Ponting powers Australia to victory

Fatullah, April 13:

Ricky Ponting struck an unbeaten century on Thursday as Australia stumbled to a three-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first Test.

Australia had to sweat for the win after losing three wickets in the first session in search of the final runs required to avoid a major upset to Bangladesh.

The visitors reached the target of 307 runs just after lunch on the fifth and final day, with Pointing playing a captain’s knock to finish the match unbeaten on 118. He smashed 13 boundaries in his 253-ball innings. Tailender Jason Gillespie brought up the win with a single to finish four not out.

“Yes, it was a sigh of relief,” Pointing said after the match. Australia resumed on the overnight score of 212-4, requiring 95 runs for the win, but was forced to endure a nerve wracking first session that saw the loss of Adam Gilchrist (12), Shane Warne (5) and Brett Lee (29).

Australia’s hopes of avoiding embarrassment then rested with captain Ponting and the tailenders on a deteriorating Fatullah Osmani Stadium pitch.

Pointing, who survived a dropped catch when on 97, got vital support from in-form Lee, who helped steady the innings before being dismissed by paceman Mashrafee Bin Mortaza.

Gilchrist added just six to his overnight score before Rafique bowled him for 12, reducing Australia to 225-5. Rafique’s then trapped Warne leg before for five to reduce them 231/6.

Bangladesh had a dream start piling up a massive 427 runs in the first innings and then bowled Australia for 269 to secure a hefty 158-run lead.

Australia’s bowlers struck back to dismiss inexperienced Bangladesh out for a paltry 148 in the second innings to ensure the visitors an achievable victory target.


BANGLADESH — 1st Innings: 427

AUSTRALIA — 1st Innings: 269

BANGLADESH — 2nd Innings: 148

AUSTRALIA — 2nd Innings (overnight 212-4)

R Ponting not out 118

A Gilchrist b Rafique 12

S Warne lbw b Rafique 5

B Lee c Mashud b Mortaza 29

J Gillespie not out 4

Extras: 14 (4b, 7lb, 1w, 2nb)

Total: 307/7

FoW: 1-64, 2-173, 3-183, 4-205, 5-225, 6-231, 7-277

Bangladesh bowling: Mortaza 22-7-51-1,

Hossain 20-5-67-0, Rafique 38-6-98-4,

Haque 27-5-80-1

Man of the Match: Adam Gilchrist (Aus)