T20 World Cup: Pat Cummins' hat-trick symbolises his late rise in T20 cricket as Australia pummel Bangladesh | Crickit

T20 World Cup: Pat Cummins' hat-trick symbolises his late rise in T20 cricket as Australia pummel Bangladesh

By, Mumbai
Jun 21, 2024 10:49 AM IST

T20 World Cup: An all-round bowling show by Australia never let Bangladesh get away in the Super 8s tie.

Even repeated rain interruptions could not halt Australia’s victory march in Antigua on Thursday night as they brushed aside challengers Bangladesh to win their opening game in the Super 8s of the T20 World Cup.

Australia's Pat Cummins celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of England's Liam Livingstone.(Reuters)
Australia's Pat Cummins celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of England's Liam Livingstone.(Reuters)

Their 28-run win came courtesy Duckworth Lewis (DLS) rain method but so dominant were Mitchell Marsh’s men that they would have won comfortably even otherwise.

It was a clinical bowling performance from Australia where Mitchell Starc picked up a regulation early wicket in the first over, Adam Zampa put together another thrifty spell (4-0-24-2) of leg-spin and Pat Cummins capped it with a hat-trick.

The last time an Australian took a hat-trick at T20 World Cups was in 2007 - fast bowler Brett Lee. That was also the last time Bangladesh had gone past the first round in a T20 World Cup. Mostly on the strength of their slow bowlers for the conditions, they had come in with a chance. But their batters couldn’t, or were never allowed to, break free.

Bangladesh’s most productive over was the 17th when Towhid Hridoy picked up Marcus Stoinis for back-to-back sixes in the 14-run over to lift them to 117/5. Still clearly below par; but the small pocket of Bangladesh supporters in the crowd would have hoped they could build on the momentum with a late flourish.

Cummins put a lid on the scoring with the most desirable result possible – a hat-trick spread across two overs. Off the fifth ball of the 18th over, he got the experienced Mahmudullah (2) to chop a cross-seamer banged into the pitch, on to the stumps.

Rinse repeat, slightly outside off. Mahedi Hasan (0) tried to upper-cut but found Zampa at deep-third. Come the final over, hat-trick wasn’t on top of Cummins' mind. He didn’t even know. Fresh from his renewed interest in T20 cricket, Cummins bowled an off-cutter which Hridoy tried to scoop over short fine. Fittingly, Cummins’ Test bowling partner Josh Hazlewood was there to catch and play a part in the hat-trick.

“I had no idea, then saw when it came up on the screen and had so many (team-mates) running in,” Cummins said. “Few hat-tricks in juniors, never for Australia. (Ashton) Agar and (Nathan) Ellis, on the bench, have hat-tricks; joined their club. It's pretty awesome to tick that off. Good club to be part of.”

Cummins may not be the captain here, but Mitch Marsh counts him among the leaders of the group. Earlier in the day, Ricky Ponting presented Cummins with the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for being the International Cricketer of the Year. Following his IPL 2024 showings, Cummins is now no less a force in the T20 format. His cunning with the white ball was there for all to see and defined his hat-trick. Towards the business end of the competition on the relatively slow pitches in the West Indies, he may have even more to offer.

Defending 140, Bangladesh needed a strong powerplay with the ball. They spilled a catch Dave Warner offered in the second over. Warner would not make another error. By the end of the powerplay, Warner and Travis Head had lifted Australia to 59/0. In contrast, Bangladesh’s batting start had been a stuttering 39/1.

This gap remained all the way through. For a brief spell of play after the powerplay, and the fourth rain interruption, Australia lost two wickets to leg-spinner Rishad Hossain.

But Warner and Glen Maxwell’s 360-degree hitting quickly ensured they remained ahead of the DLS score all the way through. At the final rain-break after 11.2 overs, Australia's100/2 was 28 runs better than what they needed to be.

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