Australia clinch series

Today is Wednesday so it must be Dhaka. The overworked Australian cricket caravan headed for Dhaka for the second ODI against Bangladesh.

After losing the first ODI in Chittagong on Sunday, Bangladesh responded by dropping their best-known batsman, Mohammad Ashraful. He has not been in top form since scoring a century in the upset win against Australia in Cardiff last year. He was replaced by middle order batsman and leg spinner Alok Kapali. Young quick Shahadat Hossain replaced Syed Rasel who felt the heat in the first ODI from a blistering knock by Adam Gilchrist. Australia flelded the same winning combination.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat.

Gilchrist made a quick-fire 32 from 30 balls before being out lbw to Mortaza.
The score at this stage was 55/1. Ponting fell for 5 off 5 balls soon after this. Two overs later, Katich was caught by Nafrees, bowled by Mortaza for 26. Australia was then 65/3 with Mortaza collecting all three wickets.

At this point the scoring slowed down with two new batsmen at the crease, and at the half way mark in their innings, Australia were 100/3. Clarke and Symonds steadied the ship, both reaching 50.

Clarke was out for 54 after coming down the track to Razzaq and mistiming a shot that went straight to Kapali. The score at this stage was 205/4. The partnership was worth 140.

Symonds having started slowly was soon hitting out and reached his 50 quickly. He was then really in the groove and hit a couple of superb sixes off the bowling of Saleh.

Towards the end of the innings, Hussey made 18 from 15 balls before being bowled by Razzaq trying to hit across the line. Australia finished with 250/5 with Andrew Symonds unbeaten on 103.

Needing 251 to win, Bangladesh’s innings got off to a spectacular start when Lee had Nafrees out lbw for 0. Bracken then followed up in the next over to have Saleh out for 0. The score at this stage was 4/2. Worse was yet to come in the third over when Bracken had Imran bowled for 2. Bangladesh’s figures after three overs was 8/3.

Omar and Bashar came together to steady the rocky Bangladesh innings. When Omar was eventually out for 34 after being caught by Lee and bowled by Hussey, the partnership was worth 62. Mashud made a quick 36 before being bowled by Clarke while attempting a reverse sweep.

Bashar who was the mainstay of the Bangladesh innings was bowled by Clarke having been caught by Hussey from a running catch for 70. This took the score to 157/6 in the 42nd over. The task seemed almost impossible from then on, as the run rate increased, while the expertise of the lower order Bangladesh batsmen decreased.

Rafique soon departed, being out first ball. He was caught and bowled by Lee from a short pitched delivery.

Kapali hit one to Hussey at mid wicket to be out for 10 from the bowling of Hogg. Mortaza was caught by Clarke off the bowling of Hogg for 15, and the last man Razzaq was out for 3 also from Hogg.

Bangladesh were all out for 183 (48). Australia won by 67 runs.

Andrew Symonds picked up a hat trick of awards including Man of the Match, Fastest to 50 and the Master Blaster Award for his six fours and two sixes.

Australia has now claimed the series, going two up in the best of three series. The final match will be played on Friday at Fattulah.

Australia 250-5
Andrew Symonds 103*, Michael Clarke 54
Mashrafe Mortaza 3/54

Australia won by 67 runs

Bangladesh 183
Habibul Bashar 70
Brad Hogg 3/34, Brett Lee 2/29, Nathan Bracken 2/16, Michael Clarke 2/16

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