Watson stars as Australia see off Bangladesh

NOTTINGHAM: Shane Watson's rapid fifty and three wickets from Mitchell Johnson helped Australia avoid any fresh embarrassment against Bangladesh in a 38-run ICC World Twenty20 warm-up win here on Monday.

Australia were dramatically beaten by the Asian minnows in a 50-overs per side match in Cardiff in 2005, a defeat that preceded their Ashes series reverse against England.

Bangladesh off-spinner Mohammad Mahhmud Ullah took four for 37, removing Australia's top four batsmen, and then made 31 not out in an innings where Shakib Al Hasan made 54.

But Ricky Ponting's men had too many runs for their opponents after piling up 219 for six in their 20 overs.

"As a batting group, we are very happy," Watson told reporters. "As a bowling group, we were a little out - but that will come with practice.

"That is what practice games are for, so that when the real stuff comes you can make sure you're absolutely on your game."

However, he added: "The Bangladesh guys batted extremely well but Mitchell Johnson bowled very well, as he has been doing - and it's good to see Brett (Lee) changing up as well."

Meanwhile Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said: "We didn't bowl well to start with - but we came back well. With the bat, we just said 'believe in yourself and play' - and we did that."

Watson led the way for Australia with 52 off just 23 balls including three sixes and six fours and together with wicket-keeper Brad Haddin (47) put on exactly 100 for the first wicket after Ponting won the toss.

But both openers fell in the space of three balls to Mahmud Ullah.

The off-spinner went on to have Andrew Symonds caught at short third man and Ponting taken by the wicket-keeper.

Tamin Iqbal gave Bangladesh a blazing start, taking 18 off Nathan Bracken's first over and Shakib continued to give his side hope with a 25-ball fifty, featuring two sixes and six fours, before mistiming a catch to Ponting off fast bowler Lee.

From then on something like normal service was resumed and in the end Australia won by a comfortable margin with left-arm paceman Johnson leading the attack in an innings where both Lee and Bracken took two wickets apiece.