Michael Clarke hits century as Aussies beat Bangladesh

Australia captain Michael Clarke
Clarke celebrates after reaching three figures at Mirpur

Michael Clarke marked his debut as Australia's permanent captain with a century as they beat Bangladesh by 60 runs in a one-day match at Mirpur.

Clarke, who took over as Test and 50-over skipper from Ricky Ponting after the World Cup, hit 101 off 111 balls.

It enabled his side to post a total of 270-7 and they took a firm grip on the game by reducing Bangladesh to 49-3.

Tamim Iqbal (62) and Shakib Al Hasan (51) gave home fans something to cheer but they finished well short on 210-5.

Having been knocked out of the World Cup at the quarter-final stage by eventual winners India, Australia were looking for a positive response from their players in the first of a three-match series.

And by and large they got it from a team showing three changes, with John Hastings, Steve Smith and Xavier Doherty replacing Shaun Tait, David Hussey and Jason Krejza.

Ponting, now freed from the cares of leadership, made 34 off 31 balls before being run out and Shane Watson (37) and Mike Hussey (33) also made useful contributions in support of Clarke, whose sixth one-day century featured two sixes and six fours.

Bangladesh's hopes of chasing down their target disappeared as Imrul Kayes, Shahriar Nafees and Raqibul Hasan fell to the seamers, forcing Tamim to rein in his aggressive instincts to try and rebuild the innings.

His 62 took 89 balls, pedestrian pace by his usual standards, but he then fell to left-arm spinner Doherty, who bowled his 10 overs tidily for figures of 1-36.

Bangladesh fell further and further behind the required rate and once Shakib fell to Smith, Australia were able to go through the motions in the closing overs which saw Mushfiqur Rahim (44) and Mahmudullah (28) share an unbroken partnership of 61.

"We did not play well at the World Cup and we want to win every game here," Clarke said afterwards.

"We are off to a good start but we have a long way to go. There is room for improvement even with today's performance. Our execution with bat and ball can get better."

Reflecting on his century, he added: "I have only just started. I am happy to make a hundred but there is work to do and I hope there is more to come."

Opposite number Shakib admitted Bangladesh had not bowled well enough during the first half of the match.

"It was not a wicket where you can chase 270 as the wicket gets slower in the evening and the ball kept low and it did not help in scoring runs," he commented.

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