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The Electronic Telegraph Australia v Bangladesh, Group B
Peter Deeley - 27 May 1999

Australia miss target despite the thrill of Moody's run chase

Australia (181-3) bt Bangladesh (178-7) by 7 wkts

Australia were a side in a hurry yesterday. When news arrived of the West Indies' stroll to victory at Leicester, Steve Waugh knew that his men had to win within 16 overs to lift their Group B run rate above the Caribbean team.

In the event they missed out by 23 balls despite one of the quickest World Cup fifties, from Tom Moody. The Worcestershire player, given his first opportunity, relished the challenge and his captain immediately promised him the role as Australia's all-rounder in the death-or-glory meeting with the West Indies at Old Trafford on Sunday.

At 6ft 7in and towering above his opponents like Gulliver from the pages of Lilliput, Moody's medium pace first removed three Bangladeshi batsmen for a mere 25 runs. Moody was then sent in up the order to force the run rate and helped himself to six fours and a six in his half-century which arrived off 28 balls, offering one very hard chance. One more ball, another Moody six and Australia had won.

Waugh was content afterwards: ``There is still some room for improvement but we weren't up against mugs out there. Bangladesh played well.''

Australia put Bangladesh in on what Waugh described as ``the best pitch we have played on in this competition''. At the drinks break, 12th man Shane Lee brought the news to his colleagues that Scotland were already 60 for nine.

``It wasn't the best news for us,'' Waugh admitted. ``It might have been kinder if he hadn't told us.''

Australia are currently 0.11 behind the West Indies on run rate, which Waugh calculates is the equivalent of 15 runs in three overs. ``We were also keeping our eye on New Zealand,'' he said. ``We knew we had to get the runs within 32 overs to get above them and we did that.''

After the recent highly charged one-day series in the West Indies, Waugh describes the weekend confrontation as ``the crunch match: the decider. We have got to win there otherwise we will be on our way home''.

About three-quarters of Bangladesh's runs came in the arc between point and fine third man as they carved and cut at the Australian fast bowlers. Yet their two most successful batsmen, Mehrab Hossain and Minhazul Abedin, both produced some beautifully executed drives in front of the wicket.

Brendon Julian, like Moody, came in for his first game, and Waugh gave him high marks although the left-armer went wicketless for 44. Glenn McGrath's two wickets took his tally in the competition to five but is falling short of his own high standards.

In their rush for runs both Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist (63 off 39 balls) perished to stumpings. Then Enamul Hoque, a left-arm spinner of some promise, turned one round Julian's legs to bowl him.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk