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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
football
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
News
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
News
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?