BanglaCricket.com: Article


Thursday, April 17, 2014
Updated: Saturday, July 19, 2003
Historic Day At Darwin

James Stedman
 
Australia continued at 2/121 after Langer and Lehmann steadied the ship to give them a first-innings lead within the first day. Chasing Bangladesh?s woeful 97, Australia lost Hayden and Ponting early and at the crease had Lehmann on 51 and Langer on 40.

The first over was a lively one from Mashrafe Mortaza. Lehmann was walking across his crease to try and get the ball working to the leg side, so Mashrafe bowled a slower ball yorker on leg and Lehmann got a leading edge playing outside his legs and strangely enough it fell on the offside. Then Mashrafe bowled one on a good length that kept well down, beat the edge and bounced well before keeper Khaled ?Pilot? Mashud. This showed that the pitch could deteriorate and it was a very bad sign for the first day. Tapash was bowling well at the other end keeping a steady action and putting the ball on a good spot. He persisted and beat the edge twice but Mashrafe was the one who looked like getting a wicket bowling slower balls, which the Australian batsman weren?t too confident about. But captain Khaled Mahmud made a surprising move bowling himself and Manjural Islam instead of Mashrafe and Tapash. Langer placed the ball through cover-point on the for his 50 on Manjural?s first ball. Lehmann later showed that Mahmud bowling at 118 and Manjural around about 128 did not intimate him. He took off his helmet, at first opting for a broad-rimmed hat. Then went with the naked ?Boof? scalp and then opted to don the ?Baggygreen?. Langer later pushed a ball out to cover and ran through for a quick single. Habibul Bashar then took a shy at the stumps in vein but only managed to hit Justin Langer. Langer then called for Errol Alcott at drinks to look after him. He returned after drinks and was beaten after a Manjural Islam ball that hit a crack and moved away, proving that the pitch would deteriorate very quickly and Bangladesh would struggle to reach 100 once more. Langer featured in that action again soon after as Mahmud swapped Manjural for Alok Kapali and kept himself on. At 2/156 Kapali beat the edge of Langer and next ball was belted for four. In the same over Justin Langer slipped while trying to sweep and luckily his pad got in the way to prevent him from being bowled. Mahmud had obviously over bowled himself and got slogged over mid-wicket by ?Boof? Lehmann. Kapali then pitched one just short of a length in line that straightened and hit Langer just above the pad. Langer was back trying to pull and the Bangladeshi?s went up in unison. Sheppard ruled that in would have taken the top of off and he was on his way back for 71. Steve Waugh then came to the crease at 3/184 and was hit on the pad 3 balls in a row from Kapali. Lehmann was punishing Mahmud at the other end yet still refused to change the bowler. Kapali again hit Steve Waugh on the pad but the Australian captain wasn?t worried remaining on naught for quite some time. Khaled Mahmud bowling to him got one to stay well down, Waugh missed, it missed the stumps by millimetres and Khaled Mashud missed it. It rolled into the rope as Australia moved onto 200. Steve Waugh finally got off the mark, last ball before lunch with a 3. A declaration possibly in view before stumps with Australia in control at 3/204.

After lunch Waugh continued with his pads getting it the way from Manjural but was getting not out. Soon after Lehmann became the first test cricketer to score a hundred at Darwin?s Marrara Oval, dropping a ball to the off side to hurry through to his second test century. Once he reached 100 he decided to have a go and after a couple of miss-hit pulls he eventually sent a drive skywards. Javed was getting back and not looking to comfortable about it, eventually diving behind his to take a miraculous catch as the Australian impostor of Shrek was on his way back to the pavilion for a historic 110. This brought Martin Love to the crease and was immediately gone from jaffa bowled by Mashrafe Mortaza. The ball pitched on a good length, cut in and Love was late on it as the ball crashed into the stumps Australia was having a mini-collapse at 5/244. Taposh possibly inspired by Mashrafe?s two-wicket over then beat the edge next over. Waugh then got his eye in and dreamt about becoming the only test cricketer in history to score 150 against every other test nation. ?Tugga? Waugh was hitting boundaries and Gilly was slightly struggling. He eventually got the hang of it as Australia put their foot on the gas. Gilchrist then really got moving when he smashed an on-drive on long-on for a boundary off unbelievably over bowled Khaled Mahmud who was heading for the worst ever test bowling average. Gilchrist then hit 3 fours in a row and next ball chopped one on off left-armed Manjural Islam. Australia then reached the tail as Mahmud received the honours of ?Highest Bowling Average? as he was kept himself on just to give himself more embarrassment and at tea Australia was 6/336 with Waugh on 64 and Lee on 7.

It got worse for Bangladesh as ace bowler Mashrafe Mortaza went back to the sheds with cramps just after tea. He at the time had figures of 3/35. Lee stroked the ball back up the pitch to Taposh who saw this as a stump to try and bowl Lee?s stumps down. He missed the target and hit Lee in the foot, which he didn?t seem to enjoy too much. Kapali was then brought on and bowled an absolute long-hop to Brett Lee who sent it 15 rows back into the Darwin crowd over mid-wicket. Waugh then followed suit with a six of his own and Bangladesh suddenly found an innings defeat imminent. Lee then worked a ball out to mid-wicket when Taposh Baisya picked up and threw to keeper Mashud who had to take a step and whip off the bails to see Brett Lee out of his ground and Australia were 7/377. It then brought Jason ?Dizzy? Gillespie to the crease who had to support Steve Waugh to his 31st test century and did extremely well in doing so. He didn?t only support Steve Waugh on his way to becoming the second test-cricketer to have 100 against all other 9 test nations but he also contributed with 16 runs of his own. Steve Waugh then declared at 7/407 and send Bangladesh 310 to make Australia bat again.

It didn?t start well for Bangladesh loosing 26-year-old Javed Belim cheaply. Javed?s 5 included one slashing cut to the boundary but was out lbw to Glenn McGrath leaving Bangladesh staring down the barrel of an innings defeat at 1/8. The first ball that Habibul Bashar face just cleared the stumps as he swung his bat in uncharacteristic fashion, which was meant to be a pull. He then got away with numerous lbw appeals and was thanking his lucky stars after he brushed a ball outside leg with his gloves to keeper Adam Gilchrist but David Sheppard once again just gave a shake of his head. Replays and snickometer showing that it was a poor decision. Habibul Bashar and Hannan Sarker then found their feet and starting playing sensibly, leaving Bangladesh in a much stronger position of 1/70 at stumps on Day 2. The day belonged to Lehmann and Waugh who really put away any changes of Bangladesh winning even with Bashar and Sarker batting as well as they are. The two of them will have to continue their partnership tomorrow if Bangladesh is to get Australia to bat again. Even so, the game will most likely still find a conclusion tomorrow and the game kicks again at 9.30am Northern Standard Time.