Agence France Presse

Leeds, June 26:

England ensured they would face Australia in the Triangular Series final after beating Bangladesh by five wickets at Headingley here on Sunday.

Bangladesh needed to win this match to have any chance of qualifying for the July 2 Lord’s showpiece. But England, having restricted Bangladesh to 208 for seven, scored the runs they needed with more than 11 overs to spare.

Andrew Strauss made 98 off 104 balls but, with one run needed for victory, was bowled going for his hundred by left-arm spinner Manjural Islam Rana. But a wide from Rana took England to 209 for five in 38.5 overs.

However it was all-rounder Andrew Flintoff who set up England’s win. He took four for 29, the fourth time he’d taken four wickets in a one-day international innings, as England finally got a grip on the game after a shoddy start. Bangladesh opener Javed Omar, dropped on 19, top-scored with 81 but his runs came in a sedate 150 balls. Khaled Mashud added late impetus with a near run-a-ball 42 not out.

Marcus Trescothick started England’s reply in style when he cut Nazmul Hossain’s first ball for four. But fellow left-hander Strauss rode his luck. On 14, he top-edged a pull off Mashrafe Mortaza only for Mohammad Rafique at third man to drop the catch.

And a run later Strauss appeared fortunate to survive a well-merited lbw appeal from Hossain. Strauss though struck some authoritative boundaries and Trescothick later pulling Hossain for six before hoisting Rana high over mid-wicket.

But one short of a century stand Trescothick, trying to run Rana down to third man, was caught behind by wicket-keeper Mashud for a 38-ball 43.

England then promoted Flintoff up the order, the 27-year-old hard-hitting Lancastrian given plenty of time to play himself in. Flintoff looked in good touch but when he he missed a sweep off Rana’s fellow left-arm spinner Rafique, Flintoff was lbw for 22.

Rafique struck again when he had Vikram Solanki, hitting across the line, lbw for eight but at 151 for three in the 29th over England were still well-placed. Paul Colligwood (eight not out) and Geraint Jones (nought not out) were in at the finish.