The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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McGrath defends Bangla

Darwin: Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee leapt to Bangladesh’s defence after tearing through their batting on the opening day of the first Test.

The two Aussie pacemen captured three wickets each as the tourists were skittled out for just 97 in less than three hours.

But McGrath, who finished with three for 20, said Bangladesh were still a developing team and shouldn’t be criticised too harshly.

“They did okay, it’s a slow wicket and the outfield is slow so that was probably worth 150 anywhere else,” McGrath said. “I guess they would liked to have scored more runs than that but it can’t be too easy coming in against Australia with the team we’ve got.”

Lee, who claimed three for 23, said credit should be given to Australia’s bowlers after they ripped through the tourists in 42.2 overs. “It was a great effort and it just goes to show why Australian teams have been so good over the last 12-18 months,” Lee said. “It doesn’t matter what opposition you’re playing against... we just wanted to keep our foot on the pedal.”

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore said Australian had bowled well but some of his batsmen had let themselves down by throwing away their wickets.

“It’s a learning curve and they’re a very good opposition... but there were some indiscretions at the wrong times,” Whatmore said.

“We just wanted to make it as difficult as possible for them to get wickets and they bowled some really good deliveries but there were a few players who presented their wickets which is the area we’re trying to get better in.”

Despite the prospect of a heavy defeat, Whatmore said he was encouraged by the performance of his bowlers who restricted Australia to 121 for two at stumps. “I’m reasonably happy with the efforts being put in with the ball,” Whatmore said. “Those guys are pretty keen to give a good account of themselves and by and large they’re achieving it.”

Darwin may host again

Sri Lanka could play a Test match here next year once an agreement is finalised with the former World Cup champions, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Friday.

“We are keen to play a Test against Sri Lanka here this time next year, but there is a bit of fine-tuning still to do on Sri Lanka’s side,” Sutherland told ABC Radio.

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