Sun, Jul 20, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Bangladesh faces shame on the pitch

TOUGH TEST Steve Waughe left the Marrara Oval to an ovation after declaring the Australian innings closed at 407 for seven. It was his 31st century in 160 matches

AP , DARWIN, AUSTRALIA

Australia's Darren Lehmann hits the ball during the test match against Bangladesh in Darwin, Australia, yesterday. Australia were two wickets for 121 runs at the start of the day's play after Bangladesh were all out for 97 runs in their first innings.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Centuries from Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann put Australia in total control of the first test against Bangladesh on Saturday. At stumps, the visitors, with nine wickets in hand, still needed 241 to make Australia bat again.

Waugh has now scored tons against all nine rival test nations -- a feat matched only by South Africa's Gary Kirsten.

Waugh's flawless innings was his 31st century in 160 matches. Bangladesh players ran to congratulate him as he left the Marrara Oval to a standing ovation after declaring the Australian innings closed at 407 for seven.

"If you play long enough you are going to reach milestones and records are going to be passed and I'm sure someone down the track will beat those," Waugh said. "But it is nice to achieve things and to score a hundred against every country is something I'm proud of."

Following Waugh's batting, Australia's bowlers set out to finish the match off quickly but ran into much more resistance than they faced on day one.

Glenn McGrath struck early, trapping Javed Omar lbw for five to reduce Bangladesh to eight for one, but Hannan Sarkar (29) and Habibul Bashar (26) batted solidly to take Bangladesh to 70 for one at stumps.

"It was good to see them play well," Waugh said. "We probably didn't bowl as well as we would like but they were positive. One for 70 is a pretty good effort off 15 overs."

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore also said he was pleased with the way his side fought back after Friday's disastrous start.

"After yesterday's performance we were really behind the eight ball," he said. "It is nice to see 70 runs, but we have a lot of hard work ahead of us."

Lehmann smashed 10 fours and a six from 223 balls on his way to 110, his second test century and the first by any player in Darwin, before finally falling to a great catch by Javed Omar off the bowling of Mashrafe Mortaza.

Lineups

* Australia: Stephen Waugh (captain), Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Darren Lehmann, Martin Love, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Stuart MacGill, Glenn McGrath. Andy Bichel 12th man

* Bangladesh: Javed Omar, Hannan Sarkar, Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Ashraful, Al-Shariar Rokon, Alok Kopali, Khaled Mashud, Khaled Mahmud (captain), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tapash Baisya, Manjural Islam. Sanwar Hossain 12th man

* Umpires: Rudi Koertzen, South Africa and David Shepherd, England. Television umpire Simon Taufel, Australia

* Match referee: Mike Proctor, South Africa


"It was hard work out there. They stuck to their guns pretty well ... what they did do was put it in the right areas and made it tough to score runs," Lehmann said. "To be the first one to score 100 here, it was a good day."

Mortaza struck again almost immediately, bowling Martin Love for a first-ball duck to put further pressure on the Queensland batsman's sputtering test career and leave Australia at 244 for five.

Mortaza, a promising 19-year-old who has been coached by West Indies great Andy Roberts, was easily the most dangerous Bangladesh bowler, ending with three for 74 off 23 overs.

Adam Gilchrist fell for a typically aggressive 43 from 47 deliveries, chopping a ball from Manjural Islam onto his stumps after smashing him for successive fours through midwicket.

But Waugh, who will become the most successful ever test captain if Australia wins the match -- surpassing Clive Lloyd's 36 wins -- carried on, reaching his century off just 133 balls and also striking a six and 10 fours.

Brett Lee contributed a quickfire 23 and Jason Gillespie was unbeaten on 16.

Australia resumed Saturday morning with a lead of 24 and with Lehmann and Justin Langer well established on 51 and 40 respectively at the Marrara Oval in this northern city, which is hosting its first ever test match.

Top-ranked Australia tore through the fragile Bangladesh batting lineup on Friday, dismissing the visitors for just 97 -- the fourth time in 20 tests that Bangladesh has failed to reach triple figures.

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