Symonds leads the charge

Australia has taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match one-day series against Bangladesh following a 67-run victory at Fatullah.

Skipper Habibul Bashar (70) and wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud (36) held the keys to an unlikely win as the required run rate climbed to nine an over following a plodding start.

But all hopes were extinguished when the pair fell to part-timer Michael Clarke in successive overs.

Clarke, who had earlier made a patient half-century, bowled Mashud via a bottom edge in his second over then followed up with the key dismissal of the Tigers' captain four deliveries later as he tried in vain to draw Bangladesh nearer Australia's 250.

Clarke finished with figures of 2-16 to join Nathan Bracken (2-16) and Brett Lee (2-30) as double-wicket takers.

Brad Hogg cleaned up the tail to return 3-34.

In the face of some strangling bowling, Bashar struggled to get going after initially steering his side from deep trouble at 3-8 just 21 balls into their innings.

He survived a run out chance soon after passing 50 from a cumbersome 88 balls before ending a low-key knock by holing out to Mike Hussey in the deep.

Earlier, both openers had departed for ducks - Shahriar Nafees second ball to Lee and Rajin Saleh first ball to Bracken - before Tushar Imran dragged on for just two to complete a disastrous start.

Bashar and the recalled Javed Omar Belim then consolidated, seeming to heed the warnings thrown up during Australia's circumspect fourth-wicket stand of 140 put on by the usually explosive Clarke and centurion Andrew Symonds.

But Belim (34) used up his final life after a string of close calls when he tried to slog Hussey over the infield only to find Lee at mid-on.

It was the exact opposite mindset from that of Symonds, who steadily built his way to an unbeaten 103 to see the Australian innings through to its end.

The colourful Queenslander struck only four boundaries on the way to 50, his first serious knock in anger on the Bangladesh tour.

Only after he had responsibly guided Australia towards a decent target did Symonds throw his bat, most noticeably two lofted sixes he casually dispatched back over Rajin Saleh's head.

After being dropped on 34 by bowler Alok Kapali, Symonds chalked up his fifth one-day international hundred during a disjointed final over in which an exhausted paceman Mashrafe Mortaza left the field one ball in with cramp.

The fourth-wicket pair of Clarke and Symonds had been urged to show restraint after Mortaza had struck three times in quick succession to leave Australia reeling at 3-65.

Coupled with recalled speedster Shahadat Hossain, Mortaza (3-54) dismissed Adam Gilchrist (32), Ricky Ponting (five) and Katich (26) in an inspired spell.

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