In Pictures: One of the greatest moments in Bangladesh cricket

On this day, in 2005, Australia and Bangladesh crossed swords in the second game of the NatWest Series, 2005 at Cardiff. Was this the greatest moment for the then ‘minnows’ Bangladesh’s cricketing history? Well, the answer is contrasting. But this was certainly one of the most embarrassing moments for the World Champions Australia in their enticing cricket chronicle. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph portrayed the defeat as “The most embarrassing defeat in our sport history.” Habibul Bashar-led Bangladesh were the underdogs in the tri-series which featured Australia, England and Bangladesh. Also Read: When ‘minnows’ Bangladesh stunned the strong Australians at Cardiff

Australia, who chose to bat, posted a modest total of 249 in their 50 overs. Damien Martyn played a steady knock of 77 along with Michael Clarke who contributed with a priceless 54. They got off to a rocky start as they lost three wickets within 16 overs at a mere score of 57. Mike Hussey and Simon Katich garnered some valuable runs at a brisk pace lower down the order.

Bangladesh had a similar start to their run-chase but the partnership between the skipper Habibul Bashar and Mohammad Ashraful turned the tide in their favour as the team scripted history. It needed tremendous effort and temperament to confront the formidable Australian pace attack which Ashraful did quite convincingly and came out in flying colours. Suraj Choudhari fetches you the memories of the thrilling encounter, in pictures.  

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Bangladeshi speedster Mashrafe Mortaza drew first blood in the form of Adam Gilchrist. This was a huge blow for Australia as Adam Gilchrist could rip apart any bowling attack in the powerplay overs.  

2

Tapash Kumar Baisya got the key wicket of Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and steered his side into a commanding position. The pressure was now on the favourites as two of their established batsmen were back in the hut.

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Ponting tooks the long walk back to the pavilion after Baisya got the better of him. This was a big bonus for the Bangladeshi side, as Ponting had been a big-run scorer and his early fall was always a boon for the opposition.

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With two men down the onus of steadying the Australian ship was on Matthew Hayden. But on this occasion, it was not to be as Nazmul Hossain ripped through his defences and shattered the stumps with his menacing pace and guile. Australia were in deep trouble at 57 for three in 15.4 overs.

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Australia’s crisis man Martyn took charge and once again did what he does the best — soaked in the pressure and played a composed knock of 77. Eventually, Australia posted 249 in their 50 overs.

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Andrew Symonds, who was dropped from the team after violating the team rule, looks on from the doorway to the dressing rooms. He was in good form and made the opportunity count in the next game against England.

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Symonds serves drinks to teammates during a break as his side was trying their best to defend the modest total of 249.

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The then backbone of Australia, Hussey gave it all as he dived for the ball. Bangladesh after a shaky start were now looking stable after Ashraful and Bashar stuck to their guns and were sailing the ship from choppy waters. Bashar scored 47 whereas Ashraful went on to score a ton after his side being 72 for three inside 21 overs.

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Ashraful took the onus of finishing the job for his side. He smashed 11 boundaries in his scintillating knock and accounted for the crucial partnership with Bashar.

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Ashraful celebrates his first ever ODI century with Ponting of Australia looking on. This was one of the finest knocks played by the Bangladeshi as it came during the crisis. Ashraful helped his side in creating history as defeating a side like Australia was akin climbing a mountain.

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Ashraful (left) hugs team mate Aftab Ahmed Chowdhury after reaching his century 

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Aftab Ahmeb hits the winning runs and celebrates the win in jubilation. Chowdhury smashed 21 runs from 28 deliveries which included two elegant boundaries and a massive six.

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Clarke looks dejected after Bangladesh chased down the set target of 250 in 49.2 overs with Ashraful leading the run chase.

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Ponting and the Australian team look disconsolate after their team failed to click as a unit and lost the battle against the then ‘minnows’ Bangladesh.  

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Ponting reflects on his team’s loss as Bashar and Ashraful celebrate their win. It is a day which will be remembered for generations in the history of Bangladesh cricket.

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 The Bangladesh team celebrate their win and a massive one. Their skipper Bashar was overwhelmed with this win and quoted it as, “I am probably the happiest man in the world.”

(Suraj Choudharian avid cricket follower who plays the sport at club level, is a staffer with CricLife)