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England beat Bangladesh

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June 26, 2005 23:26 IST

Andrew Strauss made 98 and Andrew Flintoff took four wickets as England swept past Bangladesh with five wickets to spare in Sunday's triangular series one-dayer to set up a final against Australia.

Scorecard | Schedule

Flintoff mixed accuracy and a couple of perfect yorkers to restrict the Bangladeshis to 208 for seven at Headingley. The all rounder took four for 29.

Strauss, struggling early on, played himself into form in a 104-ball stay as the home side won with 11.1 overs to spare.

Strauss needed eight for his century with seven runs left to win. The left-hander clouted a leg-side six off spinner Manjural Islam but, needing another boundary to reach three figures, he charged down the wicket and was bowled.

"It was a big hack at the end and I walked off feeling pretty stupid," said Strauss. "I rode my luck a bit today but I just about managed to see the boys home."

Bangladesh were only in the game for 20 overs. On 89 for one after opting to bat, things looked rosy.

Ten overs later and the innings had deflated to 113 for four. Javed Omar, who made a conservative 81, was left to dig in and ensure that Bangladesh bat out their overs.

Both blessing and hindrance, he faced 25 overs on his own, hitting five fours. During the middle of the innings, he did not reach the boundary for 19 overs.

England, without injured captain Michael Vaughan, hiccuped early on, dropping half-chances and fielding without vim. Chris Tremlett paid the highest price, with three catches downed off his bowling.


The giant seamer could have had two wickets in his first six deliveries, but Paul Collingwood's dive at point to take a cut from Tushar Imran ended with the ball squirming from his right hand. Flintoff then moved across Marcus Trescothick at first slip and grassed a routine chance from Omar.

However, Flintoff put things right with two wickets in two balls in the 22nd over.

Imran played on after a 70-run stand and Ashraful, fresh from a century against Australia and a high-speed 94 against England, flicked his first delivery straight to Trescothick at midwicket to make it 92 for three.

Habibul Bashar survived the hat-trick ball, a huge lbw appeal, by half the width of his off stump.

Bangladesh never recovered. The last 10 overs produced 59 runs and Flintoff completed his performance with unplayable yorkers to Omar and Mashrafe Mortaza.

The chase was a cakewalk, despite Flintoff missing out after being promoted up the order and Strauss's early miscues.

The left-hander was also dropped off a towering edge over the wicketkeeper but three fours off a Nazmul Hossain over, including a classic extra cover drive, seemed to settle him.

Trescothick joined in with two pulled sixes as 51 came off five overs. Trescothick, though, edged left-arm spinner Manjural Islam behind after a 38-ball 43 and a 99-run stand for the first wicket in 15.3 overs.

Flintoff tried one sweep too many and went lbw for 22 -- replays suggested he was unlucky. Wickets continued falling but the result was never in doubt. Strauss hit seven fours and a six.

England play Australia on Tuesday and Bangladesh play the world champions on Thursday before the Lord's final on Saturday.
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