Monday, June 20, 2005

Cricket - Bangladesh Defeats Australia

Bangladesh, the lowest-ranked team in international cricket, pulled off the improbable by defeating world champions and top-ranked Australia on Saturday at Cardiff, England as part of the triangular series with England. In 107 one-day games, Bangladesh had only beaten top teams twice (India and Pakistan) and never Australia. The Aussies were 500-1 on to win on Saturday with one British bookmaker.

The capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, erupted in a frenzy of celebrations and enthusiasm. Hundreds of residents poured out of their homes, banging pots and pans, and students at the capital’s university staged a victory parade in the campus.

Mohammed Ashraful struck a century from exactly 100 balls after exiting first ball in the opening match against England, and was the Man of the Match. “To score a century against Australia was a dream but I was bitterly disappointed to get out, he said.”

Over in Australia, mourning and humiliation were the order of the day. "It’s my worst loss as captain,” Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain said. “It’s probably one of the biggest upsets in the history of the game.

“I wouldn’t call it complacency. I don’t think anyone was not prepared. We have to work out what happened, it’s a bad start to the series but it’s not that bad yet.

Earlier in the NatWest 2005 series, England thrashed then by 10 wickets on Thursday, getting Ashraful out on the opening ball of the match.

In this match, Australia chose to bat first, considered a bad choice on a difficult pitch which improves through the day. They scored 249-5, not a bad score. Bangladesh was able to pass the total in 49 overs, just one over short of the 50 over match. (Complete Bangladesh-Australia scorecard)

British newspapers termed Australia's performance "Roo-bish" and said the team was in "Kanga-ruins". Australian papers were not more kind, calling it the "worst defeat" and asking readers to "Hold everything and please believe what you are about to read no matter how far-fetched it may at first appear," At least one commentator was snide, noting, "Bangladesh does not have a bowler quick enough to rough up anyone over the age of 10, yet found five bowlers too lively for the Aussie top order."

Bangla Tigers

Bangladeshi fans are compiling lists like "Top 10 Excuses to stay home and not go to work on Tuesday June 21?"

Also, the Bangladeshi Tigers have been seeing ghosts in their hotel room

Cricket Explained/Mark Stevens Cricket's Strangest Matches: Extraordinary but True Stories from 150 Years of Cricket/Andrew Ward Sachin : The Story of the World's Greatest Batsman/Gulu  Ezekiel A Century of Cricket Jokes/Bill Stott Legends of Cricket: Profiles of the Game's 25 Greatest (New Speciality Titles)/Geoff Armstrong Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series: England V Australia 1932-3/David Frith

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