Few people would have picked November 21st, 1999 as the moment that would launch the career of one of Australia’s greatest ever cricketers. The Aussies were in danger on day four during their second innings when attempting to chase Pakistan’s total of 369. Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting both were out for a duck while Steve Waugh had managed just 28 before being bowled and caught by Saqlain Mushtaq.
The Australians were sitting at 126/5 when Adam Gilchrist in his second ever Test entered as the seventh batsman across from Justin Langer late on the fourth day. Impressive on its own, the pair survived to stumps with Langer 52* and Gilly 45* against a Pakistan bowling quartet featuring Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq.
On day five, with a steadiness and determination that defined his career, Gilchrist chipped away at Pakistan’s lead while fending off the fierce bowling attack. Reaching 50*, then 100* as Pakistan’s total came closer into sight. To cap off one of the greatest centuries and gutsy performances, Gilchrist clipped a boundary to win the match for Australia. Richie Benaud summed the moment up perfectly as the Australian side celebrated on the pitch calling it “one of the finest victories I think I’ve ever seen in Test cricket.”
Take a moment to enjoy Adam Gilchrist’s batting display which sparked an incredible Test career.
The fifth installment of the Big Bash League returns this Thursday evening when the Sydney Thunder take on last year’s runner up the Sydney Sixers. What better way to get ready for another exciting BBL season then looking back at the wild ending to last year’s final. Here’s to more fantastic finishes although we will certainly miss Brett Lee and The Chainsaw.
In history books it is Test match number 1,512, but for cricket-obsessed Bangladesh, it is number one. On November 10th 2000, Bangladesh played their first ever Test match against an India lineup that featured the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. India did not hold back on the newcomers, cruising to a 9 wicket win that week, but in the years since that day in November 2000 we have seen some exciting and inspiring moments out of the Bangladesh Test side. It’s worth taking a look back at their development and where the future lies for the South Asian country in the game’s most celebrated format.
With much of the country focused on the Springboks and their quest for a third Rugby World Cup title, the Proteas are flying a bit under the radar as they begin their Indian tour with three T20 matches followed by five ODIs and four Tests. The tour, which has been named the Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela Series, kicked off with the first T20 match in Dharamsala at the iconic Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.
As the Ashes moves on to the third Test there is certainly no lack of headlines and talking points. Although the players got an extra day of rest following Australia’s thoroughly dominating victory at Lord’s, the same cannot be said for the media who have written or talked about every way to fix English cricket since Sunday. To be honest, most didn’t wait that long and some merely never stopped since the World Cup.
For all the stories, many of them non-stories, the Ashes carnival picked up its tent stakes and moved north this week from London to Birmingham with the series not over and done, but actually level at one all. Sure, there is no denying that England were absolutely walloped at Lord’s. They couldn’t bowl and when they went to bat, well they couldn’t do much of that either. Australia from the top to the bottom defeated the hosts in every facet of the great game. And now it is merely history. Edgbaston awaits and gives both teams the opportunity to take a firm grasp on securing the urn.
So with most of the cricketing world focused on The Ashes and Lord’s this weekend, it’s a good reminder that there is another pretty intriguing tour going on between Bangladesh and South Africa. The visitors made easy work of Bangladesh in the opening two T20 series matches, winning by 52 and 31 runs respectively. Three ODIs followed and South Africa got off to a red hot start in the first match when debutant Kagiso Rabada took 6 wickets in 8 overs including a hat-trick. Yet as quickly as South Africa started the series, they fell back to earth with similar speed. Bangladesh took the next two matches and the ODI series with impressive skill and win margins of 7 and 9 wickets.
And so here we are on the eve of the first of two Tests. It is going to be a different Protea side than the one that has been playing on the tour so far, with Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, and Morne Morkel joining their teammates in Chittagong. It will certainly be interesting to see how those three do having been on a decent break from all forms of cricket for a couple months.
Given that South Africa have been sluggish thus far on the tour, Bangladesh will be confident that their spinners can grab some wickets and put up a good fight against the number one Test team. The hosts are certainly hitting their form and proving to be a challenge for teams in the ODI format. It would be great for not only Bangladesh and their rabid home fans, but cricket as a whole if their good ODI form can transfer over to sustained success in Test matches. The opportunity to prove themselves has arrived with bigger challenge than the Proteas. With a break in the Ashes tomorrow, this should hold over any fan before Australia and England meet again at Edgbaston.
As for a prediction, it seems impossible to bet against the Proteas in this one. They have the depth and the bowling attack to get wickets, but they’ll need better partnerships than they had in the tour’s earlier ODIs. Although a draw in the first Test would not be a shocker to anyone who has watched the impressive Bangladesh side develop over the last 9 months.
In honor of today’s second Test beginning at Lord’s, take a moment to look back at Shane Warne’s delivery to Andrew Strauss during the second Test from the 2005 Ashes series. Part of the beauty of Shane Warne’s wonderball is the build up. Watching him bowl the first ball of the over to Strauss, he seems completely certain he is going to get the wicket on the next delivery. And that he does. An incredible bit of bowling in what is often deemed the greatest Ashes series of all time. Here is to seeing some more great cricket this time around!