Michael Clarke got his tenure as full-time Australian captain off to a successful start with a heartening victory over a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in Fatullah on Thursday.
Clarke, who took over the leadership across all three formats after Ricky Ponting stepped down in the wake of Australia’s World Cup quarter-final exit, weighed in with an unbeaten half-century before seamer John Hastings sealed the 90-run triumph.
The new skipper’s knock of 55, with Brad Haddin’s 66 retired hurt, Ponting’s 69 and Mike Hussey’s 69 not out along for the ride, saw the tourists to a hefty 308 for six in 50 overs and their choice to bat first justified.
Whereas Clarke and Ponting were measured in their approach across the low and slow conditions at the Narayanganj Osmani Stadium, Haddin and Hussey were particularly aggressive and ensured Hastings and company had a formidable total to defend.
The beefy right-armer did his chances of cracking the nod for the Australian first-choice XI ahead of their three-match ODI series against Bangladesh the world of good with match figures of four for 13 in six overs, which included the key dismissals of Maisuqur Rahman and Raqibul Hasan.
Rahman and Hasan had threatened to orchestrate an upset across a third wicket stand that yielded 149 runs at close to five an over, but Hastings’ removal of Hasan for 65 and Rahman for 68 soon had the hosts stutter to 218 for seven at the turn of their 50th over.
One glitch to Australia’s otherwise sound performance was the lack of genuine contribution from their slow bowlers. Steven Smith, Xavier Doherty and Cameron White shared 20 overs, claiming just one wicket between them in conditions near perfect for the spinners. Cricket365