'Almost impossible': Australia dealt massive blow at T20 World Cup

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Aussie players, pictured here during a nets session at the T20 World Cup.
The Aussies look on during a nets session at the T20 World Cup. (Photo by Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Australia's chances of making the semi-finals at the T20 World Cup have been dealt a massive blow after South Africa's crushing win over Bangladesh.

The Proteas bundled out Bangladesh for just 84 in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday night before cruising to a six-wicket win in 13.3 overs.

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It means there is now a net run-rate (NRR) gap of 1.369 between South Africa and Australia, who risk paying a big price for their lopsided loss to England.

Aaron Finch's side will finish above South Africa if they can beat Bangladesh and West Indies this week, but only if the Proteas lose to England on Sunday morning (AEDT).

If Australia only bank one victory from their final two pool games then the semi-final berth could come down to NRR, and likewise if they win both matches but South Africa topple the tournament favourites.

β€œIf they obliterate them and bowl them out for 100 and get them one or two (wickets) down, their (net) run rate would be so good it may make it almost impossible for Australia to get past them,” Kerry O'Keeffe said before South Africa's win.

β€œThis is a concerning game for Australia.”

Star paceman Kagiso Rabada admitted the bigger picture was on his side's radar as they handed injury-hit Bangladesh a fourth-consecutive loss, eliminating them from contention.

"Obviously that was the chat. We tried to finish the game as early as possible," Rabada said after claiming 3-20 and player-of-the-match honours.

"In saying that, we just try to keep it really as simple as possible.

"But yeah, there was a clear instruction that we should try to finish the game - there was a clear instruction that we needed to try and finish the game before 15, and we did that."

Kagiso Rabada, pictured here celebrating the wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim in South Africa's win over Bangladesh.
Kagiso Rabada celebrates the wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim in South Africa's win over Bangladesh. (Photo by Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Kagiso Rabada leads South Africa to crushing win

The Proteas have been on a roll since losing their tournament-opener against Australia, weathering the storm surrounding Quinton de Kock's initial refusal to take a knee and quick return.

"We will regroup and then strategise for England," Rabada said.

"We can take confidence out of our team performances, as a collective, heading into the England game. We know it's going to be a very tough game."

England have all but secured top spot in the group.

Fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Rabada shared six cheap wickets, then their batsmen survived Taskin Ahmed's twin early strikes as captain Temba Bavuma's unbeaten knock of 31 carried them home.

Once victory was assured they finished in a hurry, taking 19 off the last nine balls.

Bangladesh, who are without injured star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, complete their campaign against Australia on Thursday.

"The wicket was pretty good to bowl on in the first half," Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah said.

"We weren't good enough in the middle, that was a poor batting display.

"It's frustrating, but we could have won two games (against West Indies and Sri Lanka), if we had won those games, it would have been a different story."

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Pakistan became the first side to guarantee a place in the semi-finals after maintaining their perfect record in the Super 12s, comfortably beating Namibia by 45 runs.

with AAP

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