Damien Martyn: back with a bang
A blistering assault by Damien Martyn pulverised Bangladesh as Australia took a 2-0 lead in the three-match one-day series with a ridiculously easy nine-wicket win at Cairns. Martyn made 92 not out from 51 balls, as Australia overhauled Bangladesh's total of 147 with 29.4 overs to spare.
It was an outstanding display, even against ineffectual bowling, considering it was only Martyn's second match since returning from a broken finger. He came in at No. 3, after Australia had opened with Andrew Symonds and Michael Bevan - in an effort to give the middle-order players a bat in this series. Symonds made just 7 before being caught off Hasibul Hossain's bowling, with the score showing 17 in the sixth over. Thereafter, Bangladesh had nothing to celebrate.
In partnership with Michael Bevan, who had made 40 not out from 62 balls when the winning runs were hit, Martyn added 131 runs in just 15.1 overs. His 50 came off 22 balls, the second-fastest by an Australian after Simon O'Donnell's 50 off 18 balls against Sri Lanka at Sharjah in 1989-90. At one stage, he was on target for the fastest century by an Australian - 78 balls, shared by Allan Border and Adam Gilchrist. But he lost momentum in the final stages, as Bevan gained a greater share of the strike.
Bangladesh's attack, weakened by the absence of their best bowler in Australia, Mashrafe Mortaza, had a lamentable day. Khaled Mahmud's second over coincided with Martyn's announcement of intent, and 20 runs came from it, 19 of them to Martyn. He hit three fours and a six from successive balls and while they may have lacked his usual elegance, it was mighty effective. Mahmud's figures - three overs going for 34 - said much about how ineffectual he was in this match.
It was nothing short of carnage, which was disappointing considering Bangladesh had made a decent start upon winning the toss. There appeared to be a greater desire among the batsmen to make a match of it, even though the run-rate suffered as a result. Hannan Sarkar, who was wicketkeeping in the absence of the injured Khaled Mashud, and Javed Omar scored 37 runs in the first 14 overs but the batsmen who followed couldn't build on that start. The edge of Brett Lee's pace was blunted as he went wicketless through the innings, but the slow bowlers more than compensated as the latter batsmen succumbed to their own indiscipline.
Habibul Bashar attempted to provide middle-order solidity but Brad Hogg kept the pressure on with his left-arm spin. Once he had ended his stint of 10 overs with 3 for 31, Darren Lehmann came in and polished off the tail with 3 for 16 off 4.1 overs. Only Alok Kapali provided any resistance, hitting 34 off 44 balls. He was the last man out, having taking every chance he could in a bid to lift Bangladesh to a better score.
Even with a makeshift batting order, the Australians were too powerful, and in no mood to squander the opportunity to thrash the opposition for the second time in two days. And there could be more of the same in the final match at Darwin on Wednesday.