Bangladesh Push Australia Hard Before Succumbing
Australia 361-8 (Hussey 108, Watson 72) beat
Bangladesh 295-6 (Imrul Kayes 93) by 66 runs
Third One-Day International, Dhaka
Michael Hussey scored a powerful century, Shane Watson a belligerent 72 as Australia survived a minor scare to beat Bangladesh by 66 runs in the third and final One-Day International in Dhaka.
After Australia piled up 361 for eight, a strong Bangladesh counter-attack eventually petered out as they closed on 295 for six, with the result that Australia clinched the series 3-0.
Watson, opening the batting with Ricky Ponting (47), needed just 25 balls to reach his half-century, going on to face 40 deliveries in all, hitting 11 fours and five sixes. He was frustrated at times by Bangladesh, but they were unable to prevent him scoring heavily on the on-side.
His innings was ended when he missed one from left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, who also had Ponting trapped in front. Michael Clarke also scored 47 and was, like Ponting, bowled, this time by Mashrafe Mortaza but Hussey ensured that Bangladesh were not able to bowl themselves back into contention.
He faced 91 balls, hitting nine fours and two sixes as Australia proved that the third Power Play does not have to be left until the final five overs of the match, instead taking it with 15 overs to spare and HUssey profited from the move despite the cheap dismissals of Callum Ferguson (3) and Tim Paine (7).
Fellow left-hander Mitchell Johnson carved a quickfire 41 in 24 balls to further assert Australia's dominance and in a similar vein, John Hastings hammered 21 not out in nine balls with three fours and a six as Australia posted their fourth-highest ODI total of all time.
Mortaza and Razzaq toiled away to return three for 80 and three for 58 respectively.
Bangladesh, far from meekly surrendering when faced with a stiff target, chose to come out and give themselves every chance, thrilling their home fans in the process.
Their charge was led by Imraul Kayes, who hit ten fours and two sixes in an entertaining innings of 93 in 95 balls before he edged debutant James Pattinson to Paine behind the stumps.
Tamim Iqbal blazed his usual trail at the start, blasting 32 in 17 balls and following his dismissal, bowled by an excellent yorker from Johnson, it was over to Shahriar Nafees to offer Kayes the support he needed.
Nafees scored his second consecutive half-century, making 60 in 86 balls as the pair put on 136 for the second wicket before Australia bowled themselves back into a position of complete strength.
Nafees pulled Johnson straight into the air to be caught by Watson, Shakib Al Hasan steered Watson to Xavier Doherty for one and Mushfiqur Rahim sent a horizontal shot skywards and was caught by Steve Smith off Watson for one.
Mahmudullah stood firm at the other end, hitting an enterprising 68 not out in 61 balls, with five fours and two sixes before Johnson completed figures of three for 67 when he had recalled Alok Kapali caught by Pattinson for 13.
Bangladesh's score was their sixth highest in ODIs and was a more heartening performance given how they had barely competed in the two earlier games, won comfortably by Australia with far more ease.
© Cricket World 2011