| Australian captain Ricky Ponting en route to his century during the final ODI against Bangladesh in Darwin on Wednesday. ( AFP)
Sydney: Australia crushed Bangladesh by 112 runs in Darwin on Wednesday to win the third and final limited-overs International and complete a 3-0 series whitewash.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting smashed 101 and Michael Bevan chipped in with 57 as the world champions piled on 254 for seven from their 50 overs.
Bangladesh, in reply, collapsed to be all out for 142 in 47.3 overs, never threatening their victory target at Darwin’s Marrara Oval.
Ponting said the Australians had maintained their high standards through the series despite the one-sided nature of the matches. “We’ve done everything we had to do but... more importantly our attitude’s been really good,” Ponting told a news conference. “We’ve really tried to get out there and play as hard as we can and as well as we can.”
Only three Bangladesh players made it to double figures with Alok Kapali top-scoring with 49 off 84 balls. Sanwar Hossain was second best with 27, while Javed Omar made 16.
Kapali struck four boundaries in a cautious display with the bat and was unlucky not to reach a half-century, hitting a return catch to wrist spinner Brad Hogg when he was trying to flick the ball down the legside and got a leading edge.
Kapali and Hossain had added 66 for the sixth wicket but once they departed the tourists quickly folded, losing their last five wickets for 40 runs.
Medium-pacer Ian Harvey was the main beneficiary, polishing off the tail to finish with four for 16, while left-armer Hogg got two wickets and fast bowlers Jason Gillespie and Andy Bichel one each.
Bangladesh, badly beaten in the two tests against Australia and the two previous one-day Internationals in Cairns, had no real hope of winning the match once Ponting and Bevan saved Australia from a minor batting collapse.
Ponting, named Player of the Match and Series, blazed 101 from 118 balls while Bevan crafted 57 at exactly a run a ball, sharing a 127-run partnership for the fifth wicket after Australia had lost three wickets for two runs in 14 balls.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Australia made a great start with Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden putting on 54 for the opening wicket before Gilchrist fell to spinner Mohammad Rafique for 31.
Rafique captured a second wicket when he took a return catch to get rid of Hayden for 42, triggering a minor collapse.
Damien Martyn departed for one when he played on to Kapali then Andrew Symonds was run out for a duck as the Australians slumped to 114-4.
Ponting made a slow start on a pitch that was proving difficult to score on, but quickly grew in confidence as his innings progressed — smashing four sixes and two fours to post his 14th one-day International hundred and his fourth this year.
Bevan also wielded the long handle, cracking two fours and two sixes, before he and his skipper threw their wickets away in the frantic final few overs.