Strewth, can it get any worse?

You beauties, Bangladesh - Cricket world turned upside down as the minnows humiliate the Aussies. Now it's England's turn to twist the knife

Bangladesh beat Australia at cricket yesterday. There were those who assumed it would never be possible to write those words, others of more optimistic bent who thought they would have to wait at least 20 years.

To describe it as one of the biggest sporting upsets of all time may be an understatement. Australia are world No 1 by a country mile and Bangladesh are the lowest ranked by a similar margin. At the start, Australia were 500-1 on to win, Bangladesh were a somewhat ungenerous 33-1 with Coral. It was that predictable.

Yet by the time Aftab Ahmed smote Jason Gillespie for six off the first ball of the final over to level the scores in the second match of the NatWest Series it was a sensation but not a shock. So mature and controlled had the Bangladeshi exhibition been that they never seemed in the mood for a hard-luck story. They won with a scrambled single next ball. The margin was five wickets, there were four balls to spare. The Richter scale has not been made that can cope with such affairs.

In the old phrase they were heroes to a man but the one who stood above them was Mohammad Ashraful. He made 100 from 101 balls in a batting exhibition that was at once measured and exhilarating. He is already the youngest Test centurion of all, being the only player to reach three figures before his 17th birthday. This was a display to rank above that.

Two things stood out about Australia in the way they accepted their fate. When Ashraful was out with 23 still wanted, Adam Gilchrist shook his hand as he departed, a remarkable gesture in a tight match. When they had lost, their captain Ricky Ponting was calm but straight talking. "It was one of the biggest upsets in the history of the game," he said anticipating the public reaction at home. "We have got to be made aware of that and if it doesn't make us lift our game nothing will."

There was a whiff of arrogance in Australia's decision to bat first and of a lack of homework when they belatedly discovered that one-day results favoured the side batting second. Ponting said he did not expect the ball to do as much as it did - they were reduced to 9 for 2 before recovering to make 249 - but he sought no hiding place there either. Bangladesh bowled well, he said. "They controlled the game and when the world champions lose to the lowest ranked team in the world that's got to be worrying. We need to turn things round and we've no time to do it."

Australia did not do too many things wrong - though they dropped Ashraful on 54 - but Bangladesh did more things better. They had won only nine of their previous 107 one-day matches, the biggest until now against India last winter. But nobody was prepared for this. It was a result beyond the imagination. That Australia had omitted the all-rounder Andrew Symonds for disciplinary reasons only added to their concerns.

England's captain Michael Vaughan said he had nothing to say about the event, which presumably meant that he, like everyone else, was rendered speechless.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment