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Bangladesh fear Aussie backlash

"Australia will come back strongly but we are happy. We have not been used to facing such situations where we could win," said Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 16:26 IST

Three wickets shy of one of cricket's biggest upsets in the opening Test against Australia, Bangladesh face a tough task in the second if they are to overcome the world champions.

The minnows take on the might of the regrouped Aussies in the second and final Test starting in Chittagong on Sunday, knowing that the visitors are adjusting to the conditions and the home fans are expectant.

"Australia will come back strongly but we are happy to have played a fine first Test. Taking them to the fifth day of the match has been no mean achievement for us," said captain Habibul Bashar.

Bangladesh have struggled against most teams since gaining Test status in 2000 but a better future beckons after the fiercely-contested match in Fatullah, outside the capital Dhaka.

"We have not been used to facing such situations where we could win the match and have learnt our lessons," added Bashar.

Bangladesh, after gaining a huge 158-run first innings lead, were bowled out for a meagre 148 in their second innings. Australia eventually made it to the target of 307 on a tense final day for the loss of seven wickets.

"Our bad second innings cost us the match," said Bashar. "We have to learn to do better consistently in order to win Test matches."

Australia, fresh from a 3-0 Test series win on South Africa's hard flat pitches, had trouble adjusting to the contrasting low bounce in the opening Test but will be looking to avenge their near humiliation.

Struggling to avoid the follow-on till left-hander Adam Gilchrist knocked up a superb century to be named man of the match, Australia were dominated for most of the first three days.

"It was a hard-fought win for us," conceded Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting, whose unbeaten 118 saw the team to victory as wickets tumbled at the other end. "They really played very well and their bowlers, who are used to these conditions, made things difficult for us," he said.

Australia, who went in to the opening game with five bowlers, may want to rethink their strategy of playing three pace bowlers in the stifling heat and on what is likely to be another slow track.

Australia have a bigger pool of players to choose from after asking left-arm seamer Nathan Brackan and off-spinner Daniel Cullen to join the team ahead of the second Test.

The two players were already due in Bangladesh for the three-match one-day series that follows the Tests, but were given an early call-up.


Bangladesh: Habibul Bashar (capt), Khaled Mashud, Javed Omar, Rajin Saleh, Mohammad Ashraful, Shahriar Nafees, Nafees Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Mohammad Rafique, Enamul Haque, Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Phil Jacques, Damien Martyn, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill, Daniel Cullen, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken.

First Published: Apr 14, 2006 16:26 IST