Australia continued their dominance in the ongoing edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa by defeating Bangladesh by eight wickets courtesy of a clinical performance led by Georgia Wareham's three-wicket haul.
Coming into the side in place of Annabel Sutherland, the leg spinner wreaked havoc in the middle overs after Darcie Brown rattled the opposition with twin wickets in the powerplay.
Despite the early jitters, Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana steadied the innings and scored a sublime 57 off 50 deliveries, studded with seven boundaries and one massive six to help Bangladesh post 107 runs in their quota of 20 overs.
Wareham jolted Bangladesh with three late strikes in the back end of the innings to dent their pursuit of a decent first-innings total. The 23-year-old finished with figures of three for 20 in her four overs and was awarded the player of the match for her bowling exploits.
In pursuit of 108, Australia lost Beth Mooney early in the runchase as the southpaw was dismissed for two runs in the third over of the innings. Despite the early dismissal, Australia continued to display their attacking brand of cricket as Meg Lanning joined Alyssa Healy out in the middle. The duo smashed five boundaries and one six in the coming two overs to lay a solid foundation of 45 runs in the first six overs.
They added 69 runs for the second wicket before the wicket-keeper batter was dismissed for 37 runs trying to clear extra covers. Ash Gardner joined her skipper, and the duo ensured they guided Australia over the line with an unbeaten 33-run stand for the third wicket.
En route to this run chase, Lanning remained unbeaten on 48 runs off 49 deliveries and anchored the innings to absolute perfection. The reigning champions will now face Sri Lanka in Gqeberha on Febratiurary 16 while Bangladesh lock horns against New Zealand at Newlands the following day.
Bangladesh 107/7 in 20 overs (Nigar Sultana Joty 57; Georgia Wareham 3/20, Darcie Brown 2/23)
Australia 111/2 in 18.2 overs (Meg Lanning 48; Shorna Akter 1/12, Marufa Akter 1/19)
Player of the Match: Georgia Wareham (Australia)