David Warner has yet to hit top form for Australia at this World Cup - will that change against Bangladesh.
David Warner has yet to hit top form for Australia at this World Cup - will that change against Bangladesh.

Warner powers Australia to brink of semi-finals

David Warner plundered his second century of the World Cup to rocket to the top of the runscorers list as Australia held off a fast-finishing Bangladesh to all but end the fight for the top four.

Warner's 166 (147) set up Australia's 5/381 against Bangladesh on a flat Trent Bridge wicket after captain Aaron Finch won his first toss in eight matches.

Finch's brilliant direct hit then removed opener Soumya Sarkar and, with wickets hard to come by, it was an important breakthrough in Australia's 48-run victory.

The Tigers never threatened in what was Australia's most convincing win of the tournament.

The 5-1 Aussies jumped to the top of the ladder with the top four seemingly set with 19 matches remaining in a disastrous result for the ICC.

David Warner celebrates his century.
David Warner celebrates his century.


With England, Australia, India and New Zealand all bound for the knockout stage that means coach Justin Langer has the luxury of potentially resting Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins next week.

That would diminish Australia's blockbuster matches against England and New Zealand at Lord's but could freshen up the weary quicks as the defending champions hunt a sixth crown.

Starc and Cummins have both declared they want to play every game and tournament organisers would be hoping they get their way, but it has to be looked at.

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Coach Justin Langer was asked before the Bangladesh if a certain semi-final appearance would alter the way they approach group games against teams also bound for the business end.

He said: "(If we win) ask me again after the game".

Finch looked surprised when Khawaja replaced him in the 21st over, presumably because that left two left-handers at the crease, but the under-fire batsman responded with 89 (72) to finally tighten his grip on the No.3 position.

Mitchell Starc could be rested from some of Australia's remaining group games.
Mitchell Starc could be rested from some of Australia's remaining group games.

The Aussies have opted for left-right combinations this World Cup, with Steve Smith replacing Finch when he was dismissed before Warner against Pakistan last week.

Warne was bemused by coach Justin Langer axing Shaun Marsh instead of Khawaja and picking legspinner Adam Zampa over Nathan Lyon.

After six games Lyon remains the only unused member of Australia's 15-man squad. 

"This very conservative approach by Australia is very odd, especially on a small ground with a super quick outfield and as the ball hasn't spun or seamed," Warne tweeted during Warner and Khawaja's 192-run stand.

But after Warne unloaded so did the Aussies.

It was power from Warner and punch from Khawaja as they pounded 110 runs off eight overs to drive the run-rate north of seven after 44 overs.

Warner then played an upper cut to a wide slower ball, lobbing an easy catch after plundering 166 (147).

Smith and the Aussie dressing room stood to applaud his 16th ODI century and sixth 150.

David Warner walks from Trent Bridge after scoring 166.
David Warner walks from Trent Bridge after scoring 166.

But there was little applause elsewhere with another venue filled with rival supporters that only made noise in support of Bangladesh.

The repeat playing of Jimmy Barnes' hit 'Working Class Man' was the only remembrance of home as Australia's top order put the blue-collar Bangladeshis to the sword.

Warner had played attacking shots to just 33 per cent of balls before last night's knock, which was down from 44 per cent before his ball-tampering banWarner's strike-rate had also dipped from 96.5 to 76.8.

But last night's blazing innings saw him become the World Cup' leading runscorer (447) and post the tournament's highest score as he became the fourth player to post a second ton.

Only five Aussies had previously tonned up twice at the same World Cup.

Glenn Maxwell looked in scarily good form.
Glenn Maxwell looked in scarily good form.

Warner now owns Australia's two biggest knocks at World Cups and he drew level with Adam Gilchrist on 16 tons, behind only Ricky Ponting and Mark Waugh.

There are hints of Warner's former greatness but it took 110 balls to reach three figures.

However he then started to become as imposing on opposition bowlers as he has been in the past.

Warner - who criticised his own lack of footwork two weeks ago - showed off his dance moves against Shakib Al Hasan, waltzing down the wicket against him and he steadily accelerated.

Mushfiqur Rahman blasted the seventh century of his ODI career.
Mushfiqur Rahman blasted the seventh century of his ODI career.

The brutal batsman hit the field early and pierced it late as his strike-rate grew - it was just 65.8 after 30 balls and finished 112.9.

As Australia piled on the pain in Nottingham, an hour down the road domestic king Matthew Wade heaved a six to bring up his rapid century batting for Australia A.

Finch's new open batting stance helped him cream 53 (51) before he decided it was catching practice, chipping a ball straight to short third man and missing out on mega runs.

Seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile returned alongside Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa with Marsh, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson making way.

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