Test match returns to Fatullah
Test cricket is coming back to Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium at Fatullah after nine years when the ground will host the Test match between Bangladesh and India on June 10, 2015.
Located in Narayanganj, the Fatullah stadium became a Test cricket venue on April 9, 2006 when it hosted first Test of the two-match series between Bangladesh and Australia, which to date is the only Test match to be played at this ground.
Bangladesh made Australia sweat for victory in that Test match as the visitors chased down 307 in the fourth innings with only three wickets remaining courtesy of a brilliant century from their captain Ricky Ponting.
Tigers piled up 427 runs in the first innings on the back of Shahriar Nafees’s 138 and half-centuries from captain Habibul Bashar and Rajin Saleh.
Stuart MacGill achieved the best bowling figures in an innings when he captured eight wickets for 108 runs in 33.3 overs.
The Aussies were in deep trouble in the first innings at 6/93, but Adam Gilchrist came to the rescue with his knock of 144 runs and saved his team’s blushes big time.
Mohammad Rafique strangled the Aussie batters with his tight line and length, gave away only 62 runs in 32.2 overs in the process of picking up five wickets.
Australia were all out for 269, giving Tigers a lead of 161, something Bangladesh had never experienced against the Aussies in Test matches before.
Unfortunately for Bangladesh, they failed to exploit the advantage in the second innings. After a descent partnership of 48 runs for the first wicket, Bangladesh lost the remaining nine wickets for 100 runs as the Australian bowlers brought their team back into the match.
Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne captured three wickets on a wearing pitch as the Bangladesh batters paid heavily for their inexperience.
Australia required 307 runs to win the match, which seemed quite daunting on a pitch keeping low and balls turning sharply from the foot-marks while Bangladeshi spinners had their tails up after the first innings.
Ponting rose to the occasion with a matured knock and kept the Bangladesh bowlers at bay throughout the last innings. He was unbeaten on 118 and defied the spinners with superb use of his feet.
Matthew Hayden contributed to his team’s win with a steady knock of 72 before he was run out.
Rafique captured four wickets in the fourth innings to go with his five-for in the first, and was unable to get the support from the others bowlers to bowl out Australia.
Australia eventually reached their target after losing seven wickets and their captain appreciated the spirited performance from the Tigers.
Bangladesh were left to rue the missed chances in the match, especially the batting collapse in the 2nd innings. The fact that the Aussies had to work hard to win was the only consolation for Tigers.
The position of most Test runs at Fatullah belongs to Shahriar with 171, while MacGill and Rafique have captured nine wickets each at this ground.