Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd Test, Chittagong, 3rd day April 18, 2006

Gillespie ton builds Australian lead

Australia 364 for 3 (Gillespie 102*, Hussey 93*) lead Bangladesh 197 by 167 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Jason Gillespie scored his maiden Test century to put Australia in control © Getty Images

The nightwatchman Jason Gillespie blended austerity with rare moments of indulgence, 45 scoring shots out of 300 balls faced, to complete a memorable maiden hundred that steered Australia to a dominant position on a rain-affected third day at Chittagong. Accompanying him was the ever-busy Michael Hussey, who crossed 1000 Test runs in just his 11th Test, pulling and driving his way to unbeaten 93, seven short of his fourth Test century.

Gillespie showcased his simple, well-oiled technique - his left foot came out to the spinners and he sponged the impact with soft hands - while he thwarted the seamers by staying in the crease and offering a straight bat. The bulk of his runs came from bottom-hand drives, as he joined Nasim-ul-Ghani of Pakistan, Tony Mann of Australia, Syed Kirmani of India and South Africa's Mark Boucher in an exclusive group of nightwatchmen who have scored Test centuries.

Nightwatchmen have rarely been so watchful. England's Eddie Hemmings, who made 95 from 195 balls against Australia in 1982-83, was the last man to linger so long at the crease. It took three fours - a couple of them peppered the cover fence - for him to jump from 82 to 96 before he nudged a couple to reach 98. For another 11 balls the dead bat came out again before, suddenly, he reached out to a looping delivery from Abdur Razzak and drove handsomely to the extra-cover boundary to propel himself into the record books. Bangladesh will rue the two reprieves they granted Gillespie - dropped, on 44 by Khaled Mashud in the 12th over of the day and again on 60 by Shahriar Nafees, diving to his left at point.

Early morning rain delayed the start by 30 minutes, and when play resumed, Gillespie's partner, Ricky Ponting, began tentatively, almost dragging a slower ball onto his stumps, before he shifted gears with an authoritative pull off Shahadat Hossain. Hossain pinged in a few short deliveries, with a long leg in place, challenging Ponting to play the pull. Ponting obliged with an imperious stroke for six, and then some more controlled pulls to the fielder on his way to 52 before a miscommunication terminated his innings abruptly.

Gillespie pushed to backward point, shouted and signalled his disinterest in the run but Ponting had charged down the track and couldn't beat a direct throw by an alert Razzak. Bangladesh, who looked flat yesterday, were more purposeful today but their catching was once again awry. Only 85 runs came in 31.2 overs in the first session but Gillespie and Hussey took the game completely away from them after lunch.

Hussey walked in with Gillespie on 50 and by the time the cloudburst he almost beat him to the century. Hossain came in for some special treatment - 37 runs were rattled in 33 balls - as Hussey pulled and drove him to distraction. Against the spinners, he used his feet well as he stole 54 runs off 77 balls. He increased the tempo, charging Australia to a position from where, with Adam Gilchrist still to come, they can rattle off quick runs tomorrow, put Bangladesh under pressure, and still beat the elements to force a result.

With forecasts suggesting more rain over the next few days, Australia will want to build a sizeable lead quickly to give their bowlers enough time to seal the win.

How they were out

Ricky Ponting run out (Abdur Razzak) 52 (210 for 2)
Backed up too far, beaten by a direct hit from backward point

Sriram Veera is editorial assistant of Cricinfo