Aussies In Charge

The Australians found their winning recipe on the opening day of the second and final Test against Bangladesh.

They mixed some quality bowling, with brilliant fielding and added just a dash of aggression. This tried and true method reduced the home side to a disappointing total of just 197 on a batsman pitch.

The Australians were 76/1 when bad light stopped play, with Phil Jaques not out 36 and nightwatchman Jason Gillespie not out 5 from 27 deliveries. They trail by 121 runs.

Abdur Razzak and Dan Cullen made their Test debut for their respective teams. Dan Cullen receiving his baggy green cap from Shane Warne before the start of play.

Bangladesh won the toss an elected to bat, but hopes of a repeat of their great efforts in the first Test were soon dashed, as both Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie made the Bangladesh openers jump around.

The hero of the first Test Shahriar Nafees was the first batsman dismissed when he fell into an obvious trap and pulled a ball straight down the throat of backward square leg. Brett Lee took a comfortable catch off a ‘sheepish’ Gillespie who seemed surprised at the ease of the dismissal. This left Bangladesh 0/1.

Gillespie quickly reduced the home side to 17/3 having the captain Habibul Bashar caught for nine, and opener Javed Omar LBW for just two. Gillespie had 3-11 but was destined not to bowl again in the innings.

At the other end Brett Lee was mixing no-balls (six) with direct hits to the batsman’s helmets, but although bowling well, he was to go wickless throughout the innings.

Shane Warne struck early in his first spell having Mohammad Ashraful caught by Matthew Hayden at first slip for six (41/4). The shot was a poor one, it was almost as though Ashraful was trying to give catching practice to the slips.

At this stage Bangladesh hopes seemed to rest with Rajin Saleh who seemed in fine form, but desperately sought someone to stay in with him. That batsman appeared to be Aftab Ahmed, they combined to put on 61 runs for the 5th wicket.

Drama then struck when Ahmed edged a ball on to his boot off the bowling of Warne and was caught by wicket keeper Adam Gilchrist. The umpires were uncertain if the ball had struck the ground or the batsman’s boot, and referred the decision to the third umpire.

The umpire then appeared to give the batsman not out after speaking with the third umpire only for Ricky Ponting to challenge him over the decision (or that is how it appeared) the umpire then spoke again to the third umpire and subsequently gave Ahmed out for a defiant 18.

Rajid Saleh was then defeated by a great piece of leg spin bowling by Stuart MacGill. First he bowled a short leg break that Saleh pulled through mid-wicket for a boundary. Next he bowled him a ball of similar length which Saleh once again attempted to pull but this time the ball was a faster top spinner, which hurried on and bowled him for a fine 71 (130/6).

MacGill struck twice more having Mohammad Rafique caught at slip by Hayden for 19 and then Abdur Razzak was magnificently caught by Brett Lee at long-off.

Dan Cullen chipped in with his first wicket in Test Cricket, that of Mashrafe Mortaza caught at the wicket for 15. Cullen bowled with some good flight and turn, although he did tend to bowl a little to wide of off stump on occasions.

Warne claimed the last wicket to fall that of Shahadat Hossain well caught by Gillespie for a duck. Wicket Keeper Khaled Mashud remained not out 34 a very patient innings.

Australia were never really troubled in their innings, in fact the only wicket to fall, that of Matthew Hayden was caused by a poor shot from the batsman. Hayden was caught in the deep for a sedate 29 (56 balls).

One thing that should be mentioned was the blatant acts of dissent shown by a number of the Australian bowlers; things such as stringent appealing, and MacGill refusing to take his cap as offered by the umpire.

Also Brett Lee demanded that the umpire stand further back from the stumps, and hit the umpire in the back when throwing the ball in after taking a catch (this seemed accidental).

These incidents and others took off a lot of the gloss from an otherwise impressive cricketing performance.

Bangladesh 197
Rajin Saleh 71, Khaled Mashud 34*
Jason Gillespie 2-47, Shane Warne 3-47

Australia 76-1
Phil Jaques 38*, Matthew Hayden 29
Mohammad Rafique 1-23

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