Australia crush Bangladesh by ten wickets
Australia140 for 0 (Gilchrist 66*, Hayden 66*) defeated Bangladesh 139 (Nafees 47, Ashraful 58, Symonds 5-18) by ten wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball
Australia restored the natural order at Old Trafford, sinking Bangladesh by 10 wickets in what became a one-sided affair. Andrew Symonds - who missed their last encounter - took a career-best 5 for 18 to remove Bangladesh for 139, before Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden took them home. Mohammad Ashraful struck his third successive half-century this series and Shahriar Nafees joined him in a third-wicket stand of 90 and, at 113 for 2 they looked well set. But Bangladesh lost their last eight wickets from a mere 26 runs, with Brad Hogg taking three to help chip out the tailenders. From there it was a formality, as Gilchrist and Hayden took Australia home, unruffled.
Symonds once again proved just what a potent force he is with the ball as he turned the innings with his five wickets. He came on in the 22nd over, with Ashraful and Nafees in control at 101 for 2, and his offspin soon yorked Nafees. He added Habibul Bashar next ball through a fine edge and Bangladesh were in trouble at 113 for 4. They duly collapsed. "I expected it to grip," Symonds said after his five-wicket haul. "I expected it to spin a bit. Rick ran past me early on and said, "We will get you on early and try to race you through a few overs. We just took the pace off the ball and today it worked." It certainly did.
Bangladesh had been flying as Nafees and Ashraful launched an entertaining, cheeky attack on Australia's pacemen. The audacious Ashraful showed all the fearless insouciance of youth to get into his swing - quite literally - with a series of bright and sparky improvisational shots. Twice in one Brett Lee over, he straight-hooked sixes over a very fine long-leg. In between balls, he was caught at mid-off but a no-ball was called. Ashraful joyrode his luck - he was just in on a run-out call, too - but a clamouring, vibrant crowd were enjoying the giddy trip as he raced away, jumping the red lights of textbook shots en route to his fifty.
Ever-keen to test out new shots, Ashraful stepped outside his offstump and attempted to dispatch a short ball, from Jason Gillespie this time, over square. It didn't come off the first time, but he wasn't put off, and his second attempt found the fine-leg boundary. Nafees deposited a series of classy shots on his way to 47, and the fifty partnership came up in 40 balls.
At this point, all 7000 the crowd felt a decent contest could be on the cards again. The number of spectators was moderate, but would have been smaller without the mini-rush for tickets following Bangladesh's triumph last week. For Bangladesh to have any chance of succeeding here, though, they needed Ashraful to fire again.
But he was checked by the spinners and eventually fell to a one-handed return catch at full stretch, Symonds' fourth victim. Symonds brought up his fifth by bowling Mohammad Rafique and wrap up the innings. Bangladesh's coach Dav Whatmore wasn't there to see the slide - he had to fly home to Australia to be with his sick father.
The opening 25 overs proved an absorbing contest between bat and ball. Lee didn't bowl with his usual fiery pace, but he was probing and got two early breakthroughs. Javed Omar was the first to fall, trapped lbw for 3 - and he was walking before the umpire had raised his finger. It wasn't a pretty shot, Omar playing on the backfoot to a ball of driveable length.
Tushar Imran was soon back in the pavilion too, also courtesy of Lee. He hung around for 12 balls, caressing one four through cover, before Gilchrist held on to a difficult, low chance. It was just reward for Lee, who found the edge twice in his first over.
But it was the spin combination of Symonds and Hogg that strangled Bangladesh on a dry pitch - and, although Bangladesh included two spinners of their own, they weren't productive. Bashar gambled on bringing on one of them - Mohammad Rafique - early, after Australia rocketed to fifty within seven overs. It didn't work. So he brought on the other spinner - Manjural Islam - in the 13th over. It didn't work. In fact, nothing worked in the face of Gilchrist and Hayden's coruscating onslaught.
Gilchrist rattled up his 42nd one-day fifty in 46 balls and Hayden was in good touch once more, picking off leg-side boundaries including his 4000th one-day run. His fifty came up in 39 balls, including nine fours and a six, and the game was wrapped up in just 19 overs.
Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo