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Match reports

Australia v Bangladesh

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch

At Cairns, July 25, 26, 27, 28, 2003. Australia won by an innings and 98 runs. Toss: Australia. Test debut: Anwar Hossain Monir.
Bangladesh put up a spirited performance in Cairns, where the Bundaberg Rum Stadium (formerly Cazaly's Oval) became Test cricket's 90th venue, but they still went down by an innings. Australia thus swept the short series 2-0.
In the lead-up to the match, rain had left question-marks about the quality of the pitch, which looked green and enticing for the Australian fast bowlers. When Waugh won the toss and decided to bowl, most onlookers feared for Bangladesh: a press sweepstake on their likely total returned only two three-figure predictions. But Bangladesh applied themselves well on a surface that played much better than expected. Hannan Sarkar batted beautifully for a wristy 76, including nine fours, before losing concentration after the dismissal of Mohammad Ashraful for the first half of what turned out to be a sorry pair.
Sarkar and Habibul Bashar put on 108 for the second wicket as the Australian bowlers struggled early on: McGrath lacked penetration - he missed the one-day series for an operation on his ankle - while Gillespie and Lee bowled too short to threaten the stumps. Another solid innings from Khaled Masud and a forthright 46 from Sanwar Hossain, who clattered eight fours, including three in succession off Lee, lifted Bangladesh to a competitive 289 for eight by the end of the first day.
MacGill narrowly missed a hat-trick when a confident lbw appeal against Tapash Baisya was turned down after he had dismissed Sanwar and Khaled Mahmud with successive balls. That was as good as it got for Bangladesh. They were all out in 13 balls on the second morning, and although their bowlers started brightly, pitching the new ball up more than the Australians and extracting more from the pitch as a result, the home batsmen proved difficult to shift after Langer carved the impressive Mashrafe bin Mortaza to point early on. Hayden and Ponting both reached fifty, and then Lehmann and Waugh repeated their Darwin centuries: Waugh's was his 32nd in Tests, putting him ahead of Sachin Tendulkar and behind only Sunil Gavaskar's 34.
Lehmann grabbed the honour of becoming the first Test centurion on both Australia's new grounds, and his 177 - his highest Test score - included 105 between tea and the close on the second day. When he was out, Love, after a scratchy start, put a first-ball duck at Darwin behind him and compiled a neat century, his first in Tests. The evocative partnership of Love and Waugh yielded 174, with Waugh giving lots of the strike away as Love's milestone approached. There was also time for Waugh, who hit 17 fours in seven hours at the crease, to stretch his record to a score of 150 or more against all nine Test opponents, and for Sanwar's jerky off-spinning action to be reported as doubtful to the ICC.
Bangladesh again started brightly in their second innings, but three quick wickets just before the close of the third day - including Sarkar to a wild swipe shortly after he had completed another classy fifty - sealed their fate. On the fourth morning MacGill completed his third five-wicket haul in successive innings, while Gillespie finally adjusted his radar, pitched the ball up, and took three wickets in eight balls. Bangladesh duly subsided to their 20th defeat in 21 Test matches.
Man of the Match: S. C. G. MacGill.