21st July 2003....Bangladesh have just played against the World Champions - Australia on their own backyards.
The test series was more or less good for Bangladesh, the bottom ranked test playing nation in the world. There was the initial nervous situation for our players when they played really poorly getting all out for 97 in the maiden test match. Then some usual knocks of a test match fifty from Habibul Bashar had helped Bangladesh to a total of 178. It led to an innings defeat for Bangladesh in the first test match.
In the second test match, Bangladesh had fought back brilliantly by scoring 295 runs, only to see the great Australian batsman to get past the biggest total against Bangladesh - 556 for the loss of only 4 wickets.
If anyone would like to remember it now, Sri Lanka had the glory of scoring the previous highest total against Bangladesh, to be exact, it was 555 for the loss of 5 wickets including 2 of them RETIRED OUT. Not to mention that in the same series, the Asian Test Championship, Pakistan had also scored 546 runs for the loss of 3 wickets against Bangladesh.
In the end, Bangladesh had again failed to capitalize on their first innings score in the second score just like Bangladesh's maiden test match against India and had failed to avoid an innings defeat to Australia.
However, Hannan Sarkar and Mashrafee Murtoza had succeeded to identify themselves as stars or rather, future stars for Bangladesh cricket. But what was achieved from whole of the Australian tour that, is a different story. We will come to that later.
With the future test series against Pakistan in everybody's mind, it was time to look back at Bangladesh's past records against Pakistan in test cricket history.
19th August 2003....Bangladesh played its maiden test match against Pakistan in Multan - the 3rd Test venue for the upcoming three match Super Asia Cup test series. In that match, Bangladesh was defeated shamefully for an innings and 264 runs. Apart from what is said above, that Pakistan scored a massive total of 546 runs for the loss of only 3 wickets, Bangladesh also manages to bat poorly by scoring only 134 in the first innings and 148 in the second innings. The only positive thing coming out for Bangladesh was Habibul Bashar's maiden test fifty against Pakistan.
In the second and third test matches between these two teams, Bangladesh had again failed to show any improvement despite Bangladesh playing on home grounds. In both matches of the test series, Bangladesh's totals were around 150 in the 4 innings and was defeated to Pakistan by the margin of an innings and 150 odd runs. Again in both cases, Habibul Bashar was the only positive thing to happen to Bangladesh with a couple of test match fifties.
However, the most important point to note on the home test matches of Bangladesh was that the bowlers were able to be a little more competitive in getting the Pakistani batsman's wickets. But their totals were still above 400.
More than a year has past after that...(more on this later)