August 2, 2003

Australian pace attack too hot for Bangladesh

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Close Australia 107 for 2 (Hayden 46*) beat Bangladesh 105 (Lee 4-25) by 8 wickets with 27.3 overs to spare
Scorecard



Brett Lee celebrates after nailing Habibul Bashar
© Getty Images


Bangladesh's batsmen found the pace of Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie too hot to handle, as Australia eased to an eight-wicket win in the first one-day international of the three-match series. Lee (4 for 25) and Gillespie (3 for 23) scythed through the Bangladesh line-up, bundling them out for 105 in 34 overs, and then the Australian batsmen coasted home with more than 27 overs to spare. It was Bangladesh's eighth loss in a row, and their 37th ODI without a victory.

The early end to Bangladesh's innings meant that Australia's run-chase began before lunch. Adam Gilchrist hammered a typically brisk 18 from 19 balls. After his departure, Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting were untroubled in their 74-run partnership. With just three runs needed for victory, Ponting (29) didn't quite cover a ball from Mohammad Rafique which beat his bat and clipped the off stump.

Rafique's slow left-armers proved more capable of tying down the batsmen than any of the other bowlers used, and he had Ponting's wicket at a cost of seven runs from five overs bowled. Damien Martyn arrived at the crease for his first international appearance since the World Cup final, but faced just one ball as Hayden hammered the winning runs.

Bangladesh barely had a moment of comfort from the time Ponting maintained Australia's success with the toss and put Bangladesh in. Bangladesh's batsmen were in strife from the outset. Hannan Sarkar was run out in only the second over of the match, and Habibul Bashar joined him back in the pavilion with only nine runs on the board.

Lee's pace proved too potent on a pitch that had quickened up from the one that was used in the Test match last weekend. Only Tushar Imran, with a lively 33-ball 28, and Mahmud, who was 25 not out off 54 balls, took the battle to the Australians. Their contributions ensured that Bangladesh reached the three-figure mark.

The outcome was no surprise and with so little time between matches it is difficult to see how Bangladesh can effect sufficient improvement to provide any challenge to the all-conquering Australians.