Captain Clarke hits ton in Dhaka

Michael Clarke celebrates full captaincy debut for Australia with 101 as tourists beat Bangladesh by 60 runs.

    Clarke's innings came at a crucial time as he put on 84 runs for the fifth wicket with Michael Hussey [AFP] 

    Michael Clarke marked his first match as Australia captain with a vital century as Australia raced to a 60-run victory over Bangladesh in the opening one-day international.

    Australia have stayed on the subcontinent after the end of the Cricket World Cup won by India and Clarke led from the front at the dawn of the team's new era.

    The stylish middle-order batsman, who replaced Ricky Ponting as skipper last month, scored 101 for his sixth one-day hundred to help his team post a challenging 270-7 on a slow pitch in Dhaka.

    "Any time you make a hundred is very nice," Clarke told reporters.

    "More satisfying for me is the way we played today. I thought we played some really good one-day cricket and to get a result like we did I think is very satisfying.

    "Our goal is to win every game we play here."

    Bangladesh never looked like achieving the target despite half-centuries from opener Tamim Iqbal (62) and skipper Shakib Al Hasan (51), finishing at 210-5.

    The Bangladeshi captain completed 3,000 one-day runs during his knock on Saturday.


    Mushfiqur Rahim (44 not out) and Mohammad Mahmudullah (28 not out) were the other notable contributors for Bangladesh, who trail 1-0 in the three-match series.

    The last two one-dayers will be played at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in the capital on April 11 and 13.

    Clarke, who cracked two sixes and six fours in his 111-ball knock, earlier propped up the innings just when Bangladesh looked like restricting Australia to a modest total with their tight spin bowling.

    Australia, who lost to India in the World Cup quarterfinals, were struggling at 138-4 in the 30th over before the skipper added 84 runs for the fifth wicket with Michael Hussey's 33.

    Clarke, needing five runs off the last three deliveries of the innings to complete his hundred, smashed paceman Mashrafe Mortaza for a six over mid-wicket before being caught in the deep off the next ball.

    Left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo, who dismissed Hussey and Steven Smith in the same over, was the most successful bowler with 3-44.

    Electing to field after winning the toss, Bangladesh struck in the fourth over when Mortaza, who missed the World Cup due to a knee injury, bowled Brad Haddin for 10.

    Opener Shane Watson (37) and Ponting (34) then dominated the attack with attractive shots.

    The opener hit Mortaza for a four and a six off successive  balls before lofting spinner Abdur Razzak over mid-wicket for a six.

    Ponting also looked in excellent touch, cracking three successive fours off Mortaza and hoisting Shuvo over long-on for a six.

    His brilliant cameo ended when he was run out going for a third run.

    Watson, who added 65 for the second wicket with Ponting, also fell when looking well set as he was trapped lbw by Razzak after hitting two sixes and three fours.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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