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Watson impresses in Twenty20 warm-up

Shane Watson received a timely confidence boost ahead of the World Twenty20, top scoring for Australia in a 38-run victory over Bangladesh in their first practice match on Monday.

Watson smashed an exhilarating 52 off 23 balls to lead his side to an impressive total of 6-219, to which their opponents managed 7-181 in reply at Trent Bridge.

While he was kept out of the bowling attack, the Queenslander who has struggled with back and groin injuries said he was poised to fulfil the role of allrounder when Australia begins its tournament campaign on June 6.

"That's the plan, definitely," Watson said.

"It's just building up over this week to be right to go for the first game.

"It's great to be able to get out and have a run around today and continue the confidence building."

Watson hit three sixes and six fours in a first-wicket partnership of 100 with Brad Haddin, who finished with 47 off 29 balls.

It was a promising start to the tour for the man selected ahead of Twenty20 team-mate Andrew Symonds to accompany Andrew McDonald as the allrounders in Australia's Ashes squad.

"I haven't been to England for four years and I loved my time in 2005 for the one-dayers and then playing for Hampshire," Watson said.

"I've been very excited to be able to get back over here to be a part of the Twenty20, but now to be a part of the Ashes squad as well, it's a very exciting time.

"I'm really enjoying my time over here and getting a few runs in the first game is always a nice little confidence booster moving forward."

Watson and Haddin eventually fell to Mahmud Ullah, as did Australian skipper Ricky Ponting (15 off 12 balls) and Symonds (27 off 14).

Mitchell Johnson was the pick of the Australian bowlers, claiming 3-21 off four overs as the Bangladesh batsmen posed some stubborn resistance.

But also encouraging was the performance of strike bowler Brett Lee, who has been treading the comeback trail after foot and ankle surgery.

He overcame being hit for 13 off his first over to take 2-32 off four, the same figures as Nathan Bracken, who went for 18 in his opener.

"Brett seems to me like he's starting to gradually find his feet," Watson said.

"His best is just around the corner. I know from experience it's difficult and it takes a bit of time.

"You feel like you're pulling down extremely hard on the crease but it's just not coming out as fast as you want. In time, over a couple of weeks and up to a month, everything feels like it's in alignment and you're ready to go.

"I'm sure that's exactly where Brett is at the moment."

Australia play their first World Twenty20 match against the West Indies at The Oval on Saturday. They are joined in Group C by Sri Lanka.

source - brisbanetimes.com.au
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