'Take that Australia'.
Athar Ali Khan was nervously watching the proceedings from the commentary box. Fellow commentator Bob Willis was trying to calm down a very anxious Athar. Why wouldn't he be anxious? Bangladesh had, by then, won only two matches against the leading Test sides- against Pakistan in 1999 and against India in 2004. They were thrashed by England in the previous match. Therefore, an English bookmaker, before the start of the match, had Australia 500-1 on to beat Bangladesh. But he had little idea what would transpire eight hours later at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
Bangladesh were the lowest-ranked ODI side at that time and they were up against Ricky Ponting's Australia, one of the greatest ever ODI sides. No one expected Bangladesh to put up a fight against the mighty Aussies, let alone beat them.
Bangladesh bowled well to restrict Australia to 249 for five. But it was a good score considering Bangladesh's form and Australia's bowling line-up.
Bangladesh were guilty of losing wickets early. They were in a bit of trouble at 72 for three in the 21st over. The required run-rate had already touched six.
But then it was all Mohammad Ashraful. He remains an enigma who could've done a lot more but that was one of those really rare days when he was at his glorious best. He found an ally in his captain Habibul Bashar. When Bashar was dismissed, Bangladesh were smelling victory at 202 for four.
Ashraful had little respect for the likes of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Michael Kasprowicz. The then 20-year old smashed them all around the park. Ashraful brought up a run-a-ball hundred, only the second by a Bangladeshi batter in ODIs. This was one of the finest innings in the history of Bangladesh cricket.
But Ashraful got out right after the hundred and the Aussies were in the game again with Bangladesh still needing 23 off 17 deliveries.
A couple of lucky boundaries helped Bangladesh bring the equation down to seven off the last over.
The 19-year old Aftab Ahmed played one of the shots of his life in the first delivery of the 50th over bowled by Gillespie. He launched the ball over long-on and the scores were level. Athar Ali Khan, on-air, couldn't resist himself saying, "Take that Australia".
Aftab took a tight single in the next delivery and history was made. Bangladesh beat Australia for the first time in any form of cricket. Habibul Bashar, after the match, said, "I am the happiest man in the world right now." Ricky Ponting termed it 'the worst loss' in his captaincy career.
On this day 16 years ago, Bangladesh caused arguably the biggest upset in the history of world cricket, beating Australia by five wickets in Cardiff.