Bangladesh v Australia, 1st ODI, Mirpur April 9, 2011

Clarke century sets up Australia's 60-run win


Australia 270 for 7 (Clarke 101, Shuvo 3-44) beat Bangladesh 210 for 5 (Tamim 62, Shakib 51) by 60 runs
Scorecard and ball by-ball details

Michael Clarke passed his first test as Australia's full-time captain, leading from the front with a century before his bowlers backed up the effort to complete a 60-run win over Bangladesh. Australia have a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and while the results might seem inconsequential after the World Cup, the subplot of Clarke taking over the leadership from Ricky Ponting has created some interest.

Clarke's 101 suggested that the responsibility could sit well with him, and he needed to anchor the innings after Australia lost three wickets in their first 14 overs having been sent in on a good batting pitch. He helped get the Australians to a strong total of 270 for 7 and Bangladesh, who only twice in their ODI history have successfully chased totals of that size, were not up to the task.

They stumbled to 9 for 2 in the fourth over of their pursuit and although Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan both made half-centuries, the result was all but certain by the halfway point of their chase. It was a strong all-round performance by Australia in the field, seven bowlers being used, including the rediscovered legspinner Cameron White, and five men claimed a wicket each.

Brett Lee got things started when he had Imrul Kayes caught behind in the third over and in the next over, Shahriar Nafees fell for a golden duck when he got his pad in the way of a Mitchell Johnson delivery that would have hit the stumps. Raqibul Hasan followed for 7 when he drove John Hastings to short cover, where Shane Watson took an Aussie rules-style mark, leaping high to his left, and the hosts were in trouble.

Tamim grew more cautious, Shakib steadied without scoring quickly, and the required run-rate started to expand. Although Bangladesh retained a glimmer of hope while that pair remained at the crease, the match was firmly in Australia's control when Tamim (62) tried to clear midwicket off Xavier Doherty, only to pick out the fielder in the deep.

Shakib also holed out for 51, but by that stage Bangladesh needed to score nearly 14 an over, which was as likely to happen as Australia calling on the commentator Greg Matthews for a few overs of offspin. The crowd cheered a few late boundaries from Mushfiqur Rahim (44 not out) and Mahmudullah (28 not out), but it was too little too late.

Not that Australia's victory was flawless. There remains a major concern over White's batting form after he laboured for 50 deliveries to score 20, and continued a lean patch that stretches back to the start of the Australian summer. He was dropped at midwicket on 18 and two runs later rolled his eyes in disgust at his own miscue when he failed to clear mid-on and saw Kayes take an outstanding catch, diving to his right.

Nor would Brad Haddin want to see any replays of his dismissal for 10. He wandered aimlessly down the pitch and wafted well away from his body, playing the wrong line to a Mashrafe Mortaza ball that rattled his stumps, and for a batsman capable of beautiful strokeplay, it was a horrid shot.

That those lapses didn't affect the result was thanks to the new captain Clarke, who brought up his sixth one-day hundred with a six pulled over midwicket in the 50th over. Clarke and Michael Hussey didn't rush things through the middle overs, and at one stage played out 65 deliveries without a boundary, but their 84-run stand built a platform from which late runs could be added.

Australia amassed 31 in the final two overs of the innings, and what looked like being just a competitive total was suddenly a very strong one. Clarke skied a catch from the second-last ball of the innings, but his 101 was extremely valuable after his side looked like underperforming when Haddin, Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting all departed early.

He used his feet well against the spinners and struck six fours and two sixes, and his tempo was just right for the circumstances - keep things steady early and attack later. His partnership with Hussey ended when Hussey (33) tried to clear the boundary but was taken at long-off from the bowling of the left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo, who took 3 for 44.

Bangladesh were generally sharp in the field and backed up their bowlers, including the captain Shakib Al Hasan, who didn't take a wicket but helped build the pressure with 0 for 34 coming off his ten overs. An excellent piece of fielding accounted for Ricky Ponting, who swept Shuvo and saw the ball saved on the fine-leg boundary by a diving Shafiul Islam.

His throw to the wicketkeeper was relayed to the bowler's end where Ponting, who had hesitated before taking off for the third run, was caught short for 34. It was a disappointing end to a very promising innings, Ponting's first in an ODI under another captain in nine years. He collected three consecutive boundaries off Mortaza, who was in his first match back having missed the World Cup due to a knee injury; the first a brilliant cut, the second a sweetly-timed straight drive and the third a punch through point.

Ponting and Watson had looked ominous during a 65-run third-wicket stand that ended with the run-out, and soon afterwards Watson was lbw for 37, trapped by an Abdur Razzak delivery that skidded on and struck him in front. But Australia's new leader engineered a recovery, and if his team puts in another solid all-round performance on Monday, he'll begin his full-time captaincy era with a series win.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on April 12, 2011, 2:41 GMT

    @VivGilchrist Smith v B Hogg (2-time WC winner); Batting in Tests (Average) Smith 29 v Hogg 26 - - Bowling ave (Smith 73 v Hogg 55) Batting ODIs (ave) Smith 25 v Hogg 20 (S/R) Smith 93 v Hogg 79 -- Bowling ave Smith 31 v Hogg 27 (S/R) Smith & Hogg identical.

    The point being that Oz persisted with Hogg as a bowling allrounder in ODIs for over 120 matches. It happenned to coincide with 2 WC trophies. Smith is statistically not too far off Hoggys bowling stats & is clearly a better batsmen. Both being very good fielders.

    No doubt Christian is a huge talent, AND SHOULD be in the Oz teams in the very near future. I would argue that he is not mutually exclusive with Smith. The starting side I'd of selected for the Banga tour is 1. Watto, 2. White, 3. Ferguson, 4. Clarke, 5. D Hussey, 6. Christian, 7. Smith, 8. Wade, 9. O'Keefe, 10. Hastings, 11. Pattinson 12th: Butterworth, 13th Richardson, 14th Doherty 15th Khawaja. I would of given MJ & Lee a rest & played them on SL tour.

  • Basil on April 11, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    @Meety. That's all very well but how would you feel if some guy was keeping you out of the team because he might come good in 5 or 6 years?

  • Andrew on April 11, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    @vivgilchrest - it wasn't that long ago that the majority of us armchair critics wanted Pup dropped from the ODI side. He is now our most consistent performer, so whilst I am a critic of Oz selection policies, I am prepared for the selectors to b egiven some grace on some policies. I think Smith needs to be out of the playing XI for tests - but see no reason why he can't be perservered with in ODIs & T20s. Regarding Christian being on $900k - how about a certain left arm ozzy spinner/allrounder who fetched about $10k at the IPL auction. He is of a much higher standard of performance than Christian AND MUST play for Oz in Sri Lanka!

  • Dummy4 on April 10, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    We need world class Cricket Academy. i hearty request Bangladesh Cricket Board and President take some strong plan for Next 10 years. Please establish a Strong fully functional Cricket Academy as soon as possible. We need more actual match winner Like Sakib and Tamim. we do not want to see some average, overrated players. to be competitive we need this. see Aus, India and England. Why they are getting world class players....

  • Dummy4 on April 10, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    The approach was totally negative.....Once i supported Raqibul but now i am disappointed to see his batting....He is too slow....He even doesn't know how to collect single..I think bangladesh need jahurul islam in middle order....Kapali is inconsistent.....He lots of chances and he lost those....Shuvagoto hom might get chance replace of nafees or raqibul....nafees looks awkward and i think he lost his past batting...hope tomorrow bd will show good batting....

  • Ken on April 10, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Fair enough, the batting was too cautious and I really think its time for Shariar Nafees to be replaced because he hasn't performed well lately. Also, yet again, Mashrafe's bowling at the death was poor. All he needed to do was bowl yorkers for the last over and Australia's score would have been less. With his experience, he should have performed better. Maybe time fore Rubel to come back into team...?

  • rahul on April 10, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    why there are no improvements in bangal performances!!!!!... look like if they get other 5-10 yrs they will stay at 10th position only... just consider how many chances are getting for bangla ..they are playing with all top ranked teams( but ireland,afgan,zim are not getting) still they ve no maturity..How are they eligible for test cricket..?.Why ICC cannot see this..with average players like tamim and shakib u cannot win matches... may be with low ranked team u might..!(Rest all players are below average).atleast try to play some good cricket rather than talking too much in medias.....thats one msg i wanna pass...good luck bangladesh!

  • Nick on April 10, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. Bangladesh's mentality of "ok so we're not going to win, let's just get some batting practice" has always bogged them down. They could learn a thing or two from Kevin O'Brien's innings against England after which he said "I rather have had a shot at winning than defending every ball"

  • Kaushik on April 10, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    BD is never going to compete against othe top nation with current set of players. they need some really extraordinary talent or personality to lift their cricket. someone like SACHIN/IMRAN KHAN/LARA/ranatunga etc. The problem these kind of people comes once in 50 years. Althogh people keep saying that they have talent. But i do not see much of it. yes sakib/tamim is better than others but they do not fall into category of extraordinary people. daren bravo/UMAR akmal is much better than tamim is. Rest of the peple are very ordinary. With ordinary players probabilistically you can compete against teams having high caliber plyers once in a blue moon. So BD people will have tough time till they find some extra ordinary talent (who can single handedly win games on regular basis). And tis search is going to take time.

  • hunter on April 10, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    i think Main tarhet of Bd was to escape the Landmark of 58-78!!!!! in this match,I my opinoin this match belongs to BD till 50th over of AUS batting,Mash doesn't know how to ball in slog.( Full toss is given many times which cost 20+ runs e.g: Against DC in IPL 2009,ZIM to Taylor, Now to Aus in 2011)We don't need the experience fool in the Team.Extra 30+ plus has take away the game from BD. And for batsman they doesn't khow to rotate the strike even tamim,nafees and the joke of BD batting line Raquib................I think they need work on this not to rely on boundary only. Replacement need imidiately in BD for Hopeless Raquib,and Mash....

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