Stuart MacGill was the Man of the Match with a 10-wicket-haul    Getty Images
Stuart MacGill was the Man of the Match with a 10-wicket-haul Getty Images

Bangladesh had overcome the excitement of playing in Australia for the first time. It was time to impress others with their performance, for implementing what they had learned at Darwin. With the burden of an innings victory on their young shoulders, the 14-Test old Bangladesh moved to Cazaly’s Stadium, Cairns for their second Test Down Under. Australia, in an attempt to repeat their Darwin-performance, sent the visitors to bat. However, they looked to be a changed side, who had learned a lot from a single match to tackle new ball in a foreign land where the pitches traditionally favour pacers. Bangladesh vs Australia, Part 1: Novice Bangladesh s first visit to Australia

Though Javed Omar could not contribute more than 26 runs, Hannan Sarkar and Habibul Bashar yet again, like the first Test, put up a crucial partnership for the second wicket. It was not easy to take the inexperienced Bangladesh from 47 for 1 to 150 for 1 against the Jason Gillespies and Glenn McGraths, but the duo managed that. Stuart MacGill, who had picked up a 5-wicket-haul in the first Test, came in handy for Steve Waugh as he broke the partnership, sending Bashar (46) back. Sarkar continued while Bangladesh lost Mohammad Ashraful for a duck. MacGill struck again and this time a set Sarkar (76) departed. Bangladesh lost 3 wickets in a span of three overs and many thought this was the start of their collapse. However, two commendable knocks came from Sanwar Hossain (46) and Khaled Mashud (44) pushed Bangladesh s score to 295. MacGill had yet another successful spell with a 5-wicket-haul, while Gillespie bagged a 3-for.

295, though was not overwhelming as a first-innings total, was something Bangladesh of that time could call decent. But the bowlers could not bettered their performance like the batsmen did. Apart from Justin Langer, who was removed for a solitary run by Mashrafe Mortaza, every other batsmen in top six contributed with runs. Both Mathew Hayden and Ricky Ponting scored half-centuries; Darren Lehmann (177) and Steve Waugh (156*) wreaked havoc to cause irreparable damage to Bangladesh. Martin Love fired back at the visitors with an unbeaten 100 following his golden duck in the previous match. A confident Australia declared the innings for 556 for 4.

The situation was again the same. It was a mountainous task for Bangladesh to even save the match. However, in a bet to fight till the end, Bangladesh came out to bat for the second time. Javed Omar proved a failure yet again, departing off Gillespie for 8. Sarkar and Bashar s partnership could not turn out to be as big as the one in the previous innings. Though Sarkar scored yet another half-century, he found no support from any other batsmen in the line-up, the second highest score being Bashar s 25. No other batsman, apart from these two, managed to cross the mark of 20 runs as MacGill emerged as the thorn in their flesh, bagging 5 more wickets in the innings and 10 from the match. He was adjudged the Man of the Match as Australia snatched a victory by an innings and 98 runs, winning the series 2-0.

The series turned out to be an experience for Bangladesh with some fine display of cricket from Sarkar, Bashar and Mortaza but there was a lot of room for improvement. Bangladesh became a part of history, if nothing more, playing the first Test at Cairns.

Brief scores:

Bangladesh 295 (Hannan Sarkar 76, Habibul Bashar 46, Sanwar Hossain 46, Khaled Mashud 44; Jason Gillespie 3 for 57, Stuart MacGill 5 for 77) and 163 (Hannan Sarkar 55, Habibul Bashar 25; Jason Gillespie 4 for 38, Stuart MacGill 5 for 56) lost to Australia 556 for 4 decl. (Mathew Hayden 50, Ricky Ponting 59, Darren Lehmann 177, Steve Waugh 156*, Martin Love 100*; Mashrafe Mortaza 1 for 60, Sanwar Hossain 2 for 128) by an innings and 98 runs.