The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Australians to show no mercy

Colombo: Australia will go into their Champions Trophy pool 1 clash against Bangladesh on Thursday without in-form batsman Damien Martyn.

The right-hander suffered a hip injury while top-scoring with 73 in Australia’s 164-run win over New Zealand on Sunday and will be replaced by Jimmy Maher.

Captain Ricky Ponting said he was extremely hopeful Martyn would be fit for a possible semi-final clash with hosts Sri Lanka, a match-up that will be confirmed for September 27 if Australia beat Bangladesh.

“Damien picked up a slight strain in his hip while batting,” Ponting said on Wednesday.

“He tried to have a run about yesterday but aggravated it so he stayed at the hotel today and we’ll see if he can get over it with the semi-finals coming up.”

Maher’s inclusion is the only change to Australia’s line-up from their opening match, but Ponting also said Maher would bat at six, allowing Michael Bevan to take Martyn’s place at four in the order.

“Michael’s not had much batting and that’s why he’s at four,” said Ponting. “It would be nice if everyone in the batting and bowling line-up gets the chance for another solid hit-out.”

Ponting admitted he knew little about Bangladesh, who have won only three one-day Internationals in their history.

“We’ll attack the Bangladesh game in exactly the same way as we did the New Zealand game,” he said.

“We don’t know that much about them and we had a fairly short team meeting yesterday, but we are probably focusing more on what we have to worry about rather than them at the moment.

“If we do the basics of one-day cricket well then everything else should look after itself,” Ponting added.

The two sides have only met twice before, the most recent clash coming in the 1999 World Cup when Australia romped home by seven wickets, reaching a victory target of 179 in only 19.3 overs.

Bangladesh go into the game with no injury concerns, but have dropped 18 year-old batsman Mohammad Ashraful.

Ashraful made 114 on his Test debut, against Sri Lanka at the venue for Thursday’s match, the Sinhalese Sports Club, in September 2001, and scored 75 against Sri Lanka in a Test at the same ground in July this year.

But those two innings are his only scores over 50 in seven Tests and seven one-day Internationals, and in the shorter form of the game he averages just 13.71. “We are giving him a break because he is not getting any runs,” team manager A.S.M. Faruque said on Wednesday.

Batsman Javed Omar, who missed the recent Test and one-day tour of Sri Lanka with a knee injury, returns to the side. Young fast bowler Talha Jubair and off-spinner Fahim Muntasir are the others players left out from their squad of 14.

The Australian team, who will remain in Colombo after the tournament for the first of a three-match Test series against Pakistan, are set to spend the weekend in the nearby Maldive islands.


Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Bevan, Adam Gilchrist, Jason Gillespie, Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Jimmy Maher, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Shane Watson.

Bangladesh: Khaled Mashud (captain), Al-Shahriar, Tapash Baishya, Habibul Bashar, Mazharul Haque, Tushar Imran, Monjurul Islam, Alok Kapali, Khaled Mahmud, Javed Omar, Mohammad Rafique.

Umpires: Asoka de Silva and Russell Tiffin.

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