, thanking cricket supporters from all over the world for their messages of support.

As well as posting a picture of him smiling on Instagram, he wrote: "Finally got my first walk in - on the road to recovery.

"Glad to be recovering well so far. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, thank you for all the prayers around the world, means a lot to me."

Warner was playing in the match in which compatriot Phillip Hughes suffered a fatal blow to the head while batting in 2014.

India and Australia will do battle in the ICC World Cup at The Oval on Sunday in the most-anticipated match of the tournament to date.

The two nations are tipped to be the biggest threat to tournament favourites England and both have started in encouraging fashion.

Australia followed up a routine win over Afghanistan with a gutsy 15-run victory over West Indies in what was a tremendously entertaining contest in Nottingham on Thursday.

Fighting back from 38-4 and 79-5, Australia reached 288, largely thanks to a surprising 92 from bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile and Steve Smith’s 73, before paceman Mitchell Starc took five wickets with the ball.

India have played just once but were far too good for winless South Africa on Wednesday, winning by six wickets.

Of the last 10 one-day internationals between the sides, both nations have won five, but Australia have claimed the last three – all in India – earlier this year.

Australia have had the edge over India in World Cup meetings, having won six of the last seven, including a 95-run triumph in Sydney in 2015.

India’s only victory in that sequence came in their home nation, in 2011, and they lost a 1999 meeting at The Oval by 77 runs.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

India started their World Cup much later than other sides but Rohit Sharma (122 not out) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4-51) did not take long to find form against the Proteas.

Australia sit third in the standings after successive victories – part of a winning streak that sits at 10 - but know tougher tests are to come.

WHAT THEY SAID

India opener Rohit Sharma: "My 122 not out at Southampton was a very special hundred. One of my best … I have to get the job done for the team. That's what matters … I want to win maximum games for my country."

Australia captain Aaron Finch: "At times in the past, we have probably let Virat [Kohli] get off to a bit of a flyer with being just a bit too straight to him or a bit too full … we know once he gets into his innings, he is so hard to stop, so you can't afford to play catch up against great players. Same for Rohit."

OPTA FACTS

- India have won 12 of their last 13 games played at the ICC World Cup; however, their only defeat in that span came at the hands of Australia in the semi-finals of the 2015 tournament.

- Australia will be searching for an 11th consecutive ODI victory; 10 straight wins is their longest run in the format since they strung together 12 victories in a row between 2009 and 2010.

- Rohit Sharma needs a knock of just 20 runs to become the second batsman in ODI history to score 2,000 runs for India against Australia (Sachin Tendulkar – 3,077).

- Nathan Coulter-Nile narrowly missed out on surpassing the record for most runs scored by a number eight in an ODI innings last time out, his 92 off 60 balls against the West Indies falling just shy of the unbeaten 95 set by England’s Chris Woakes (v Sri Lanka, 2016).

David Warner was left "shaken up" after an incident during training in which a local net bowler was hospitalised after being struck on the head by a shot from the batsman.

The youngster was helping Australia in the build-up to their Cricket World Cup clash with India at The Oval when he was hit by a drive from Warner.

Saturday's training session was delayed for approximately 20 minutes as the bowler was attended to by Australia's medical staff and paramedics.

Captain Aaron Finch confirmed the man had been taken to hospital following the incident, which left Warner visibly distressed.

"Dave was obviously pretty shaken up," said Finch. 

"The young guy seems to be in pretty good spirits at the moment. He's obviously been taken off to hospital and will continue to be assessed just to make sure that everything is okay.

"But, yes, Dave was pretty shaken up, no doubt. It was a decent hit to the head.

"Hopefully everything keeps going well for the youngster and he's back up and running shortly. Yes, it was tough to watch."

Cricket Australia later confirmed that the individual has not suffered any serious injury.

"While the bowler is being monitored for delayed signs of concussion, a CT scan cleared him of any major damage. The bowler was conscious when he left the ground," it said in a statement.

Warner, who returned to cricket in April following a ban for ball-tampering, was playing in the match in which compatriot Phillip Hughes suffered a fatal blow to the head while batting in 2014.

Aaron Finch vowed Australia would "take the contest" to Chris Gayle and look to unsettle the destructive West Indies opener in Thursday's Cricket World Cup clash.

The Trent Bridge tussle could suit Gayle, with a short boundary sure to be attacked by the 39-year-old whose career lacks one notable statistic: an ODI century against Australia.

Nottinghamshire's home is the venue at which Australia conceded a world-record score to England last June, tortured by Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales.

And if Gayle finds his range early in the West Indies innings, then captain Finch knows Australia could find themselves in trouble.

With that in mind, Australia have formulated plans to stifle Gayle, who plundered 424 runs in four ODIs against England earlier this year.

"When you come up against someone as dangerous as Chris, you have to be prepared that he's going to hit boundaries," Finch said. "So it's about trying to attack his weaknesses early and making sure that we're putting the ball in the areas that we want to be bowling.

"If you second-guess yourself, if you're a bit tentative, if you're a bit nervous with the ball in hand, he'll get all over you, and once he's going, he's so hard to stop.

"So I think it's important that you come prepared to take the contest to him because he definitely does that the other way."

Gayle has an ODI highest score of 92 against Australia, and he would love to crack on to three figures this time.

Australia are mindful he has not always been fully fit when facing them, and that could again be the case this time as Gayle contends with a back niggle.

But Australia will back themselves against any batting line-up, even at venues with a history of high-scoring contests such as Trent Bridge.

"I think if you're executing your best ball over and over and they're playing good shots in our percentages, then you have to wear that," Finch said.

"We know how fast the outfields are here in England. We know how flat wickets can be at times, so you have to be prepared to suck up some pressure and soak up a few boundaries here and there.

"If it's poor execution or a poor plan on my behalf, then it's something to reassess at the end of the game."

David Warner said it was great to be back after marking his competitive international return with a man-of-the-match display in Australia's seven-wicket Cricket World Cup victory over Afghanistan.

Warner and Steve Smith represented their country in an official match on Saturday for the first time since serving 12-month bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal that marred Australia's 2018 tour of South Africa.

Former skipper Smith contributed a catch and a run out in the field before adding 18 with the bat, but Warner made a more substantial impact, overcoming some early struggles to underpin a successful pursuit of 208 with 89 not out from 114 balls.

The opener acknowledged he had taken time to settle back into the rhythm of a 50-over fixture after playing so much Twenty20 cricket in his absence from international action.

"I was a little bit more relaxed when Finchy started going," said Warner at the post-match presentation, in reference to opening partner Aaron Finch thumping 66 from 49 deliveries.

"The way that I started - playing Twenty20 cricket over the last 12 to 14 months hasn't really moved my feet at all. To get back into a rhythm out there and start moving in the right direction, getting my head over the ball, it was just great to get out there and do that.

"[It was] just a great win, a good start for us and we've got to keep this ball rolling. There's a great energy and a great buzz about this team at the moment."

Finch hailed Warner's efforts in digging deep when he was not at his best.

"He was struggling to time the ball, his feet weren't really going, so the fact that he kept hanging in there and hanging in there, you always have to remember that it's gonna be harder for a new batter to come in," said Australia's captain.

"So that was great, for him to kick on and do that job really well for us and be not out at the end."

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib said of Australia: "They are a champion side, so you can't have any mistakes against them. We didn't have a good start."

Australia will hope to be eased into the Cricket World Cup against Afghanistan, but things may not be so comfortable for Steve Smith and David Warner.

The defending champions thrashed Afghanistan at the tournament four years ago and will fancy themselves to come through Saturday's opener unscathed.

Yet Smith and Warner will be expecting a hostile reception when they step out in Bristol.

The duo were banned for a year for their involvement in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal and there were plenty of reminders of their actions in Cape Town last year during the warm-up matches.

That is likely to continue this weekend, with Warner having recovered from a glute injury.

With the jeers unlikely to subside, it is time for Aaron Finch's side to get down to business and they should have too much for Afghanistan.

HOW DID THEY WARM UP?

Australia showed why they are defending champions as they defeated hosts England in a warm-up, while Sri Lanka were also swatted aside.

Afghanistan upset struggling Pakistan, but they were dismantled by England earlier this week.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

Gulbadin Naib: "It's not like 2015 where we are now. Everything has changed. In the last couple of years, we have improved very well in every department so, hopefully, it will be good again tomorrow."

Aaron Finch: "It is a long tournament, making sure you are ready to go at any stage. We travel around quite a bit with our games. We don't have too many back-to-back in the same spot. It's about adapting to conditions and every player being ready."

 

OPTA FACTS

- Australia's highest winning margin by runs in an ODI (275) came against Afghanistan at the 2015 World Cup.

- That victory began a nine-game winning streak in ODIs. Australia have won eight on the bounce coming into this match.

- Afghanistan have won three of their past five ODIs and seven of 11 played in Europe.

David Warner has overcome a glute problem and will be fit to open the batting for Australia against Afghanistan, Aaron Finch has confirmed.

Warner, who will make his first official Australia appearance in over a year following a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal, sustained the injury in training on Wednesday.

Coach Justin Langer confirmed on Thursday that Warner would undergo a fitness test prior to another assessment on Friday, adding that the 32-year-old would not be risked if he was not fully fit.

However, at a news conference the day before Australia's opening game, skipper Finch said: "Davey's fine, he'll play tomorrow [Saturday]."

Warner will replace Usman Khawaja as Finch's partner at the top of the order in Bristol. A late decision is set to be made on whether Khawaja or Shaun Marsh will bat at three.

"Dave and I have had a great partnership over the years. That was a pretty key part of our 2015 World Cup win," explained Finch.

"Whichever way we decided to go with that, it didn't faze me either way. Davey's destructiveness in the powerplay is a huge reason why he's one of the best players in the world. When he gets in he can be so dominant.

"Usman or Shaun, whichever we go at three - Usman's the number three batter in Test cricket so there's no issues around whether he can do it. Shaun was very successful when he's done it over the last 12-18 months.

"We've got some great options there and we'll sit down this afternoon and nut that out."

Aaron Finch has suggested he may follow South Africa's example by mixing up his bowling attack for Australia's opening Cricket World Cup fixture against Afghanistan.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis elected to open the bowling with leg-spinner Imran Tahir against England at The Oval on Thursday, and was rewarded for that decision when Jonny Bairstow was dismissed for a golden duck from the second ball.

Tournament favourites England ultimately cruised to a comfortable 104-run victory, but Finch has acknowledged Du Plessis' call has given him food for thought.

Australia have already experimented with bringing spinner Adam Zampa in early, and Finch is open to the idea of the 27-year-old replacing one of Mitchell Starc or Pat Cummins - the likely opening pair - if the conditions suit.

"Absolutely. We've got a lot of great options. If there's two lefties in, we've got Maxi [Glenn Maxwell] and some great new-ball, fast bowlers.

"But Zamps, he's done it in the Big Bash quite a bit and T20s, he hasn't done it for Australia as much but he did a great job the other day.

"He bowls stump to stump which is a huge advantage for a leg spinner. Tahir was great first up as well. It took me by surprise watching it."

Defending world champions Australia start their campaign at Bristol's County Ground on Saturday, though it is unclear if David Warner - who along with ex-captain Steve Smith has returned to the fold following suspensions for ball-tampering - will be fit to feature, with coach Justin Langer having confirmed on Thursday that the batsman was struggling with a glute injury.

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