No. 44

Bangladesh beat Australia

With a shot for six over midwicket, the most improbable scoreline in cricket comes to pass

Andrew Miller

October 11, 2009

Text size: A | A

Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Rafique celebrate victory, Australia v Bangladesh, NatWest Series, Cardiff, June 18
The cat is belled, joy to the world © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links

Cardiff, 18 June 2005

"It's only Bangladesh," thought Andrew Symonds, as he embarked on an ill-advised bender through the streets of Cardiff that ended at 8am on the morning of Australia's first match of the 2005 NatWest Series. Symonds was instantly dropped, but his indiscretion was the first sign of the tremors to come.

Seeking a big statement to launch their Ashes summer, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting instead managed just one run between them, and thereafter the innings stuttered. Damien Martyn and Michael Clarke steadied the ship, and Michael Hussey and Simon Katich added late momentum, but a target of 250 was by no means out of reach.

Certainly not with Mohammad Ashraful on hand to play the innings of his life. Short of stature but big in ticker, he lambasted an Australian attack that was already showing the first signs of the rust that England would capitalise on later in the summer. His brilliantly paced 100, from 101 balls, kept Bangladesh on course throughout, as word spread across the globe that something truly remarkable was afoot.

The coup de grace, however, was delivered by Aftab Ahmed. With seven needed for victory, it had all come down to the final over, delivered by Jason Gillespie. One blow put the contest beyond doubt - a mighty smear sailed clean over midwicket for six, to cue the most crazy scenes of jubilation ever witnessed at Sophia Gardens. Bangladesh had earned the respect of the cricketing world, and Australia's aura of invincibility was shattered.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo. This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo Magazine

RSS Feeds: Andrew Miller

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

FeedbackTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Andrew MillerClose
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007

    'I didn't have the D/L sheet during the Durban World Cup game'

Shaun Pollock talks to Alison Mitchell about career highs and lows

    From support act to lead role

Numbers Game: Over the last four years, Rangana Herath has become Sri Lanka's strike bowler

    The man who gave Afghanistan their mojo

Afghanistan's former coach may have quit cricket to pursue religion, but he remains with the side in spirit

'Pietersen uses his hands beautifully to get in front'

Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Kevin Pietersen's un-English technique

66 for 6 and all that

Samir Chopra: India fans can only cower under furniture in the face of such numerological terror

News | Features Last 7 days

How bad must a defeat be to be unacceptable?

A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement

Time to liberate MS Dhoni

After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways

Dhoni's control test

For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset

Perfect Herath leads SL dominance

Sri Lanka's marks out of 10 following their 2-0 series win against Pakistan

'You should not be embarrassing your country'

Former players react to India's humiliating 1-3 series defeat in England

News | Features Last 7 days

    How bad must a defeat be to be unacceptable? (142)

    A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement

    Time to liberate MS Dhoni (116)

    After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways

    Dhoni's control test (75)

    For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset

    The two faces of James Anderson (60)

    Why does the man who is possibly England's greatest fast bowler occasionally turn into Mr Hyde on the field?

    One-day barrier to Indian Test progress (56)

    With too great an emphasis on limited-overs cricket, MS Dhoni's side have a set of skills and a level of concentration that are not commensurate with the necessities of Tests