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Australia beat feisty Bangladesh


Australia had to digest a minor reminder of Cardiff 2005 before recovering for a 38-run ICC World T20 warm-up win over Bangladesh.

The bowling of Mahmud Ullah Riad (four for 37) and batting of Shakib al Hasan (54) forced Australia to dig deep to avoid a calamitous repeat of the shock NatWest Series defeat against the same opponents, which preceded their Ashes disappointment that summer.

In the end, though, Shane Watson (52) and Mitchell Johnson (three for 21) - among others - did enough to keep Bangladesh in their place at Trent Bridge.

Australia's problems began when 23-year-old off-spinner Ullah Riad was called upon with the score at 99 for none after only eight overs - and proceeded to see off the top four batsmen.

Brad Haddin, badly dropped by Tamim Iqbal at mid-on off Mashrafe Mortaza when he had made only four, had set the initial pace after Australia chose to bat first on a glorious afternoon.

He hit Syed Rasel for the first six of the innings - and then planted a second maximum over long-on into the stand at the Radcliffe Road end in the same over from the left-armer.

It was to be Rubel Hussain who suffered most, though, among the Bangladesh bowlers - the first of his three overs costing 22 runs.

Haddin's opening partner Watson inflicted much of the damage, on his way to 50 off only 21 balls - with six fours and three sixes.

But Ullah Riad rudely interrupted a sparse crowd's enjoyment of the stream of boundaries by having both openers caught in the leg-side deep from two of his first three deliveries.

Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds, therefore, had to start again on nought.

Ullah Riad got them too - Symonds caught at short third-man and Ponting behind - but Australia still had power to add and a 52-run stand between Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey helped them to a daunting 219 for six.

Bangladesh's reply got off to a flying start when Tamim hit 18 off Nathan Bracken's first over and Zunaid Siddique set about Brett Lee too.

Johnson appeared to restore order by bowling Siddique. Then, after Tamim holed out off Lee and Johnson returned to have Mohammad Ashraful chopping on, Bangladesh were up against it.

But Shakib (54) kept blazing away, to a 25-ball fifty, which contained six fours and two sixes - and it was only after he mistimed a catch straight to Ponting in the ring off Lee that Australia could start to fancy their chances again.

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