Australian fans may be looking past Saturday’s clash against Bangladesh at the Gabba to more mouth-watering showdowns with New Zealand and Sri Lanka, but the tournament favourites would be unwise to do the same after being burned by the relative minnows in the past.
Flashback Friday is going back to 2005 and Bangladesh’s unforgettable five-wicket defeat of star-studded Australia in Cardiff.
Australia batted first and was on the ropes early at 2/9 as Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting went cheaply. A 108-run stand by Damien Martyn (77) and Michael Clarke (54), and some pinch-hitting at the ending of the innings by Mike Hussey (31 off 21) and Simon Katich (36 off 23), saw Australia through to a modest 5/249.
A brilliant 100 of 101 balls by 20-year-old Mohammad Ashraful put Bangladesh on track for the boilover, but his dismissal in the 48th over ensured a cliff-hanger finish. They needed seven to win off the final over, and Aftab Ahmed smashed a six off the first ball and Bangladesh picked off a single from the next delivery to clinch a momentous triumph with four balls to spare.
Tragically for Bangladesh cricket, Ashraful – a 17-year-old Test century-maker against Sri Lanka in 2001 and the country’s most successful player – was pinched for spot-fixing during the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League.