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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Bangladesh in Tests: A short history
By Oliver Brett

When Habibul Bashar joins Michael Vaughan for the toss at Lord's on 26 May, Bangladesh will start their 37th Test match.

As they begin their inaugural tour of England, BBC Sport plots what has happened in the four-and-a-half years since their first Test.

Inaugural Test match, Dhaka (v India, Nov 2000)

After Bangladesh beat Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup the International Cricket Council rushes the cricket-mad south Asian nation into the Test family.

The ICC will later acknowledge mistakes were made over their entry into Tests, but after three days in Dhaka the match against India looks competitive.

India are 366-7 replying to Bangladesh's formidable first innings score of 400, featuring a score of 145 from Aminul Islam.

This seems too good to be true and sure enough India grab a 29-run lead before bulldozing their opponents for 91 in the second innings, ultimately completing a nine-wicket win.

12th Test, Colombo (v Sri Lanka, July 2002)

There is nothing spectacular about the match - just a sign of the times.

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan was far too good for the Bangladesh batsmen

A change in captaincy for Bangladesh as Khaled Mashud succeeds Naimur Rahman makes no difference.

Even on a first-day pitch in Colombo, Muttiah Muralitharan is effective enough to hustle the tourists out for 161.

Aravinda de Silva (206) and Sanath Jayasuriya (145) then blast Sri Lanka to 541-9, scoring at nearly five runs an over.

And Murali takes candy from the proverbial baby for a second time in a triumph by an innings and 196 runs completed in less than three days.

At this point, Bangladesh seem to be going backwards rather than forwards.

There is an established pattern. A par score, on any sort of pitch, is about 200 for Bangladesh - for their opponents it is something like 450-7 declared.

Thus most of the defeats, even by lowly Zimbabwe, are by an innings.

24th Test, Multan (v Pakistan, Sept 2003)

Plenty more dispiriting results follow - after all no team wants to become the first to lose to Bangladesh.

Even the far-from-lethal West Indies win by an innings and 310 runs in Dhaka and after a wretched World Cup the captaincy passes on once again, to the seam bowler Khaled Mahmud.

Habibul Bashar celebrates a Test series victory over Zimbabwe
January 2005: Bangladesh finally get that winning feeling

Crucially, however, the Bangladesh Cricket Board finally captures a highly-regarded coach in the shape of Dav Whatmore.

Almost immediately, there is an extraordinary tour to Pakistan, in which Bangladesh compete in every game.

At Peshawar, for instance, they establish a 66-run lead, but fade dismally in the final shake-up.

But at Multan, the hosts muster just 175 in reply to Bangladesh's 281 and the unthinkable - a first ever Test victory - is on.

Bangladesh's second innings is a poor 154. Then, chasing 261 to win Pakistan, collapse to 164-7.

Inzamam-ul-Haq refuses to allow for a fairytale ending, however - hitting 138 not out and shepherding an inexperienced tail past the finish-line as Bangladesh end up one agonising wicket from glory.

35th Test, Chittagong (v Zimbabwe, Jan 2005)

With the green shoots firmly planted, deliverance comes in the shape of a 226-run win over a Zimbabwe side weakened by the absence of leading players protesting the sacking of captain Heath Streak.

It is nothing to be sniffed at, however, as Habibul Bashar, the team's fourth regular captain, ensures they are tough enough to hang on for a draw in the following match to claim the series.

And even before this match, he leads the side to their first non rain-affected draw, against West Indies in St Lucia, and watches young batting star Mohammad Ashraful hit a brilliant 158 not out against India.








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