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ODI World Cup summary: Australia faces a spin threat; Mathews is entangled in a timed out scenario


Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka 279 (Asalanka 108, Nissanka 41, Tanzim 3-80) by three wickets with 282 for 7 (Shanto 90, Shakib 82, Madushanka 3-69).

Bangladesh triumphed against Sri Lanka with three wickets and, crucially, 53 deliveries in Delhi, adding another chapter to the captivating rivalry between the two teams in subcontinental cricket. Bangladesh has overtaken Sri Lanka in the net run rate points table due to their victory margin. The three teams, along with England, are currently tied with four points each and are competing for the two spaces left in the 2025 Champions Trophy.

But in this game, one isolated incident eclipsed everything else. This time, the “Naagin Derby” controversy—which has become customary—was historic in nature as Angelo Mathews was timed out, an uncommon dismissal in international cricket history.

During Sri Lanka’s World Cup group match versus Bangladesh in Delhi, Angelo Mathews’ helmet malfunctioned, making him the first player in international cricket history to be timed out, bringing even more drama to an already intense rivalry.

When Mathews took the field to take on Shakib Al Hasan, he was already there and making his last preparations. He was about to tighten the strap of his helmet around his chin when it broke. When he called, Chamika Karunaratne ran out to get him a replacement helmet. Shakib then seemed to start a conversation with umpire Marais Erasmus. Mathews was then told he was timed out because he was not prepared to face his first ball in the two minutes allotted by the ICC playing standards.

There was a period when Australia had no concerns while playing Afghanistan in the World Cup. The two previous ODI World Cup games saw the five-time world champions acting with nothing less than ruthlessness. Australia amassed 417 for 6 in Perth in 2015, driven by a scorching 178 from David Warner, en route to a 275-run victory. 2019 saw Australia easily defeat Afghanistan by seven wickets in Bristol, needing just 91 balls to win after Warner had previously hit 89 not out while bowling the country out for 207.

However, there’s no way the Australians of 2023 will be going to Wankhede Stadium with the expectation that they’ll win handily again. Even with their five-game winning streak, Australia still faces a formidable danger from Afghanistan. Afghanistan is vying for a spot in the semi-finals after winning three straight games and defeating England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands.

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