Australia survived an almighty scare to beat Bangladesh by five wickets in their last Women’s World Cup pool game. Chasing a modest 135-6 in 43 overs, the unbeaten Australians found themselves in all sorts of bother at 26-3 and then 41-4.
But Beth Mooney’s unbeaten 66 from 75 balls and her partnership of 66 with Annabel Sutherland (26 not out) steered Australia to 136-5 from 32.1 overs on Friday at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.
Captain Meg Lanning was the second wicket to fall, scoring a duck on her 30th birthday.
Offspinner Salma Khatun was the wrecker, dismissing openers Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes as well as Lanning. She finished with 3-23 from nine overs, but no other bowler was able to take multiple wickets and maintain the pressure on the Australians.
It leaves Australia as the only unbeaten side in the tournament, with a 7-0 record heading into next week’s finals, while Bangladesh are 1-5.
The first Australia-Bangladesh women’s one-dayer was shortened to 43 overs per side because of overnight rain that delayed the start of play.
After Lanning won the toss, spinners Jess Jonassen and Ash Gardner dominated the Bangladesh top order with two wickets apiece in windy, cold conditions.
Injured Australian allrounder Ellyse Perry was ruled out of the game, but is expected to be fit for next week’s semi-finals. Teenage pace bowler Darcie Brown took Perry’s place in the side.
Perry suffered back spasms and was forced from the field during Australia’s win against South Africa on Tuesday.
Bangladesh made a promising start, with openers Murshida Khatun and Sharmin Akhter putting on 33 before Gardner dismissed Khatun for 12.
After Jonassen took two quick wickets, Bangladesh were struggling at 62-4 and were never able to put Australia on the defensive.
Lata Moudal top-scored with 33 and Akter (24) was the only other batter to reach 20. Jonassen took 2-13 from nine overs and Gardner snared 2-23 off eight.