Understrength Aussies thrash Bangladesh

Published: Saturday, August 30, 2008, 15:51 [IST]
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An understrength Australia crushed Bangladesh by 180 runs in their one-day international at the TIO Stadium on Saturday.

The home side, rocked on the eve of the game by star all-rounder Andrew Symonds being banished from the squad for a disciplinary breach, made 254 for eight from 50 overs after being sent in to bat.

The match is the first of three in what was to be a warm-up for the Champions Trophy in Pakistan before that tournament was postponed due to security concerns.

In reply, Bangladesh mustered just 74 and were all out in the 28th over.

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said his team's poor top order batting ruined a good effort in the field.

"Our bowlers bowled well and we fielded well also, but we didn't bat well," Ashraful said.

"Once we lost five wickets quickly it was very difficult to come back."

Left-armer Mitchell Johnson did the early damage for the hosts with 2-10 from six overs, while leg-spinner Cameron White wrapped up the tail with 3-5 from just 1.4 overs.

Only three Bangladesh batsmen made double figures, with opener Tamim Iqbal top-scoring with 21, and their best partnership just 16.

Earlier, youngster Shaun Marsh anchored the Australian total with 76 at the top of the order, while fellow West Australian Mike Hussey made a typically industrious 82.

Stand-in Australian captain Michael Clarke was pleased with the total in the conditions.

"It's a very good score," he said.

"It was hard at the start, there was a little bit of swing.

"Marsh batted fantastic and Mr Cricket (Mike Hussey) was at his best again today."

However, Australia's effort with the bat was overshadowed by the absence of Symonds, who was sent home and won't play any part in the series.

Cricket Australia officials said they would reveal the reasons for Symonds' departure after the match, but he was believed to have missed a team meeting because he had gone fishing.

Symonds was also suspended for two matches in 2005 after a drinking binge before Australia suffered its only loss to Bangladesh in one-day internationals.

His absence, with squad member Shane Watson again struck down by injury and veteran opener Matthew Hayden ruled out as he recovers from an Achilles problem, left Australia with just the bare minimum of 11 players available.

Australia were also without captain Ricky Ponting and paceman Brett Lee.

As a result, Tasmanian seamer Brett Greeves was gifted his international debut, with the Australians expected to name a replacement for Symonds.

Geeves capitalised by claiming 2-11.

Marsh, the son of former Australian opener and vice-captain Geoff Marsh, looked on target for his maiden international century when left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak slipped one through his defences and rattled the stumps.

In just his sixth one-day international, the emerging West Australian batsman showed great application on a slow deck more conducive to singles than boundaries.

He survived a confident appeal for caught behind from Shakib Al Hasan on 25, and hit four boundaries in his 106-ball knock.

Hussey faced 87 balls, hitting five fours and one six.

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