Gilchrist A Class Above
23 Apr 2006
By: Archie Mac
Adam Gilchrist seemed to be playing on a different pitch and with a different bat, as the rest of the Australian batsman struggled against a tenacious Bangladesh spin attack, Gilly smashed a whirlwind 76 from just 46 deliveries (including five sixes).
So dominant was Gilchrist that when he was dismissed in the tenth over (LBW to Abdur Razzak) Australia was 96/1. Requiring a further 100 runs to win, this took a somnambulistic batting line up a further 34 overs to reach the winning target.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that was expected to be helpful to the spin bowlers. Australia with only Brett Lee remaining from their recent Test attack, watched the Bangladesh batsman fly out of the blocks with a scoring rate close to seven an over.
Nathan Bracken was the first to strike having Rajin Saleh caught by Lee for 7 (13 balls), the score was 26/1. Lee then removed his partner Shahriar Nafees caught at the wicket for a quick 16 (19 balls), 33/2.
Lee and Bracken continued to swap wickets as the Bangladesh batsman struggled to establish a substantial partnership. Bracken claimed Mohammad Ashraful for just five, and Lee the wicket of Aftab Ahmed for 30 (79/4).
The Bangladesh captain Habibul Basher then featured in a couple of very useful stands first combining with Tushar Imran to put on 38 for the 5th wicket. Just when both batsman looked set to open their shoulders after a circumspect stand, Brad Hogg had Imran caught behind for 20 (40 balls).
The captain then combined with Khaled Mashud to put on 54 for the 6th wicket, before Gilchrist stumped Basher off the bowling of Hogg for 52. The keeper followed soon after for 27 Bangladesh were in trouble at 182/7. How much trouble was soon apparent, as the last three wickets managed to only add a further 13 runs.
Australian after there rampant start were soon struggling in the face of some top class spin bowling. Abdur Razzak was the most successful claiming three wickets all LBWs. After trapping Adam Gilchrist, he soon claimed an out of touch Andrew Symonds for a duck, before beating Ricky Ponting with a beauty, for just 14.
Australia at this stage had been reduce to 133/4, and with Mohammad Rafique bowling superbly scoring was a real struggle. This pressure led to the run out of Michael Clark for a subdued 16 (49 balls).
Mike Hussey however was still there, and although struggling with his calling and running between the wickets, he guided the Aussies home to a four wicket win.
His partner at the end was the much improved (with the bat) Brett Lee who remained not out 12 (30 balls).
The only criticism of the Bangladesh team was their failure to put any real pressure on the Australian batsman. With the spinners turning the ball a great deal and also some variable bounce, they seemed happy to concede singles, and allowed the Australian team to coast to a comfortable win.
Habibul Bashar 52, Aftab Ahmed 30
Brad Hogg 3-37, Andrew Symonds 2-6
Australia 196-6 (44 overs)
Adam Gilchrist 76, Mike Hussey 36*
Abdur Razzak 3-36, Mohammad Rafique 0-14 (10 overs)
Australia won by 4 wickets & leads the 3 match series 1-0.
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