Marcus Trescothick warned England would have to raise their game against Australia for the remainder of the season after a shoddy fielding display in their five-wicket win against Bangladesh at Headingley.
The result set up an England-Australia final to the NatWest Series, at Lord's on July 2, and ended Bangladesh's interest in the tournament ahead of their final group match against Australia, at Canterbury, on Thursday.
"It took us about 15-20 overs really to get going before we'd switched on to playing the sort of cricket we have been over the past couple of months," said Trescothick. "If we take 20 overs to get going against Australia they are going to hurt us. We can't play against Australia for the rest of the summer and not be as good as we have been."
England overpowered Bangladesh by an innings in both their Tests and had already recorded two crushing wins over Bangladesh in the NatWest Series before today's game. Asked if that had led to a lack of intensity, Trescothick said: "Possibly. We've been on the road for a while. I don't want to use that as an excuse because everyone's playing the same amount of cricket so we can't afford to switch off when we think we can. It looked wrong, all the energy we normally have wasn't there today."
Trescothick praised Andrew Flintoff's bowling, which allowed England to regain control: "He bowled really well today, his figures obviously showed that. He came on at two interesting times when the momentum of the game was changing and he changed it for us. There were those two wickets in two balls and then at the end he bowled some cracking yorkers, better than I've seen him bowl for a long time."
Andrew Strauss took England to the brink of victory with 98 but was fortunate to come through a frenetic start, which saw him dropped on 14, before he regained his composure only to lose it at the end. But he said he wasn't too disappointed to miss his hundred. "Twos don't count if you need one to win but going for a massive hack is probably not the best way to do it. But it's not something that's important to me. I don't know why but I felt like going harder at the ball early. But once 10 overs had gone I played my normal game which served me a little bit better."
Javed Omar top scored with 81 for Bangladesh who at least had the satisfaction of batting out their 50 overs Australia rolled them over for 139 in 35.2 overs during the10-wicket defeat at Old Trafford. Stuart Karppinen, their fitness coach, in temporary charge after Dav Whatmore flew to Melbourne on Saturday to be with his ailing father, said: "There have been improvements along the way. Getting 300 in the second Test at Durham, Mohammad Ashraful's batting and Mashrafe Mortaza's bowling. But the win against Australia was easily the highlight."