Four wickets in 14 balls doomed Bangladesh to their 20th Test defeat in 21 matches when Australia grabbed victory by an innings and 98 runs at Cairns this morning to complete a 2-0 sweep of the series.
Stuart MacGill: Bangladesh's tormentor in this series
Legspinner Stuart MacGill, a dominating influence throughout the series, was again the one to trigger events that saw Bangladesh fold rapidly when the pressure heightened. MacGill had Alok Kapali caught off a sweep-shot that flew to midwicket, breaking up the overnight pairing at 123 for 5. Then, with Bangladesh on 136, he had Sanwar Hossain caught close in playing a forward defensive.
MacGill's fifth wicket - Khaled Mahmud, caught at point by Brett Lee - also gave him his second 10-wicket bag of his career. MacGill helped himself to a five-wicket haul three out of four times Bangladesh went in to bat, and his 17 wickets at 12.88 made him Australia's deadliest bowler in this series. Backing him up today was Jason Gillespie, who unleashed his offcutter to devastating effect to take 4 for 38. Gillespie was the pick of the pace attack in the series, finishing with 11 wickets at 15.45.
One of Gillespie's victims today, Khaled Mashud, fell dubiously, given out lbw to a low offcutter that had a suspicion of an inside edge to it. But there was no doubt about Tapash Baisya when, two balls later, he was trapped in front by a full delivery. Gillespie wrapped up the win by getting one to jag back and shatter Anwar Hossain Monir's stumps.
The result was yet another disappointment for Bangladesh. Several times during the game, they built promising positions, only to suffer horrendous collapses that negated the earlier good work done by - usually - Habibul Bashar or Hannan Sarkar. They were the only Bangladeshi batsmen to score more than 100 runs during the series. Sarkar's 76 in the first innings was the best score by a Bangladesh player, and the pair scored all three half-centuries for their side in the series. Australia, by comparison, had five centuries and three half-centuries in two innings. On the bowling front, Mashrafe Mortaza was the player least fazed by the quality of the opposition, taking four of the 10 wickets Australia lost in the series.
The main beneficiaries of the statistical bonuses that are always on offer in a Bangladesh series were MacGill, who continues to make hay in the absence of Shane Warne, and Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann, who scored a century in each innings.
Waugh's uncompromising approach highlighted that he is determined to depart Test cricket on his own terms, and it would be a brave decision by the selectors to freeze him out of the side at the moment. He is already world cricket's most successful Test captain, and is in sight of two records - most Test runs, beating Allan Border, and most Test centuries, beating Sunil Gavaskar.
For Dav Whatmore, appointed Bangladesh's coach just before this series, his side's defeats will provide him with a much clearer vision of flaws to be addressed. Even during the first innings of the second Test, there were signs that some of his lessons were being absorbed. But getting his batsmen out of the one-day mode and making them concentrate at the crease will be his biggest battle.