Australia overwhelm Bangladesh ... again

Australia 254 for 7 (Ponting 101, Bevan 57) beat Bangladesh 142 (Kapali 49; Harvey 4-16) by 112 runs

Australia wrapped up the one-day series against Bangladesh 3-0, as expected, beating them by 112 runs at Darwin's Marrara Oval. Bangladesh fought lustily to start with, though, reducing Australia to 114 for 4 after they had won the toss and opted to bat, picking up three middle-order wickets for two runs at one stage. Ricky Ponting came to the rescue with his fourth ODI century of the year, and his 127-run stand with Michael Bevan was instrumental in Australia reaching 254 for 7. Bangladesh's batsmen then duly wilted, though Alok Kapali contributed a doughty 49.

Bangladesh made a cautious start but stumbled every time they tried to accelerate the scoring. Both openers, Javed Omar (16) and Hannan Sarkar (1), were done in by lack of footwork, and were out leg-before. Jason Gillespie was magnificently parsimonious early on, giving away just two runs in his first seven overs. Bangladesh were crawling, and something had to give.

Both Habibul Bashar (2) and Mohammad Ashraful (4) were out charging the bowlers in an attempt to up the run-rate, then Tushar Imran was run out for 1. A sixth-wicket partnership of 66 between Kapali and Sanwar Hossain (27) took Bangladesh past 100, but both were eventually out to Brad Hogg, deceived by his guile into giving simple return catches. The tailenders attempted valiantly to last the 50 overs, but failed.

Earlier, Ponting had dominated the Australian innings, rescuing it from their only slippery moment of the series. Bevan and Ponting added 127 at a rate of over six an over, efficiently wiping out any chance Bangladesh might have had of restricting Australia to a gettable total.

Mohammad Rafique, who picked up the wickets of Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden for just 31 runs, bowled particularly well, as did Mashrafe Mortaza, who bowled at the business end of the innings to finish with 2 for 41. Bangladesh showed spirit; but in the end, they weren't anywhere near good enough.