If Bangladesh were to beat Australia today in an ODI, it wouldn’t be considered an upset, as the ‘ex-minnows’ have become a force to reckon with in the modern game. With the current crop of players like Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mustafizur Rahman, who possess the talent to be regarded as one of the best in the world, Bangladesh are not taken lightly. This wasn’t the case eleven years ago though, and no one really gave them a chance against Australia.
On 18th June 2005, Bangladesh registered their first-ever victory against Australia in a thrilling contest at Cardiff. After electing to bat, Australia posted a par score of 249, with Michael Clarke and Damien Martyn scoring half-centuries. Bangladesh’s chase didn’t start well, as they had already lost three wickets for only 72 runs and 21 overs were complete. The captain, Habibul Bashar steadied the ship with the eventual hero of the day, Mohammad Ashraful.
Mohammad Ashraful played one of the most memorable innings in the history of Bangladesh cricket, as the 20 year-old scored a magnificent 100 off 101 balls. In the process, he became only the second centurion in ODI cricket for Bangladesh. With the perfect mixture of calmness and aggression, he helped Bangladesh get close to the target but was dismissed with 23 runs required from 18 balls. Fortunately for Bangladesh, Aftab Ahmed finished the game off with his quickfire 21 off 13 balls. In the last over, with 7 runs required off the final over, the 19 year-old smashed a six and picked up a quick single in the first two balls to get his side home. An incredible day for Bangladesh cricket and their fans!