David Warner hit a history-making 166, saying his year on the sidelines of international cricket was driving him on, as Australia beat Bangladesh by 48 runs to lead the World Cup standings.
Warner, banned from Australia duty for 12 months for his role in the ball-tampering saga, became the first man to score 150 or more against six different ODI opponents as he steered his side to a huge total of 5-381 in Nottingham on Friday morning.
On the way, the opener also became the first player to make more than 150 in two World Cup matches.
Usman Khawaja (89) and Aaron Finch (53) also made vital contributions and the tally proved too much for Bangladesh, even if its 8-333 was its highest score in one-day cricket.
Australia will now prepare for its much-anticipated fixture against tournament host and favourite England at Lord’s on Tuesday.
While the runs have flowed for Warner at the World Cup – he is now the tournament’s leading run scorer – he has battled for fluency, particularly in the early stages of an innings.
He started in similar fashion in this match but soon found his rhythm in what was ultimately a sensational, match-winning 147-ball knock, that included 14 fours and five sixes.
“We’re just trying to make up for that year off,” Warner said after bringing up his 16th ODI century and second of the World Cup.
“I felt a little bit bogged down there again [and] frustrated. [I] kept on hitting [it to] some fielders but I managed to hang in there and build a good partnership with ‘Finchy’ and then obviously ‘Uzzie’ as well.
“So it was great just to contribute again.”
Needing 7.64 runs per over for victory, a fast start was imperative for Bangladesh.
It chased down 322 to beat West Indies with more than seven overs remaining on Monday, but this was a tougher challenge, made even more difficult in the fourth over when Finch produced a direct hit run out to remove Soumya Sarkar (10) after a messy mix-up.
Shakib Al Hasan entered the match on top of the World Cup run charts but he looked out of sorts early, just surviving an lbw review off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile (2-58) and struggling for timing.
Shakib soon found his range, though, and linked up with Tamim Iqbal (62) for a 79-run partnership for the second wicket.
It took a Marcus Stoinis (2-54) slower ball to remove Shakib and when Tamim chopped on off Mitchell Starc (2-55), Bangladesh fell to 3-144.
And chances of an unlikely victory looked shot when Adam Zampa (1-68) trapped Liton Das in front for 20.
But Bangladesh kept fighting as wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim and the hard-hitting Mahmudullah caused problems for Australia and made the most of some average bowling and sloppy fielding.
Mushfiqur was particularly brilliant, finishing on 102 not out, while Mahmudullah’s 50-ball 69 ensured Australia were not able to relax as the match entered its closing stages.
And it was only when Coulter-Nile – one of three Australia inclusions – struck twice in successive balls in the 46th over, removing Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman, that the result looked absolutely secure.
There was still time for Mushfiqur to score his century but ultimately, Australia’s score was just too much.
Warner and Finch set the foundations for Australia’s second highest score in World Cup history with an opening stand of 121 inside 21 overs.
Warner had an early life, dropped on 10 at backward point, but the pair soon got to work and even Finch’s dismissal did not stop the momentum.
Khawaja’s touch and placement was a highlight of his innings, while Warner found the boundary at regular intervals in a 192-run partnership for the second wicket.
Warner did not read a Soumya slower ball to fall in the 45th over, though, before a dreadful mix-up between Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell (32 off just 10 balls) saw the latter run out when he looked in ominous touch.
Khawaja and Steve Smith (1) soon fell, too, but Stoinis (17 not out) and Alex Carey (11 not out) ensured Australia finished with a seriously imposing target.