Dhaka: Shane Watson knocked Bangladesh's bowlers senseless with a world record tally of sixes as the Australians galloped to a nine-wicket victory in the second limited overs match in Mirpur to seal the series.
The target of 230 had appeared a possible banana skin on a slow pitch offering some turn, but Watson made such light work of it, that his unbeaten185 from 96 balls now stands as the highest ODI score by an Australian, overtaking Matthew Hayden's 181 against New Zealand in 2007.
Xavier Marshall's 2008 mark for most sixes fell when Watson swung his 13th over the rope, the second six in as many balls off the bowling of Abdur Razzak. Watson added two more for good measure to also shatter one of ODI cricket's more enduring records, for the highest individual percentage of runs in a completed innings. His 79.74% bested Viv Richards' 69.48% in his momentous 189 not out, out of 272 for 9, against England in 1984.
Following Michael Clarke's century in game one, vice-captain Watson struck a mighty blow for the visitors' new leadership duo, accompanied most of the way by the unbeaten Ricky Ponting, although it came against a Bangladesh attack that was cowed into submission from virtually the first over of the chase.
Dropping Cameron White for Callum Ferguson as they sought a series-sealing victory, the Australians were in total command when Bangladesh slid to 88 for 5. But Rahim, allrounder Mahmudullah and left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo pushed the hosts to 229 for 7.
Shahriar Nafees had done his best to keep the first half of the innings from petering out entirely but he was not helped by the funereal approach of opener Imrul Kayes, who lingered 41 balls to gouge out five runs. Mitchell Johnson and Steve Smith shared five well-deserved wickets, while Brett Lee was short of luck during a spell that was damaged after he leaked 17 runs in his final over.
As if to stamp his intent on proceedings, Watson coshed 14 from the first over of the reply and made 27 before his partner, Brad Haddin, had even faced a ball. Together they added 62 before Haddin, having contributed eight, mistimed a catch to midwicket for his second low score of the series.
Ponting was largely happy to enjoy his front-row seat for the Watson exhibition, which will please his Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne as much as it did Clarke. The punishment was never greater than in the 22nd over, when Shuvo was deposited for four leg-side sixes, illustrating Watson's fearful power against supine opponents.
Seeking parity at 1-1 after Shakib Al Hasan won the toss, Tamim Iqbal offered a flashy drive at Johnson in the second over and sliced to the left of the solitary slip where Shane Watson held an excellent catch. In the next over Lee and the rest of the Australians were convinced they had Imrul gloving a well-directed short ball behind, but a vociferous and sustained appeal went unheeded, decision reviews not being used during the series. Australia's disgust at not claiming the wicket would be alleviated across the next eight overs, as Imrul crawled to five from 41 balls, draining the innings of all momentum and then compounded his sin by swinging unwisely at Johnson to sky a leg-side catch.
The next man in, Raqibul Hasan, played down the wrong line at Hastings and was bowled for a duck, before Smith ripped a leg break between Shakib's bat and pad in his first over, leaving Shahriar to attempt to repair the damage. He had reached 56 when Smith flighted a leg break and was rewarded with the tamest of return catches, as the hosts slid to 88 for 5.
From this dire base developed a partnership between Mahmudullah and wicketkeeper Rahim, lifting Bangladesh into the realm of respectability with a combination of neat strokes and tidy running between the wickets. They were bracing for the batting Powerplay when Watson pinned Mahmudullah in front of middle stump, but Rahim, Shuvo and Shafiul Islam spirited away 59 runs from the final five overs to ensure a target that hinted at competitiveness.
The home side's only change was to withdraw Mashrafe Mortaza from the firing line, replaced by Rubel Hossain, after Mortaza was significantly down on his usual pace in the series opener. Given Watson's subsequent pyrotechnics, he may have been relieved to sit this one out.
Bangladesh 229/7 (50 ov)
Australia 232/1 (26.0 ov)
Australia won by 9 wickets (with 144 balls remaining)
Australia RR 8.92
Last 5 ovs 80/0 RR 16.00
Bangladesh RR 4.58