Review of exciting Fatullah Test
by Arshad Chughtai

Ground:Fatullah Khan Saheb Osmani Stadium, Fatullah
Event:Australia in Bangladesh 2005/06

DateLine: 24th April 2006


Bangladesh though lost the first test against Australia by narrow 3 wickets but at Fatullah perhaps they played best cricket of their history to date. Australia escaped a certain defeat thanks to skipper Ricky Ponting’s unbeaten century. For host it was more than satisfying and a creditable performance that they dominated the match over first two days and despite having lost the grip they succeeded to push the invincible Australians on to the fifth. On a post analysis it may be concluded that Bangladesh lost the test on account of three factors i) Man of the Match Adam Gilchrist's tremendous knock of 144 which saved a follow on. (ii) Bangladesh's collapse in the second innings and (iii) Ricky Ponting's great salvage act to convert a possible defeat into exciting victory.


A brief review on the Test match is presented below.


Bangladesh commenced their 43rd Test match by winning the toss and scoring merrily 355 for 5 in 88 overs on the first day. They eventually were all out for a healthy total of 427 ( in 123.3 overs) on the second day. Their premier scorers were Left hand opener Shahriyar Nafees (138), Skipper Habib-ul-Bashar (76) and Rajin Saleh (67). Leg spinner Staurt Macgill dominated tourists bowling with 8 for 108. In reply Australia with first innings at one stage were 93 for 6 and in deep trouble facing a grave situation. Bangladesh at that point were right on top. Top order Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey, Damien Martyn, Michel Clarke and Ricky Ponting were all back in the pavilion. It was left then only to left hander Adam Gilchrist to make or break any further hope to avoid the follow on. Fortunately he rose to the occasion and batted superbly to help Australia recover, score 269 runs and avert a follow on. In a grand batting display Adam Gilchrist plundered 6 Sixes and 14 Fours during his magnificent knock of 144. Aussies consumed 95.2 overs in their first innings. Despite having earned a 158 runs first innings lead contrary to general expectation Bangladesh gave an extremely frustrating performance in the second innings. They miserably failed and struggled only to collect meager 148 in 50 overs. That is some indication of their lack of character, discipline and temperament. Ultimately they had succumbed under pressure. Recalled paceman Jason Gillespie and spinning wizard Shane Warne tormented the babes of international cricket claiming 3 for 18 and 3 for 28 respectively. Last five Bangladesh wickets fell for only 24 runs. Shahriyar Nafees and Rajin Saleh scored 33 each. This made the situation for Australia easy as they were a given a target of 307 runs to win and had all the time in the word. Australia grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Matthew Hayden (72), Mike Hussey (37), Bertlee (29) and Ricky Pointing (118 Not Out anchored the innings till the end) saw the world’s best team through to an exciting 3 wickets win. To briefly return to one crucial moment of the match it may be noted that the result would have been different had Ricky Pointing was not been dropped at 97. Nevertheless Bangladesh made a valiant effort to over power the mighty Australians. Mohammad Rafique again bowled his heart out to grab 4 for 98 his match tally was of 9 for 160 yet in vain. At the end hopefully Bangladesh is now grown up more matured and hence will perform strongly in the next match.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2006


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