| Matthew Hayden during a drinks break in Australia’s match against Bangladesh in Colombo on Thursday. (Reuters)
Colombo: Australia set up a semi-final showdown with Sri Lanka as they crushed Bangladesh by nine wickets in their pool 1 Champions Trophy clash on Thursday.
Australia had looked on course for only their second victory by 10 wickets in 512 ODIs with Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist cruising towards Bangladesh’s total of 129 all out.
But Gilchrist’s dismissal for 54 with the score at 113 put paid to their hopes, and it was left to Hayden and captain Ricky Ponting to see the world champions home in 20.4 overs.
Hayden finished with 67 from 70 balls, while Ponting was unbeaten on nine at the close.
Bangladesh had earlier slumped to 13 for four after their captain Khaled Mashud bravely decided to bat against the same attack that had skittled out defenders New Zealand.
Jason Gillespie (three for 20) struck twice in his first over to remove Al-Sahariar, leg before half-forward, and Habib-ul Bashar, caught behind by Gilchrist, both wickets falling without a run on the board. Glenn McGrath then dismissed Javed Omar for four, caught by Brett Lee at extra-cover.
When Gillespie struck again to dispatch Mazharul Haque, caught by Gilchrist as he gloved a hook shot there seemed a real danger Bangladesh would not pass the lowest score in one-day International history, 38 by Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka on the same Sinhalese Sports Club ground in 2001.
That indignity was averted by gritty contributions from Tushar Imran (27), Mashud (22) and Alok Kapali (45) but the damage had already been done.
Ponting could afford to relieve Gillespie and McGrath and give fast bowler Brett Lee and spinners Darren Lehmann and Shane Warne an extended bowl . Lee picked up two wickets and Warne one, while Shane Watson wrapped up the innings with two late leg before wickets, both given out after referral to the third umpire Srinivas Venkatraghavan.