Remembering Dizzy’s Double
The Second Test between Australia and Bangladesh in April 2006 proved to be a memorable on for the Australians and particularly their loveable fast bowler Jason Gillespie in what proved to be his final appearance in the Baggy Green.
There were two debutants in the game with young off spinner Dan Cullen getting a chance to back up legends Warne and MacGill as part of a three pronged spin attack. Bangladesh was also blooding a spinner of their own, with left arm orthodox Abdur Razzak getting a chance on the spin friendly Chittagong wicket.
Habibul Bashar won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on what looked to be sublime batting conditions. Things didn’t start the way Bashur had planned though with Gillespie picking up three early wickets to have Bangladesh reeling at 3-17 in the 8th over. Rajin Saleh steadied the ship somewhat for Bangladesh compiling a composed 71 before he was knocked over by a ripper from MacGill. There was not a great deal of support for Saleh except from wicket keeper Khaled Mashud who made a gutsy 34 not out and occupied the crease for over two hours.
Debutant Dan Cullen looked promising with his off breaks, getting through seven tidy overs and picking up his first test wicket when Gilchrist claimed a catch to dismiss Mortaza. Bangladesh was dismissed for 197 with Gillespie, MacGill and Warne each picking up 3 wickets a piece.
Australia’s run chase got off to a solid start with Phil Jaques and Matthew Hayden putting on a partnership of 67 before Hayden was caught off the bowling of Rafique for 29. Ricky Ponting opted not to enter the crease instead sending in Jason Gillespie as night watchman. Gillespie and Jaques negotiated the Bangladesh bowlers until the close of play with Australia finishing at 1-76 at stumps.
Day two saw Jaques go on to make his half century while Gillespie looked steady at the other end. Ponting came to the crease when Jaques was also out to the spin of Rafique for 66. Just ten runs shy of a century partnership and just after reaching his half century, Australian captain Ricky Ponting was run out for 52. Gillespie knew it would be safer in the middle than being back in the change rooms with the skipper and he set about compiling both individual milestones and partnership records.
Gillespie brought up his hundred on day three and the carnage continued into day four as he and Michael Hussey put on 320 runs before Hussey was caught for a glorious 182 off the bowling of Ahmed. When Gillespie did the unthinkable and reached his double century, Ricky Ponting called the boys in with Australia 4-581 and leading by 384 runs.
Bangladesh made a better fist of their second innings compiling 304 with Nafees and Rafique both reaching half centuries. The Australians proved too good however with Shane Warne claiming five wickets and Stuart MacGill picking up four scalps. Australia won the contest by an innings and 80 runs and ensured a 2-0 series victory having narrowly won the first test by 3 wickets. The obvious choice for man of the match was Jason Gillespie who will remember this game for the rest of his life after scoring a double century and going down in Australian Cricket folklore.