ICC World Cup: Australia-Bangladesh wash-out piles up pressure on off-colour England

Brisbane: The beleaguered England team found themselves under even more pressure after rain forced Australia’s World Cup match against Bangladesh in Brisbane on Saturday to be abandoned without a ball bowled.

A point apiece for the no-result at the Gabba saw both Australia and Bangladesh move to three points, three behind Pool ‘A’ leaders New Zealand with a game in hand.

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza. Pic/Getty Images

England are languishing in last place in the seven-strong group after big losses to both Australia (111 runs) and New Zealand (eight wickets), with Eoin Morgan’s side unable to afford many more slip-ups if they are to claim a top-four finish that will see them into the quarter-finals.

Bangladesh next take on Sri Lanka in Melbourne on Thursday. They play England in Adelaide on March 9 in a match that could have a key bearing on which sides qualify out of Pool A for the knockout phase. Brisbane had been lashed by rain in the two days leading into the match, due to the effects of Cyclone Marcia, a category five storm off the central Queensland coast.

Rain ruled
There had been some hope the match might go ahead if conditions improved and, at one stage, the groundstaff began preparing the outfield as rain eased during the afternoon. However, it soon picked up again and it became obvious that there would be no chance of staging even a 20 overs per side game. The washout favoured Bangladesh, who were given no chance of beating tournament favourites Australia but who must now be thinking of reaching the last eight ahead of England.

“We still have to win two or three matches and we’re looking forward to it,” upbeat Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said. “I can’t say that England is under pressure from us, but we are looking forward to playing against England, or against Sri Lanka, or even against Scotland.

“It’s all about preparation — we’re trying to get our best preparation to play against them,” he added. “And if we play at our best we have a chance.” Mortaza said the Tigers’ biggest disappointment was not being able to play at the famous Gabba ground. “We were looking forward to it because we don’t get enough chances to play on that sort of field against a team like Australia,” he said.

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