| Habibul Bashar hit his 12th Test half-century
Darwin: Australia hammered Bangladesh by an innings and 132 runs in the first-ever Test at Marrara Oval on Sunday, while Steve Waugh became the most successful captain in Test history.
The 38-year-old Australian great won his 37th match in 50 Tests as captain, a day after raising his 31st Test century to guide the top-ranked team to an emphatic win on the third day.
This was Australia’s 16th victory from their last 19 Tests.
Waugh became statistically cricket’s foremost skipper when he overtook Clive Lloyd’s 36 wins in 74 Tests as West Indies captain. “I hoped I would be better than 50-50 after my first six or seven Tests, so it’s worked out pretty well after the slow learning process in the first 12 months,” Waugh said.
The game was as good as over for the visitors when they were skittled for 97 in just under three hours and 42.2 overs on Friday and then were in the field for almost 118 overs as Australia amassed 407 for seven, declared for a whopping innings lead of 310.
Bangladesh resumed Sunday on 70 for one — still needing 241 more runs to avoid the innings defeat — but leg-spinner Stuart MacGill proved the second-innings destroyer with five for 65 within 14 overs, his seventh haul of five wickets or more in 24 Tests.
Bangladesh, criticised for their 19 innings defeats with one rained-out draw, showed promising signs under new coach Dav Whatmore.
“There were a couple of positives, but really there was a fair bit of distance between the two teams,” said Whatmore.
“There’s a reasonably good learning curve and we’ll talk about some of the things that have happened and hopefully we’ll come back and do a bit better next time. The team was really competing hard against the opposition and that’s a nice springboard into the next game.”
“Don’t want to jump to any conclusions given the class of opposition that we’ve faced...but I think the team is really competing hard and that’s a nice little springboard going into the next game,” he said.
“To me, the game was never really about winning or losing, it was about seeing what we can do under pressure.
Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud said he was confident his team would benefit from the experience of playing Australia and would be more competitive against weaker Test-playing nations.
“This is a learning experience for us. We batted better in the second innings but we have a lot of things we need to improve and slowly we will do it,” he said.
Bangladesh, who batted positively to reach 112 for two, hit the skids in the hour before lunch with three wickets tumbling in eight balls.
Opener Hannan Sarkar scored 35 before a Jason Gillespie out-swinger found an edge which was snapped in a diving one-glove catch by Adam Gilchrist.
Mohammed Ashraful got a brutish rearing delivery chin-high from Brett Lee and was caught by Gilchrist for seven triggering the collapse of three wickets in eight balls.
Habibul Bashar was bowled by Stuart MacGill in the next over. He made 54 runs, his 12th half century and Alok Kapali went four balls later leg before for a duck. All three wickets fell at 112. Khaled Mashud was out for six to a MacGill leg-break offering Gilchrist his third catch of the innings.
Mahmud went in the over after lunch, bowled on his exposed leg-stump by Gillespie for five and Tapash Baishya became MacGill’s fourth wicket of the innings, lbw for 4.
Glenn McGrath made a wretched attempt at a skied catch off fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, denying MacGill another wicket.
Mortaza hit the wrist-spinner for a monster six into the stands and then cracked him for a straight-driven four. Mortaza’s adventurous knock came to an end when he just caught short of the crease trying to complete a quick single by a direct throw by Lehmann at backward leg for 15.
Al Sahariar, who smacked MacGill for six just before lunch, was the last wicket to fall giving the leg-spinner his fifth wicket of the innings, caught and bowled for 36.
The second and final Test of the series begins in Cairns on Friday. (AFP)