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The day started dubiously, with Al Sahariah Rokon taking the place of spinner Mohammad Rafique. Had the selectors known what was in store they probably still would have elected to Rokon as an extra batsman. But his role was useless after Steve Waugh sent to Tigers in.

Australia Dominates Day 1

Published: 18th July, 2003


The day started dubiously, with Al Sahariah Rokon taking the place of spinner Mohammad Rafique. Had the selectors known what was in store they probably still would have elected to Rokon as an extra batsman. But his role was useless after Steve Waugh sent to Tigers in.

McGrath and Gillespie started well with Javed grabbing most strike and playing solidly occasionally jumping up to block the short one emphasising the slow pitch. But in the early overs McGrath put one on a great spot outside off and Sarker was jumping around trying to leave it. The ball dug back in marginally and struck him mid-air just outside off, he wasn?t playing a shot and would definitely have taken the top of off. This brought in form Habibul Bashar to the crease to accompany Javed Omar as he has done so, so often in the past. The two build a steady partnership with Javed taking the odd single but that was about it. At 1/26 Javed was struck on the gloves from a short ball delivered by ?Dizzy? Gillespie. Lee was brought into the attack and the batsmen were not comfortable. A single boundary was against Bashar?s name when he tried playing a jaffa from ?Bing? Lee. This brought Rokon to the crease and was immediately stuck by a bouncer and was just after bowled with a textbook yorker similar to him hat-trick ball against Kenya in the World Cup. This brought 19-year old Alok Kapali to the crease and was dismissed on his second ball plumb in front from a Stuart MacGill leggie. Khaled Mashud then was confronted with his familiar roll of saving Bangladesh after a major top order collapse. Ashraful was moving along and Khaled Mashud was playing his normal saviour roll of supporting the talented and keeping his wicket intact. After Ashraful got a start he lost patient and was lured into a hook by ?Pigeon? McGrath. The keeper and the captain then led Bangladesh to the lunch interval struggling at 6/63.

After tea it was the captain Mahmud who kept the run rolling and Mashud was still going at a snails pace. Mahmud moved onto 17 with 2 consecutive boundaries. McGrath was trying to unsettle Mahmud with bouncers as he did with Ashraful but Mahmud was equal to it and hooked with style. The first was a brilliant pull through fine leg that race to the boundary and the next was a hook helped on its way. McGrath then followed it up with a yorker and Mahmud was equal to that to. Khaled Mashud then was walking to the off trying to work McGrath down to fine leg but only managed to trap himself in front of middle and was sent on his way for after an hour at the crease for 11. Mashrafe then came in and was stepping away like crazy. Mahmud played a cover drive for a boundary before a leggie from Stuart MacGill bounced up and caught him on the glove. In the next over Mashrafe stepped away again from Lee but the ball followed him in Nantie Hayward style and it caught it on the slice of the bat and fell just short of gully. Mashrafe managed to club a 3 down to long off but was dismissed in woeful fashion, stepping away from a ball on off from Gillespie and defended well away from his body to offer an edge to Gilchrist. Manjural then went to cut one and it came off the toe of the bat to fourth slip Justin Langer taking a sharp catch. Bangladesh was bowled out for 97, 20 minutes after lunch.

Manjural and Mashrafe opened the bowling and Mashrafe got the early break through. He bowled a short ball, which Matthew Hayden tried to pull through mid-wicket. He got a bottom edge onto the stumps in unlucky fashion. Mashrafe then reached the 142 mark with Justin ?Alfie? Langer and Ricky ?Punter? Ponting at the crease. Taposh came on later and bowled brilliantly economically grabbing a complement or two from Simon O?Donnell. He then bowled a ball on a reasonable length with Ponting driving uppishly to cover. Javed picked it early and took a magnificent diving catch with the Australian captain departing and Bangladesh?s innings starting to look better with Australia at 2/43. Darren ?Boof? Lehmann then entered the crease moving around a lot and scoring at I considerably faster rate than Justin Langer. The two left handers seeing off Taposh and bringing on Alok Kapali. Kapali got a lot of praise about his bowling action from Shane Warne and in his first open beat the edge of Darren Lehmann and missing the stumps by what must have been centimetres. Kapali kept it up and was unlucky with a couple of LBW appeals. Kapali then lost consistency and bowled some looseners and Lehmann took advantage changing down the wicket and playing a magnificent shot over long on for six. Mashrafe then received praise from Channel 9 commentators and Kapali?s head slowly lowered and lowered during his action. He then pitched one on a good spot and Lehmann went for a slashing drive, it took the edge and Mashud was caught unaware, he got the fingertips of his gloves to it, then off his knee and passed a diving Bashar at first slip. Lehmann then reached 50 just before lunch and Australia at stumps were 2/121.


About the author(s): Young James Stedman is a steadfast Australian fan of Bangladesh Cricket and goes by the nick James90 on our forums. He is also on the BanglaCricket staff.


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