Nervous Tigers provide Aussies a chance

Tamim Iqbal

Bangladesh batsmen Tamim Iqbal (L) and Mushfiqur Rahim run between the wickets on the third day of their first Test against Australia at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday. — Sourav Losker

Bangladesh handed back the control of first Test to Australia at a very crucial stage to put themselves under pressure for the first time in the match on the third day in Mirpur on Tuesday.
After fighting a neck-to-neck and dominating one of the top Test teams in patches for more than two days, the Tigers finally showed the sign of vulnerability on the day to throw the game wide open.
Nathan Lyon and David Warner seized the opportunity to revive Australia’s hope in a game that many thought was in the bag of home side after seeing them dictating the terms initially.
Lyon grabbed 6-82 to help Australia dismiss Bangladesh for 221 runs in the second innings to set a 265-run target for themselves. Warner, with his unbeaten 75 overnight, showed the target was achievable, though the wicket left nothing short of help for the spinners.
Australia reached 109-2 at stumps on the third day, needing just 156 runs more to draw the first blood in the two-match series and maintain their hundred per cent record against Bangladesh being the only side.
Out in middle with Warner was Steve Smith, arguably one of the best batsmen against spin, who was happy to play a second fiddle with 25 not out as Warner dominated the bowlers.
Bangladesh were unlucky throughout the game but they had their poor close-in fielding also to blame for taking themselves in such a delicate situation.
Both Warner and Smith gave chances early in their innings but Soumya Sarkar dropped Warner on 14 off Mehedi Hasan while Imrul Kayes put down a difficult chance of Smith on three off the bowling of Sakib al Hasan.
Mehedi and Sakib gave them the kind of start they needed at the start of Australia’s second innings, reducing the visitors 28-2 at one stage before two drop catches spoiled their day.
Luck did not help the causes as Smith was called back into crease after it was found in replays he survived a confident stumping appeal off Mehedi even before he opened his account.
Smith thought he was out and started walking without looking at the umpires only for the replays to show that he could drag his back to crease just in time to avoid the dismissal.
It finally demoralised
Bangladesh, who saw luck betraying on few other occasions during their batting.
But some credit also must go to Lyon, who bowled with his heart out to bring Australia back into the contest although just like the first innings, Pat Cummins provided them the most important breakthrough.
Resuming on overnight 30, Tamim Iqbal had nearly batted Australia out of the game before a rising delivery brushed off his gloves to end his fine innings on 78 runs, the left-hander’s second fifty in the match.
Mushfiqur Rahim also looked threatening for Australia before an unfortunate run out at the non-striker’s end saw him dismissed for 41. Lyon did the rest with help of Agar wrap up Bangladesh’s innings sooner than Australia had expected it.
Bangladesh could extend their innings a bit longer if they would review the dismissal of Sabbir Rahman.
Sabbir neither nicked the delivery of Lyon that got him out nor did it touch his pad. Embarrassed by his poor decision reviewing his dismissal in the first innings Sabbir decided to walk out in growing sign of his immaturity for the big stage.

Source: New Age


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