SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR
Australia have another test win and Ponting has scored another 100. Both these have become so common that there is nothing to be surprised about. But this win and 100 are different. The win has come over Bangladesh and the 100 went a long way in securing the win for the Aussies.
For the first three days, it was the home team that called the shots. On the first day, the batsmen of the home team scored more than 300 runs that had the likes of Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Stuart Clark and Jason Gillespie, on a comeback. The second leg spinner, MacGill took eight wickets that restricted the Bangladesh total. When the Aussies batted, it was the 100 from Adam Gilchrist that took them past the follow-on mark. The home team was in control of the match until the third innings of the test.
The batsmen of the home team did not appear as confident as they did in the first innings. The batsmen who played shots in the first innings, were too tentative the second time round. Probably, the thought of scoring a win over the best team was putting too much pressure on their bodies and minds. The Aussies were given a target of just over 300 runs.
Only Ponting, Hayden and for a little while, Hussey resisted the bowling attack. Hayden and Ponting forged a good stand, but it was the captain, Ponting who took his team home.
For a test which was expected to be over in under three days, the match went to the fifth. That should be something of an achievement for the Bangla tigers, but a win for the home team could have been the biggest upset in the history of cricket, especially, coming on the heels of the South African one day win.