Australia came into this match as favorites but needed a big win to push their claims to proceed further. Bangladesh, already out of contention, were reeling after being bowled out for 84 in the last game. Such matches can either motivate you to come back further or deflate you completely. Bangladesh fell on the latter ground. They appeared perplexed on how to approach the innings in a timid batting display, falling to 73 all out in 15 overs. Australia not only won the game, but covered the massive net run-rate gap between them and South Africa to finish second on the points table.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa, the Player of the Match returned a career-best five-wicket haul in the shortest format as Australia crushed Bangladesh by eight wickets. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood picked two wickets in, starting the downfall of Bangladesh's batting.
They fell like a house of cards as the batters could neither contend with the Australian pacers nor they negotiated the spinners well. Zampa (5/19) maintained splendid line and length throughout to trouble the batters, who found it difficult to read him, consistently falling to his googlies. Zampa's figures are the best in the T20 World Cup history for an Australian.
Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc (2/21) and Josh Hazlewood (2/8) shared four wickets between them while Glenn Maxwell (1/6) dismissed one batter.
Already out of the semifinal race, Bangladesh couldn't apply themselves even as the ball was coming nicely on to the bat. They could not win a single game, losing all five matches in the Super 12 stage.
Australia needed to chase the target inside 8.1 overs to replace South Africa at the second spot. They knocked off the required runs in just 6.2 overs. They now have six points, same as that of Proteas but the massive win boosted their net run-rate (1.031), which is now better than the Temba Bavuma-led side (0.742).
Skipper Aaron Finch (40) and David Warner (18) added 58 runs in five overs for an explosive start. Mitchell Marsh (16 not out) and Glenn Maxwell (0 not out) took the side past the finish line.
Finch was pleased with his side's clinical performance. "Mitchell Starc set the tone and Hazlewood followed with that in the second over. We thought we would take the opportunity to win big if we got the chance, but you can't plan for that. At the half-way mark, we knew (we could get past South Africa)," said the Australia captain.
"When you have that opportunity, you have to take it. Zampa's 5 for 19 was outstanding."
Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah was short for words at his team's dismal show in the tournament.
"When you have these sort of performances, it is hard to say much. There are a lot of areas we have to look at, especially our batting. The wickets that we have played on have been among the best for batting. We have to figure out what went wrong when we go back to Bangladesh," he said.
Mahmudullah said they could not adapt to the conditions and that hurt them.
"The thing is before playing in the World Cup, we had to get some wins under our belt. As professional cricketers, you have to adapt to all conditions. But we have lacked awareness as a unit, and we have to pick up on that.
"If you see, in the Super 12s, we came close to closing two games against Sri Lanka and West Indies. Other than that, we have been outplayed by the opposition. I hope the supporters keep supporting us," he said.
Starc provided the first wicket when Liton Das (0) was late to counter a yorker in the first over. Josh Hazlewood got rid of Soumya Sarkar (5), who also played on to the stumps. Maxwell trapped Mushfiqur Rahim (1) while Zampa had Afif Hossain (0) caught in the slip region.
Hazlewood got his second victim in opener Mohammad Naim (17), who was caught by Pat Cummins at square leg when the batter miscued a pull shot.
Bangladesh were struggling at 33 for five and needed skipper Mamudullah and Shamim Hossain to repair the innings.
Mahmudullah (16) found two boundaries off Starc while Shamim too took on the same pacer for his first boundary.
Shamim also lofted Zampa confidently for a six over deep square leg. He was stroking the ball fluently but could not convert his good start into a substantial knock.
Zampa had the left-hander caught behind when he tried to play a cut shot and trapped Mahedi hasan in the next ball to be on a hat-trick. When he returned to bowl, wicket-keeper Matthew Wade dropped a catch to deny his colleague the hat-trick milestone.
The skipper too departed soon with Starc spelling his ouster by having him caught behind, leaving Bangladesh at 65 for eight.
Bangladesh were now in danger of not even competing their 20-over quota and Zampa did not let them by scalping the remaining two batters.