At Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo, September 19. Australia won by nine wickets. Toss: Bangladesh. International debut: Mazharul Haque.
This wasn't cricket, it was carnage. At one stage, with the scoreboard showing 13 for four, Zimbabwe's dubious record of being bowled out for 38 at this very ground ten months earlier was in danger of being eclipsed. Gillespie had started the rout with two wickets in a fast-and-furious first over and but for the obduracy of Khaled Masud, Tushar Imran and the precocious nudging of Alok Kapali, the game might have been over before lunch. A total of 129 was almost respectable in the circumstances, but Hayden had nothing like respect in mind as he set about the new ball. Gilchrist, by contrast, struggled for rhythm on a dead pitch, until he threw caution to the breeze and raced to 50 from 44 balls. The Bangladeshis did get his wicket but the ogre-like Hayden was on hand to administer the final cuts on bleeding foes. With a week to kill before the semi-final, the Aussies hopped off to the Maldives for a break.
Man of the Match: J. N. Gillespie.