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RESULT
38th Match, Group 1, Abu Dhabi, November 06, 2021, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(16.2/20 ov, T:158) 161/2

Australia won by 8 wickets (with 22 balls remaining)

Preview

Australia have semi-finals in sight but will there be a twist?

West Indies are eliminated but could still cause problems for the contenders - South Africa will certainly hope they do

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
05-Nov-2021
Aaron Finch led the charge for Australia at the top, Australia vs Bangladesh, T20 World Cup, Group 1, Dubai, November 4, 2021

Australia now have much more control of their destiny  •  AFP/Getty Images

Big picture

Group 1 now looks significantly different than it did a couple of days ago. Australia hold the aces in terms of booking a semi-final position in what is a two-horse race with South Africa. Various permutations are here, but as South Africa play second, the exact outcome wouldn't be known until the end of the day. It could be that a team exits the World Cup despite winning four group matches.
Australia could not have done any more against Bangladesh, skittling them for 73 and racing to the target in 6.2 overs. They will hope that with West Indies now eliminated following their defeat to Sri Lanka, there is a chance for something similar in Abu Dhabi. However, West Indies' batting line-up still shapes as posing more of a threat than the brittle and confidence-sapped Bangladesh.
The bowling attack Australia have at their disposal is not vastly different from the one that was involved in the 4-1 series defeat in the Caribbean earlier this year, aside from the addition of Pat Cummins. They reverted to four frontline bowlers and the extra batter after the pummelling by England - it leaves a greater onus on Glenn Maxwell but does feel a better balance.
A semi-final berth was the bare minimum required by Australia to give their tournament a pass mark. Their build-up was dominated by defeats and debates over personnel but, while the heavy loss to England rekindled many of the questions, when they have clicked there has been some good cricket. A second-place finish in this group would mean a likely meeting with Pakistan.
There will be at least one farewell from international cricket within the West Indies side with Dwayne Bravo confirming he would retire after the tournament. Given a need to rebuild there may be others as well, although perhaps not Chris Gayle, who has previously said he has eyes on next year's T20 World Cup as well, and captain Kieron Pollard has already said he wasn't going to quit.

Form guide

Australia WLWWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies LWLLL

In the spotlight

Is David Warner getting his form back? It's been a tricky one to judge so far. He has a half century against Sri Lanka but was given a life when Kusal Perera dropped a sitter along the way. He played some good shots against South Africa before finding point, nicked a decent ball from Chris Woakes and then had a bit of a hack against Bangladesh as Australia sought quick runs. There probably needs a bit more evidence yet before it's known if Warner has found the old groove.
Chris Gayle may want to play next year's World Cup, but can he? His highest score in his last ten T20I innings is 21. However, the innings before that was 67 off 38 balls against Australia, when questions were again being asked about what he had left in the tank. That, though, is his only half-century since the hundred he made against England in the 2016 T20 World Cup. In 30 innings after that he is averaging 14. Time might really be running out now.

Team news

There would seem little reason for Australia to change having secured their three wins in the tournament with this team.
Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Legspinner Hayden Walsh Jr could come back into the equation as he has an excellent record against Australia (12 wickets at 11.66). Aaron Finch said he expected him to play. "He had a sensational series against us over there," he said. "I do think we're better equipped to deal with that at the moment. Obviously having played him before in a five-game series there's been a lot more information sharing amongst the boys and chat about that."
West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 4 Roston Chase, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Kieron Pollard (capt), 8 Jason Holder, 9 Dwayne Bravo, 10 Akeal Hosein, 11 Ravi Rampaul/Hayden Walsh Jr

Pitch and conditions

Australia won their previous game at this ground chasing in a nervy finish against South Africa. In a bit of an upturn, the last three contests in Abu Dhabi have been won by the side batting first.

Stats and trivia

  • The two teams have met five times at the T20 World Cup with West Indies leading 3-2
  • Finch has fallen to Hayden Walsh in all the innings (3) he has faced him so far in T20Is
  • When bowling first, Australia have taken the joint-most powerplay wickets in the year (22), but when bowling second they have the joint fewest (8)
  • Gayle is yet to be dismissed by Starc, Zampa or Maxwell in T20Is. He strikes at 233 against Maxwell and 256 against Zampa.
  • Quotes

    "West Indies is such a dangerous side. We saw that when we played them. Obviously with them being out of the competition now they've got nothing to lose, which can also be a really dangerous spot."
    Aaron Finch

    Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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    ICC Men's T20 World Cup
    Group 1
    TEAMMWLPTNRR
    ENG54182.464
    AUS54181.216
    SA54180.739
    SL5234-0.269
    WI5142-1.641
    BAN5050-2.383
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    PAK550101.583
    NZ54181.162
    INDIA53261.747
    AFG52341.053
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    SCOT5050-3.543
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    NAM3214-0.523
    IRE3122-0.853
    NED3030-2.460
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    SCOT33060.775
    BAN32141.733
    OMA3122-0.025
    PNG3030-2.655