On This Day in 2005, Bangladesh, with the worst ODI record [9 wins in 107 games]- and by some distance- at the time, managed to humble arguably the greatest ODI team of all time, the then world champions Australia.
Cricket has witnessed its fair share of upsets in its history but Bangladesh’s toppling of Australia still beggars belief. It was something that even die-hard Bangladeshi fans wouldn’t have imagined even in their wildest dreams.
But 11 men did and that is all mattered in the end, as the Asian Tigers scripted one of their greatest-ever triumph at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
Australia vs Bangladesh. Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. 2005- Andrew Symonds breaches the line, AGAIN.
The 2005 Australian tour of England did not start in the manner the world champions would have liked. They lost to Somerset in the warm-up game before getting hammered by England in the one-off Twenty20 before the Natwest Trophy.
Things turned from bad to worse when Andrew Symonds was pulled out of the game after having broken team protocol on the morning of their opening game.
Ponting revealed his fury at Symonds in his book ‘The Ashes; 2005’ where he wrote-
“When Gilchrist and I got to Symonds I did not beat around the bush,” Ponting wrote. “His eyes looked puffy and I could smell alcohol on his breath. ‘Were you out late last night having a drink?’ I said.
“‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘What time did you get back?’ I responded. ‘About 1.30, I think.’
“Given the state he was in eight hours after that, I found his claim hard to believe. My blood was beginning to boil. I did not shout, but let Symonds know exactly what I thought about his behavior.”
Australian batting finds it tough against rampant Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s day started on a perfect note as they removed Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting within the first six overs thanks to probing line and length from Mashrafe Mortaza and Tapas Baisya.
Matthew Hayden failed his convert his start into a big knock and was dismissed by Nazmul Hossain, leaving Australia reeling at 3-57. A 108-run-stand between Damien Martyn  and Michael Clarke  gave some sort of recovery before Mike Hussey and Simon Katich’s quickfire knocks of 31* (21) and 36* (23) took the Aussies to 5-249 in 50 overs.
Classy Ashraful seals the deal for Bangladesh
Bangladesh run-chase started on a bad note as Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie knocked over their top-order, reducing them to 3-72 in the first 21 overs.
The match-defining partnership came from the bats of Mohammad Ashraful and skipper Habibul Bashar. The duo took stock of the situation and did not let the pressure asking rate get to them. Both players ran well between the wickets and took stock of Australia’s change bowlers, especially Michael Clarke.
Ashraful showed remarkable composure and luck too sided with him as he got a reprieve on 54 when Jason Gillespie dropped his catch.
With the tension mounting, Bashar got run-out but Ashraful did not panic and soon got to his hundred with a single to long-on, becoming only the second Bangladesh batsman to do so.
He, however, was dismissed on the very next ball. Bangladesh still needed another 23 runs from 17 balls and Aftab Ahmed [21* off 13] and Mohammad Rafique [9* off 7] ensured that Ashraful’s efforts wouldn’t go in vain, as they took Bangladesh past the finishing line in the last over.