Dhaka: are staring down the barrel of another Asian misadventure after they ran into trouble with Bangladesh’s spinners and the decision review system on day two of the first Test in Dhaka.
recovered after trailing by 158 runs after the first innings in the first Test of their most recent series against Bangladesh 11 years ago, and while they didn’t face quite as steep a deficit this time, the tourists will need a similar performance to avoid their first ever Test loss to the Tigers.
Given the task of facing 22 overs in their second innings before the close of play, the Bangladeshi opening pair of Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar survived probing early spells from quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins before Soumya fell late in the day for 15, with Usman Khawaja taking four bites of the cherry before completing a catch in the deep to give Ashton Agar his fourth wicket of the match.
Tamim (30) and nightwatchman Taijul Islam (0) made it to stumps, with Bangladesh 1-45 and holding a lead of 88 with three days to play and nine wickets in hand.
Rain, which has barely had an impact to this point, could still play a part in the outcome, with thunderstorms forecast for all three remaining days.
After a dramatic top-order collapse late on Sunday, made a better fist of batting on Monday, but lost wickets at regular enough intervals to plunge further into the mire, before the damage was mitigated by a wagging tail.
Disappointingly for the tourists, pronounced spin was less of a factor than poor batting to straight balls pitching in line with the stumps.
After resuming in the morning at 3-18, suffered a major early blow when captain Steve Smith was bowled through the gate for eight as he danced down the wicket to Mehedi Hasan, leaving in disarray at 4-33.
Things picked up after Smith departed, as new batsman Peter Handscomb, and Matt Renshaw, who had watched on from the non-striker’s end as wickets fell around him late on the previous day, went about trying to rectify the situation.
Despite a promising partnership, neither Handscomb nor Renshaw reached 50. Handscomb’s stance deep in his crease had loomed as a possible weakness, so when he was struck on the pad by Taijul well back in his crease he made a hasty exit for 33, not appearing to even contemplate a review.
Having challenged Renshaw earlier in the morning, spinner Shakib Al Hasan got his man eventually, with the Queenslander sent on his way for 45 after Soumya juggled catch at slip shortly before lunch.
headed to lunch at 6-123, and Matthew Wade had barely returned to the middle after the break when he was again walking back towards the boundary, out leg-before to a straight ball from off-spinner Mehedi Hasan for five. He seemed to confer at length with non-striker Glenn Maxwell before opting not to review the decision despite having two challenges up their sleeve. The folly of that call was apparent moments later when the broadcaster showed that the ball was missing leg stump, continuing an error-riddled match for umpires Aleem Dar and Nigel Llong.
Things became more dire when Maxwell was stumped for 23 after striding to a ball pitching outside off stump from Shakib. At that point were 116 runs behind, with just two wickets in hand.
got some much-needed luck in the form of a howler of a dropped catch from Bangladesh’s Shafiul Islam after Cummins skied one from Shakib on 11. That allowed Cummins and Agar to extend their eighth-wicket partnership to 49 at tea, before Cummins (25) and Hazlewood (five) were added to the list of Shakib’s victims, with the game’s top-ranked all-rounder finishing with 5-68 to complement his exhilarating 84 with the bat on day one.
Shakib’s haul made him just the fourth man after Dale Steyn, Rangana Herath and Muttiah Muralitharan to take five wickets in a Test innings against every other Test playing nation.
While not quite reprising his heroics from Trent Bridge in 2013, Agar again provided useful runs in the lower order, taming the spinners on his way to 41 not out, with most of his runs scored through the leg side.