Australia strolled to back-to-back victories at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as a potent opening partnership between Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney helped beat Bangladesh by 86 runs.
Healy’s return to form continued as she made a carefree 83 to hit the top of the tournament’s run-scoring charts, ably supported by Mooney who ended unbeaten on 81.
Sri Lanka gave them a fright three days earlier but there were no such scares for the hosts as Bangladesh only managed 103/9 in reply and Meg Lanning’s side climbed to second in Group A.
Healy began with bristling intent, peeling three boundaries from Jahanara Alam’s opening over as Bangladesh’s seven-strong off-side field failed to foil the opener. Salma Khatun opted to take pace off the ball with five overs of spin in the powerplay but Healy rocked back and cleared long-on to take the score to 53 without loss from the first six overs.
The keeper-batter made it look easy as she struck sixes over long-off and then mid-wicket from Khadiza Tul Kubra, bringing up a brutal 26-ball fifty. Mooney turned over the strike before showing her own strength down the ground with three boundaries in as many overs, helping bring up the first T20I century partnership for the openers.
Their first reprieve came when Rumana Ahmed beat Mooney’s bat and Nigar Sultana Joty was ponderous in whipping off the bails, saving the batter’s skin. Mooney reverse swept for four to take the stand to 122, Australia’s highest partnership for the first wicket in T20Is.
The breakthrough finally came when Healy sliced to point off Salma, departing for 83 from 53 balls. Ashleigh Gardner had licence to swing and did just that in the penultimate over, carting Salma for three boundaries in her 22 from nine balls.
The final two overs went for 30 runs and Australia rose to 189/1 from their 20 overs, their second-highest total at the Women’s T20 World Cup.
Bangladesh’s reply began with Murshida Khatun (8) lofting Megan Schutt down the ground at the start of the fourth over but departed two balls later as Jess Jonassen took a fine catch pedalling back at mid-on.
Sanjida Islam toe-ended to the third man boundary from her first ball and was comprehensively bowled by Schutt on her second as an eventful over ended with the score 23/2. Annabel Sutherland’s first T20 World Cup spell yielded a maiden wicket as Sanjida was strangled down the leg side for three, with the score on 26/3.
The youngster was punished for straying down leg soon after by Fargana Hoque Pinky, who built a handy partnership for the fourth wicket with keeper-batter Nigar Sultana.
Nigar stroked Nicola Carey through the covers for four when Lanning turned to spin, and Sutherland leaked more runs as Fargana stroked two boundaries from an over that cost 13.
Nigar and Fargana, who struck Carey for a handsome off-drive, assembled Bangladesh’s second fifty partnership at the T20 World Cup, and it ended on exactly 50 when Nigar skied one to Lanning off Carey on 19.
Rumana made a sprightly 13 from 12 balls but picked out Wareham on the mid-wicket fence to make it 95 for five and Schutt had her third when Fargana’s top-edge was gleefully caught by Healy. Three wickets in three balls rounded it off – Jonassen clean bowling Jahanara before Salma and Khadija were run out in successive balls.
Australia 189/1 in 20 overs (Alyssa Healy 83, Beth Mooney 81*; Salma Khatun 1/39) beat
Bangladesh 103/9 in 20 overs (Fargana Hoque Pinky 36; Megan Schutt 3/21, Jess Jonassen 2/17) by 86 runs.