Spinners ensure whitewash

Australia have cruised to a comfortable innings victory on the final morning at Chittagong, despite some big hitting from Mohammad Rafique. Shane Warne was the star of Australia’s bowling attack, as he added to his overnight wicket tally with two more from the six that fell, including the crucial partnership breaker when he dismissed Shahriar Nafees.

Warne opened the bowling on the final day after three wickets on the previous evening, and immediately hit the mark and troubled both batsmen. Partnering Warne to start the day was Brett Lee, who had improved significantly from his showings in the first test. Lee showed a working knowledge of how to bowl on unhelpful subcontinent wickets, as he found reverse swing and liberally used rapid bouncers to keep the Bangladesh batsmen on the back foot. It was the sixth over of the morning when Nafees fell to Warne, as he went after a wide, sharp-turning leg break and could only manage an inside edge to Gilchrist.

After the dismissal of Nafees the wickets came quickly and easily. MacGill was introduced into the attack to replace the superb but unlucky Lee, and his first delivery dismissed Afrab Ahmed with another inside edge. In his next over MacGill struck again, trapping the ‘keeper Khaled Mashud LBW with a full delivery that landed on his toes. Warne then made it three in four overs, as Mortaza attempted a wild slog over midwicket but hit it to the off-side where Gillespie took an easy catch. Unbelievably, MacGill grabbed his third in the very next over as Abdur Razzak chipped a pointless, soft shot straight to Ponting at mid-off.

After four wickets in five overs Bangaldesh had given up any chance of batting out the day, but Mohammad Rafique still provided some last gasp entertainment for the home crowd. Over the course of ten overs the Bangladesh spinner did his best to ruin the figures of his Australian rivals, clubbing a pair of sixes off one MacGill over, and three more off a Warne over that went for 21.

When he slapped the last ball of the next MacGill over to the boundary he had reached a half-century in 41 deliveries. He had time to smash MacGill over the fence one more time and hit a final boundary off Warne, before a miscue off MacGill gifted Warne a catch and the Australian spin duo took the last laugh.

In the washup, Bangladesh will be horribly disappointed with their second test performance. After pushing Australia so close in the opening game they would have been hoping to repeat the dose, but instead they were bundled out on the first morning for an insufficient score. The home side then spent the best part of 10 sessions in the field as Jason Gillespie dominated a dismal attack for an incredible double century. Bangladesh have suffered innings defeats in more than half of their tests, so it is nothing new, but after the progress made it would hurt more than most. Positives from the series come from Rajin Saleh, Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Rafique.

Australia will be pleased to bounce back after starting the series in such lacklustre fashion. Many positives can be taken from the bowling, with the comeback of Gillespie, the bowling of MacGill, and the fast learning of Lee. Batsmen like Clarke and Martyn will be disappointed with being outshone by Gillespie and Lee with the willow, but it is hard to be overly critical of a side that managed a whitewash. Australia now have a lengthy period off test cricket before the Ashes kicks off next November, and while 11 wins in 12 tests since the last Ashes has answered many questions, the biggest one of all is still ahead of them.

Bangladesh 197
Rajin Saleh 71, Khaled Mashud 34*
Jason Gillespie 3/11, Shane Warne 3/47

Australia 4/581 dec.
Jason Gillespie 201*, Michael Hussey 182
Mohammad Rafique 2/145, Aftab Ahmed 1/28

Bangladesh 304
Shahriar Nafees 79, Mohammad Rafique 65
Shane Warne 5/113, Stuart MacGill 4/95

Australia win by an innings and 80 runs.
Australia win the two test series 2-0.

Cricket Web Man of the Match
Jason Gillespie – 201* and 3/11 & 0/14

Cricket Web Man of the Series
Jason Gillespie – 231 runs @ 231, 8 wickets @ 11.25, two catches.

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