Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo
Australia, spurred to a daunting total by a thumping opening partnership from Brad Haddin and Shane Watson, clinched a facile victory over Bangladesh in Nottingham. From the start it was apparent that Australia were going to dominate, what with Bangladesh's medium-pacers leaking runs and Tamim Iqbal reprieving Haddin in the first over.
Haddin and Watson - who slammed a 21-ball half-century - made Bangladesh pay and though Mahmudullah's four wickets ensured Australia didn't post an even more mammoth total, the favourites clearly had enough runs. Bangladesh's top order chased hard, but following Shakib Al Hasan's dismissal for a sprightly 54 in the 14th over the wheels fell off.
Australia's openers effectively nailed the match in eight overs. When the ball was new, the field in and the wicketkeeper up, both Haddin and Watson boldly chose to go over the top, twice lofting Syed Rasel over the onside for sixes in an over. Then, when the field spread out, the pair chipped and nudged it cleverly into the gaps to keep the board ticking over constantly, but also managed to find the fence whenever the bowlers dropped it short and wide.
The fourth over went for 16, with Haddin and Watson each slamming sixes, and the fifth cost 22. By this time Watson and Haddin both were using their feet and wrists well. Watson dumped offspinner Naeem Islam for four and six in consecutive deliveries as Australia reached 86 in seven overs. Watson raised his half-century with another swipe over midwicket, the most profitable shot on this surface.
Mahmudullah struck in a double-wicket over during which both openers picked out fielders in the deep. Enter Andrew Symonds and three sixes over midwicket, but after racing to 27 from 14 balls, he fell to Mahmudullah in the 13th over. Three deliveries later Mahmudullah ended Ricky Ponting's scratchy innings and Australia had a new pair at the crease again.
Where his team-mates all suffered, Mahmudullah returned figures of 4 for 37 and his role was instrumental in roping Australia in from what seemed a massive total. There was the usual flurry of heaves, hoicks and wickets during the final overs as Bangladesh snapped a 52-run stand between Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke and finished with a tidy last three overs.
Bangladesh began their chase frenetically, taking 31 from the first two overs. In the first over Tamim larruped Nathan Bracken for 18, using his feet to launch a beautiful straight six. In the second over Junaid Siddique took Brett Lee for three boundaries, the most audacious being a swat over extra cover with Siddique a third down the track.
Mitchell Johnson sent Siddique's leg stump cartwheeling with a quick and straight delivery and Lee had his man when Tamim drove straight to mid-off in the fourth over. Then came an engrossing period where both sides battled for leverage. Mohammad Ashraful broke the shackles of a nervous start with three successive fours off Johnson, using his crease excellently to clear the infield on both sides.
Bracken swung it back with three singles in the sixth over, but Shakib and Ashraful took boundaries off David Hussey; Tamim's sweep was forceful while Ashraful's reverse-paddle was gentle. In the next over Tamim paddled and drove James Hopes for boundaries and Ashraful sliced to third man.
Following Ashraful's dismissal for 26 to the first ball of Johnson's next spell, Shakib clubbed Symonds' first two deliveries for six, survived a stumping, and promptly creamed four through extra cover. His half-century needed just 25 deliveries. Shakib was the fourth to go and at the time Bangladesh were still in the hunt, but his dismissal was a hammer blow and the innings never recovered as Lee and Bracken strangled the life out of the lower order.
Lee, Watson closer to fitness
Australia have not tasted success in a Twenty20 fixture for four months so any victory, even in a practice match against Bangladesh, will not be sneezed at