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Practice doesn't quite make perfect as Australia rub off the rust

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'We respond well to must-win games' - Starc (2:04)

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc talks about returning to form after his injury and the team's upcoming must-win match against England (2:04)

The 36th over was bowled by Glenn Maxwell. He hadn't bowled an over in an ODI since June 2016 - in the last nine ODIs, not one over. Before that period, Maxwell had never even missed nine games of bowling in his entire career. And now here he was, in a must-win game, bowling for the first time in ten ODIs, bowling his first over of the year when the opposition were 141 for 5.

The over before, Adam Zampa had taken a wicket maiden; it was also his first over. A full-time bowler, not being called upon to bowl until he couldn't bowl out his overs, starting with a wicket maiden in the period of the game when the batting team had a guy approaching his hundred. Zampa didn't get a bowl largely because Travis Head bowled his handy offspin for seven overs as Bangladesh's batsmen, for the most part, just chipped him around for the odd single. The man whom Head usually combines with for his fifth-bowler overs is Moises Henriques, but they bowled more than their required ten overs. Because, why not.

It was a must-win game, in an ICC tournament, and Australia was treating it like a practice match. They only played one warm-up, the second was washed out, as was their first game against New Zealand. They've seen more rain than cricket.

Then they batted well, David Warner and Aaron Finch ran well from the first over, a three and an all-run four. Then Finch eased a couple of boundaries away. They were tested by the new ball as Mustafizur Rahman beat the bat a few times, then clouds came in and they were under lights. Finch was trapped lbw by one that slipped through him but, straight away, Smith came in and worried little about the bowling or the conditions.

With Warner and Smith clipping the ball around and strolling through for agreed-upon singles, there was such a lack of energy in the match that, at one point, the Oval groundsman came out to the middle and put up a net as he was so convinced this wasn't a real match. That may not actually have happened, but had it done so, it would have been the most interesting thing to happen since the Australian quicks ended the game as a contest in the 13th over.

They only had two wickets at that stage, but at 45 for 2, the game already felt over, so much so that Australia could bring Head on without fear. Cummins had four overs, 1 for 10; Hazlewood six overs, 1 for 21. Starc was 0 for 9 from his three. They were fast, accurate, and impossible to handle on a tired Oval pitch. The Bangladesh batsmen looked completely outgunned, except of course for Tamim Iqbal. It might as well have been dads against the kids.

Australia's quicks were more accurate than at Edgbaston. They were beginning to look like the attack that the other teams feared, and they barely had to get out of third gear. They took wickets, hit the batsmen and beat the bat regularly. Cummins was very quick, Starc came back later to destroy the tail, and Hazlewood bowled better than when he took six wickets in the New Zealand match.

It was the perfect practice match, except this time it was for points, and they were going to collect them all after only a small chase against an underwhelmed Bangladesh who had already stopped using catching fielders and seemed to be hoping just to slow the runs until the rain came. And then it did.

So, Australia have finished just one of their four matches since arriving in England. They have two points from two games in the Champions Trophy, the same number of points they would have had, had neither of their games had been rained off. The net result is that they've got rid of their rust, and they are fully warmed up for their one-off eliminator against England.

Glenn Maxwell's one over for nine runs. No one seemed to mind.