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Aussies waltz to victory
28 Apr 2006
By: Arunava Das

In the third and final match of the three ODI series, Bangladesh succumbed to accurate bowling to slump to 124 all-out. In reply, the Aussies waltzed to a nine wicket victory to take the series three-zip.

The match began with Bangladeshi captain Habibul Bashar again winning the toss and electing to bat. There were a few new faces for the Bangladeshi batsmen to face up to. Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken were rested while Brett Dorey took the new ball with Mitchell Johnson. They both found immediate success - with a little help from the umpires. Shahriar Nafees was first to go, adjudged LBW to a ball that clipped the inside edge. However the next man to go, Aftab Ahmed, couldn't blame an umpiring error for his dismissal. He flashed outside off-stump to give Gilchrist an easy catch and Dorey his first wicket.

Mohammad Ashraful was the next man in. Back in the team after missing the second ODI, Ashraful couldn't make much of an impact, scoring 13 before giving James Hopes a wicket, holing out to midwicket. This brought the Bangladeshi skipper, Habibul Bashar, to the crease. Bashar had already batted well in the series, notching up half-centuries in each of the previous two matches.Unfortunately for Bangladesh, he couldn't repeat that feat a third time. Although Bashar looked good at the crease, he was eventually gone for 33 - the second highest score in the innings.

At the other end, Rajin Saleh had attempted to hold things together, batting with much determination. However, after a stay of 102 deliveries, Saleh was gone for a laborious 37 - top score of the innings - and the Bangladeshis were almost out of hope. The lower-order batsmen managed to eke out another 44 runs after the dismissal of Saleh, with the help of Bashar, but the Bangladeshi innings ended in 42.3 overs for only 124.

The pick of the bowlers was Brad Hogg, who took another three wickets to make it nine for the series at an average of 9.77. Gilchrist, in as captain as Ponting was rested, used eight bowlers in the innings. Even debutante Mark Cosgrove had a bowl as the Aussies dismantled the Bangladeshi batting lineup.

As expected, the Aussies began their reply confidently. Chasing only 125 for victory on a placid batting track, they could afford to take it easy. Mark Cosgrove opened the innings with Simon Katich as Gilchrist decided to have a rest. The new opening pair proceeded to add 123 runs together at a fair clip, Cosgrove dominating the innings with a forceful 74.

Cosgrove hit seven boundaries and two sixes in his 69 ball innings, having a particularly good time against the Bangladeshi spinners. He was eventually gone for 74 within sight of victory. With Australia needing only two runs to win the match, Cosgrove went for a big heave against the left-arm spin of Abdur Razzak to give the Bangladeshis their first wicket of the match. Simon Katich was playing in his usual manner to calmly collect 42 not out while watching Cosgrove hit his way into international cricket. He hit five boundaries in his innings, also lasting 69 balls.

Gilchrist decided to send in Brad Hogg to finish things off, and finish them off he did. Hogg hit a four through cover off the first ball he faced to wrap up another easy victory for the Aussies. The eventual margin of victory was nine wickets and Australia reached the target in only 22.4 overs.

The Bangladeshi batsmen were to blame for such a low total on a flat wicket. Most of their batsmen couldn't help themselves, going for big shots at the wrong time off the wrong ball. Their eventual total of 124 was much below par. Meanwhile, the Australian backup bowlers all bowled well, showing their potential in the shorter form of the game. Although none bowled brilliantly, they did the basics right to go to another well-deserved victory and a well-deserved break after a long time on the road.

Bangladesh 124
Rajin Saleh 37, Habibul Bashar 33
Brad Hogg 3-17, Mitchell Johnson 2-24

Australia 127-1
Mark Cosgrove 74, Simon Katich 42*
Abdur Razzak 1-35

Australia won by 9 wickets and win the 3 match series 3-0

Cricket Web Player of the Match
Mark Cosgrove

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