Australia aim for the kill against Bangladesh in Canberra

Australia players celebrate a wicket. © ICC

After their loss in the opening game against India, Australia survived a scare in their second match before overcoming Sri Lanka on Monday (February 24) by six wickets in Perth. Come Thursday (February 27), the hosts will be looking to continue that winning momentum when they face Bangladesh at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

Australia lost their top three early on against Sri Lanka but recovered with knocks from Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes as the duo shared a 95-run partnership to help the team to victory. Opener Beth Mooney’s form at the top of the order will be a concern for Australia, while her opening partner Alyssa Healy – who came into the tournament with a string of low scores – has a fifty to her name. They will be hoping the pair can get them off to a rollicking start against lowly Bangladesh.

On the bowling front, the Aussies put up a great show with Molly Strano and Nicola Carey starring with two wickets apiece. The likes of Megan Schutt, Ellyse Perry and Jess Jonassen also fared well against Sri Lanka and are expected to pull the strings early on versus their Asian opposition.

“The win the other night was a kickstart for us,” Australia skipper Meg Lanning said during the pre-match press conference on Wednesday. “Obviously a new challenge for us against Bangladesh tommorow (February 27). Its nice to get a win on board and looking forward to it.”     

Meanwhile, Lanning has brushed aside speculation about Perry being under an injury cloud, declaring the star allrounder will be fit to take her place in Thursday’s clash. The sight of Perry at Perth airport with her bowling shoulder strapped on Tuesday (February 25) caught the attention of the media throng, but the 29-year-old arrived at Australia’s training session on Wednesday afternoon as expected.

“Its fine,” Lanning told reporters of Perry’s shoulder in Canberra. “It’s something she’s been managing since the WBBL but she’s trained every time we’ve been out there training and she’s played every game. It’s nothing that’s going to keep her out of any games or anything like that.”

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On the other hand, Bangladesh gave a tough fight before going down against India by 18 runs on Monday. While all others struggled against the Indian attack consisting of the likes of Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad; Nigar Sultana and young Murshida Khatun were the only ones to offer some resistance.

Bowling-wise, barring Panna Ghosh and skipper Salma Khatun, others looked out of sorts against India. It is unlikely that Bangladesh would be able to do any damage in terms of match points, but the team management would definitely like to better their performance overall.

Squads:

Australia: Rachael Haynes, Megan Schutt, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Erin Burns, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland.

Bangladesh: Ayasha Rahman, Fargana Hoque, Khadija Tul Kubra, Nahida Akter, Panna Ghosh, Rumana Ahmed, Sanjida Islam, Fahima Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Nigar Sultana, Ritu Moni, Salma Khatun (c), Shamima Sultana, Murshida Khatun, Sobhana Mostary.