Best and worst

Chappell's finger and Pietersen's guts

Cricinfo and Wisden writers select their best and worst moments from 2005

Anand Vasu

The bigger they are... Bangladesh stunned Australia when they won by five wickets at Cardiff © Getty Images

Constantly shat-upon and repeatedly told they were not good enough, did not belong, and were a blight on the purity of the great game, Bangladesh's tigers roared loud enough for the cynical former cricketers to choke on their bournvitas in their retirement homes. In beating Australia, at Sophia Gardens, on June 18, Habibul Bashar's crew did not merely warm the hearts of their countrymen, they struck a blow for the underdogs the world around. To Australia, who have since won enough, despite losing the Ashes, to reaffirm their status as No. 1, the game may have been one to forget. For a lot of others, though, it was a moment of hope, and will be etched in memory forever.

If you're constantly barracked, if your mother is insulted and your team is abused and your integrity is questioned, you will reach a point from where there's no return. Yuvraj Singh once ran into the stands, bat in hand, a la Inzamam, to sort out a spectator, but eventually calmed down. Harbhajan Singh has had his buttons pushed, and given back as good as he got. But for Greg Chappell, at Kolkata, to give someone - perhaps the crowd - the finger, was a moment where nobody won. Was it banter within the team, was it an angry response to disgusting crowd behaviour? Who knows. Any which way, everyone was poorer in the end.

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Andrew McGlashan

No contest: Zimbabwe were helpless against South Africa © Getty Images

Sorry, another Ashes one, but for English cricket that is all that mattered about 2005. The series was an epic and the destination of the urn was unknown until the final session of the final day - you can't ask much more. However, the moment where I first started to believe England were finally sealing their crowning moment was when Kevin Pietersen laid into Brett Lee shortly after lunch on the fifth day at The Oval. It was a fearless counter-attack; Pietersen living on the edge. It worked and with every crunching boundary Australian heads dropped and the Ashes were coming home.

South Africa took on Zimbabwe at Cape Town in March, and the first day was painful to watch. There was no enjoyment to be had watching Zimbabwe crash for 54 before South Africa piled up 340 for 3 in 50 overs by the end of the first day. All but one of the Zimbabwean batsmen fell for single figures, then the helpless bowlings were panned. Graeme Cremer, a young legspinner, took 3 for 86 in nine overs. For goodness sake, Jacques Kallis even blasted the fastest Test fifty. This wasn't Test cricket, it wasn't fun, it was just sad to watch.

Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo