Australia's Mitchell Marsh plays a shot
Australia's Mitchell Marsh plays a shot during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on November 11, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Pune: Mitchell Marsh's career-best 177 not out was labelled "scary" by skipper Pat Cummins as Australia headed into next week's World Cup semi-finals with a convincing eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in Pune on Saturday.

Marsh's second hundred of the World Cup ensured Australia, already guaranteed a last-four clash with South Africa, made light of their target of 307 to win with 32 balls remaining.

This was just Marsh's third hundred in 87 one-day internationals and surpassed his 121 against Pakistan earlier in the tournament as the 32-year-old's highest score.

The all-rounder, strong on the drive and square of the wicket, faced 132 balls including 17 fours and nine sixes, having briefly returned to Australia following the death of his grandfather before rejoining the squad.

Cummins praised Marsh's "outstanding" innings, with the fast bowler adding: "He is a scary prospect to have in the next week."

Marsh also shared a stand of 120 with David Warner (53) and put on an unbroken 175 with Steve Smith, the star batsman hitting the winning boundary in a morale-boosting 63 not out after returning from vertigo.

Victory meant Australia ended the group stage with a seventh successive win after their campaign for a record-extending sixth men's World Cup title started with two defeats.

Marsh joked his innings had offset a bowling figures of 0-48 in four overs.

"Not every day that you get player of the match after you concede 50-odd in four overs," he said.

"Started off with -50 when I began batting. But good to get stuck in."

'Everything is clicking'

Cummins, reflecting on Australia's progress in India, said: "Seven games in a row, even when we were not at our best in some of those games, we came away with a win.

"Chasing 300-plus was something we did not do earlier. It feels like everything is clicking together."

Bangladesh's 306-8, their highest total of the tournament, left Australia needing to surpass their record World Cup-winning chase of 292 against Afghanistan in Mumbai on Tuesday - a match where Glenn Maxwell's stunning unbeaten 201 sealed an astounding three-wicket following a collapse to 91-7.

Maxwell was rested on Saturday, but Australia had no need of his heroics as they overpowered a Bangladesh attack missing captain Shakib Al Hasan after the all-rounder was ruled out with a broken finger.

"We did not play our best at the World Cup as a team, in both bowling and batting," said stand-in Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto.

Nasum Ahmed's 10 wicketless overs cost 85 runs, with this defeat leaving Bangladesh dependent on other results for a top-eight finish that would qualify them for the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

Australia lost Travis Head (10) early in their chase when he played on trying to slog Taskin Ahmed.

Warner plundered runs on an excellent batting pitch before the left-handed opener, following a 52-ball fifty, surprisingly chipped Mustafizur Rahman to Najmul at mid-off.

The powerful Marsh however, pressed on, pounding spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz for a six and a four before suffering cramp, although nothing as severe as the attack that afflicted Maxwell against Afghanistan.

Earlier, Towhid Hridoy's 74, his maiden World Cup fifty, was the cornerstone of Bangladesh's innings.

His 79-ball stay ended when he holed out off Marcus Stoinis, Hridoy's exit sparking a flurry of wickets.

Adam Zampa was the pick of Australia's attack with 2-32 as the leg-spinner became the leading bowler in the tournament with 22 wickets, while Marnus Labuschagne derailed the innings by running out the well-set Najmul (45) and Mahmudullah (32).

"The two run-outs were crucial," said Najmul. "The way we started was good but after the two run-outs, we lost momentum. If we scored 340-350, it could have been different."