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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 June, 2005, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
Clarke clinches Australia victory
NatWest Series, Canterbury: Australia 254-4 (48.1 overs) beat Bangladesh 250-8 (50 overs) by six wickets

Michael Clarke
Clarke finished the match off with his fifth boundary

Australia warmed up for the NatWest Series final against England with a hard-fought six-wicket victory over Bangladesh at Canterbury.

Michael Clarke (80) and Andrew Symonds (42) followed Ricky Ponting's 66 with an unbroken stand of 86 to steer them home on 254-4 with 11 balls to spare.

Bangladesh made 250-8 in their innings, a fine effort after they had slumped to 19-3 at the start of the game.

Shahriar Nafees (75) and Khaled Mashud (71 not out) put on 94 in 20 overs.

And their innings was given late acceleration by Mashud and Khaled Mahmud, who added 57 before Mahmud holed out at mid-on off the final ball of their innings.

The Tigers caused one of the greatest shocks in cricket history when they defeated Australia in Cardiff two weekends ago, but went into the match having suffered three heavy defeats since then.

Australian skipper Ponting chose to put them in after winning the toss and the first wicket soon arrived when Javed Omar, having already been dropped at slip by Matthew Hayden, was tempted by a Jason Gillespie outswinger and caught by Adam Gilchrist for nought.

It was the first of five catches in the innings for the Australian keeper.

Brett Lee bowled Tushar Imran first ball and then sent Mohammad Ashraful's stumps cartwheeling in the seventh over in response to the youngster hooking him for six.

Habibul Bashar collected five boundaries in a quickfire 30 before he gloving a rising delivery from Shane Watson (3-43), and he was soon followed back to the dressing room by Aftab Ahmed, who made only seven before Michael Kasprowicz found the edge.

Shahriar Nafees
Playing against the Aussies always motivates me
Shahriar Nafees

Nafees kept his head, however, and brought up his fifty from 82 balls.

Once he had departed, it was left to Mashud to keep the scoreboard ticking over and he was helped by Mohammad Rafique, who hit a six in his 15 off 13 balls, and some enterprising strokeplay from Mahmud.

Australia suffered a shock at the start of their reply as Hayden was caught behind off Mashrafe Mortaza for one.

Gilchrist raced to 45 off 36 balls but they suffered a double wobble when he was caught off Tapash Baisya and Damien Martyn fell to Mahmud for nine.

At that stage, they were 83-3 and Ponting and Clarke avoided unnecessary risks as they stabilised the situation with a partnership of 85.

They needed 64 off the final 10 overs after Ponting had been well caught by Tushar off the impressive Mortaza, who took 2-44 from nine overs.

It did not prove a challenging target for Clarke and Symonds, however, and Clarke finished things off by lofting a full toss from Mohammad Ashraful back over his head for the winning boundary.

But Bangladesh had the consolation of rounding off their tour with another competitive performance.

Interview: Australia's Michael Clarke

Interview: Man-of-the-match, Bangladesh's Shahriar Nafees


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