Warne strikes after Dizzy double
An astonishing maiden double-hundred by Jason Gillespie, the first by a nightwatchman, and a strokeful 182 from Michael Hussey preceded a masterly spell from Shane Warne as Australia charged to a dominant position by the end of the fourth day at Chittagong. After declaring their innings 364 runs ahead, the Australians prised out four wickets as Bangladesh finished on 195 for 4, needing a further 189 to avert an innings defeat. In their stint with the bat, Bangladesh were led by their opener, Shahriar Nafees, who made an unbeaten 75, but apart from Habibul Bashar none of the other batsmen supported him as Warne took charge.
The star of the day, though, was Gillespie. Resuming on 102, he shrugged off the circumspect approach he had adopted over the last couple of days and celebrated his 31st birthday in style, unfurling some superb shots. Mohammad Rafique was lofted and cut, Mortaza was pulled and Abdur Razzak hit quite audaciously on one knee for a six over the bowler's head. A small pause of ten balls followed as Gillespie regained his energy, before he heaved Rafique to midwicket, nudged Rajin Saleh for a single to bring up his 150, and celebrated with a lusty hit over wide long-on.
Ricky Ponting delayed the declaration to enable Gillespie to reach his double-century, and watched from the pavilion as Hussey and Gillespie destroyed the Bangladesh attack - 194 came in 35 overs in the first session. Bashar threw both spin and seam at the Australian duo but the ball repeatedly found the sweet spot of the bats. While Hussey creamed the seamers, Gillespie raided the spinners.
Hussey marched to his fourth Test hundred with a cover-drive off Shahadat Hossain, celebrated the landmark with a cheeky reverse-sweep off Rafique, and then pulled and drove merrily. Mashrafee Mortaza bled three fours in an over as Hussey latched on to the short-pitched stuff. He pulled Hossain imperiously for a six before holing out, in pursuit of quick runs, to deep midwicket off Aftab Ahmed.
Bangladesh began their second innings a daunting 384 in arrears, and started brightly before Warne showed why he is the best in the business. Varying the pace, trajectory and the length on a pitch which got increasingly slower, he hustled the batsmen to their demise. A well-set Bashar, who was dropped twice in the slips - by Warne and Hayden - was deceived by a peach of a delivery that drifted in, landed on leg and middle, gripped, turned, and clipped the outer edge on its way to first slip.
Rajin Saleh was the next to succumb to the Warne trap. He sent across a couple of looping legbreaks on either side of the wicket before whipping in a quicker one on the stumps which provoked a hurried forward prod and Ponting, at silly point, swallowed the chance. Warne then preyed on Ashraful's patience to finally nail him. He floated a succession of legbreaks around the off stump before ripping one on leg and beat the intended paddle shot.
One man who carried on unfazed was Nafees, sweeping his way to a plucky 75. Against the spinners, he went down on his knee repeatedly and peppered the arc between square leg and fine leg. Fifty runs, with six fours and 30 singles, came in that region as he repelled Warne and Stuart MacGill with the sweep shot as his chief weapon. When he didn't sweep, he kept out the spinning deliveries with the forward prod and a dead bat. Warne was forced to switch to round the wicket to staunch the runs. Nafees also prospered against Dan Cullen, the offspinner, cutting him to distraction. His innings kept Australia on the field longer than they would have wanted.
Michael Hussey c Hossain b Aftab 182 (530 for 4)
Pulled to deep midwicket
Javed Omar lbw b Brett Lee (25 for 1)
Trapped in front by a short ball that kept a little low
Habibul Bashar c Hayden b Warne 49 (127 for 2)
Beaten by the spin, edged to slip
Rajin Saleh c Ponting b Warne 5 (137 for 3)
Pushed at a quicker one, edged to silly point
Mohammad Ashraful b Warne 29 (187 for 4)
Bowled round the pads
Sriram Veera is editorial assistant of Cricinfo