Mitch Marsh and Steve Smith put on 175 unbeaten runs to seal an eight-wicket victory
Mitch Marsh will enter the business end of the World Cup with a head of steam as Australia comfortably handled Bangladesh in Pune in a dress rehearsal for their semi-final against South Africa.
Marsh (177no off 132) smashed nine sixes en route to his second century of the tournament, while Steve Smith (63no off 64) showed he had shed lingering vertigo symptoms as they spearheaded the Aussies' first successful pursuit of a 300-plus score at a men's World Cup.
The pair's 175-run unbeaten partnership got their side home with 32 balls to spare, with Marsh posting the second highest individual score of the tournament behind Glenn Maxwell's 201no earlier this week.
Bangladesh, despite missing their best player and captain Shakib al-Hasan, posted 8-307, a total that could have swelled larger had it not been for two Marnus Labuschagne run-outs and miserly spells from Adam Zampa (2-32 off 10 overs) and Josh Hazlewood (0-21 off seven).
The Tigers' highest score of the tournament proved insufficient on an easy-paced MCA Stadium pitch as Marsh bullied the spin-heavy Bangladesh attack.
Australia, who left out key men Maxwell and Mitchell Starc for the day-game on Saturday, are guaranteed to finish third behind the Proteas, who await them in a knockout clash at the legendary Eden Gardens on Thursday.
Bangladesh's eight-wicket defeat meanwhile leaves the door ajar for the Netherlands to edge them out of a 2025 Champions Trophy qualification spot. The Dutch would need to pull off an almighty upset over India tomorrow for that to happen.
It was an encouraging innings from Marsh, who was playing his second match back after mid-tournament trip home to Perth due to a family death.
In at No.3 after Travis Head was bowled for 10, the right-hander made a rollicking start in blazing 30 from his first 18 balls as he landed a series of powerful straight blows in a 120-run stand with David Warner (52 off 61).
Compared to his exuberant celebrations for his first World Cup ton against Pakistan in Bengaluru a few weeks ago, Marsh marked his third ODI hundred in subdued fashion.
As Marsh continued his power-hitting rampage, Smith batted supremely in his first game back after being waylaid by vertigo, himself scoring quickly despite finding the boundary just four times and clearing it once.
After being sent in by Pat Cummins, Bangladesh had their No.4 Towhid Hridoy (74 off 79) lead the way but stand-in captain Najmul Shanto (45 off 57) and Mahmudullah (32 off 28) had their promising starts halted by Labuschagne's fielding brilliance.
The energetic Australian sprinted from mid-wicket to slide and fire in a bullet throw to catch Shanto short on a second run, before anticipating a Hridoy quick single that left Mahumudullah for dead, hitting the stumps with a diving underarm.
Labuschagne also claimed two catches.
Bangladesh did however score swiftly against the rejigged Aussie attack.
Sean Abbott took his first World Cup wicket after a 76-run opening partnership between Tanzid Hasan and Litton Das, bouncing back from a rusty start to finish with 2-61.
Marsh's lack of recent bowling – he had sent down only seven overs all tournament coming into the match – showed as well as he coughed up 48 from his four overs, while Marcus Stoinis (1-45 off five) was also expensive.
That Cummins did not give himself nor Hazlewood their full complement of overs, bowling Stoinis and Abbott at the death instead, highlighted that the result of the match was not of great significance for the Australians.
Australia's 2023 ODI World Cup fixtures
October 8: Lost to India by six wickets
October 12: Lost to South Africa by 134 runs
October 16: Beat Sri Lanka by five wickets
October 20: Beat Pakistan by 62 runs
October 25: Beat Netherlands by 309 runs
October 28: Beat New Zealand by five runs
November 4: Beat England by 33 runs
November 7: Beat Afghanistan by three wickets
November 11: Beat Bangladesh by eight wickets
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa