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First Test: Lyon surpasses Benaud, before late Australia collapse

Dhaka: A shambolic run out was the lowlight for Australia as the tourists’ top order collapsed late on day one of the first Test in Dhaka.
Nanjing Night Net

Having claimed five Bangladesh wickets after tea, Australia were left with nine overs to face in what was their first Test against the Tigers in 11 years, but slumped alarmingly with the loss of three wickets inside two overs to 3-18 at stumps, 242 runs in arrears.

Spinner Mededi Hasan Miraz – who destroyed England late last year – ensured David Warner’s poor record on the subcontinent continued, removing the Australian vice-captain LBW for eight.

Usman Khawaja – whose return to the Test side has started horrendously – was caught short of his ground after pursuing a mindless single, adding to the early-innings woes of the tourists. Khawaja was out for one, before Shakib Al Hasan dismissed nightwatchman Nathan Lyon for a duck, leaving Australia in trouble, with not out batsmen Steve Smith and Matt Renshaw tasked with a recovery mission.

It capped off an eventful and topsy-turvy day in which the hosts had posted 260.

Part-timer Glenn Maxwell struck to end a fighting 155-run Bangladeshi fourth wicket partnership, one which had threatened to undo the early work of Pat Cummins. It proved to be the innings’ turning point, allowing Australia’s new spin twins Lyon and Ashton Agar to clean up the tail.

Tamim Iqbal and Shakib are the two leading run scorers in Bangladesh’s Test history, and on Sunday they became just the fourth and fifth players to play 50 Tests for the Tigers. But so infrequent have meetings between Bangladesh and Australia been that it also marked the first time either had played a Test against the Aussies.

The occasion was arguably worth the wait though, as the milestone men combined to haul their team back from 3-10 after captain Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and elected to bat at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

Tamim and Shakib played aggressively, challenging the tourists’ mettle in humid conditions. Both men went hard at Lyon, with Tamim blazing Australia’s No. 1 spinner for three sixes through the off side on his way to 71 before being removed by Maxwell. Shakib lived dangerously at times but the world’s top-ranked all-rounder showed his class on either side of the wicket before falling to Lyon for 84.

Playing his first Test in more than four years, Agar took three wickets in a rain-affected final session, dismissing both Mushfiqur (23) and Nasir Hossain (18) LBW, with both decisions coming after video review, and had Shaiful Islam, caught slogging for 13.

Lyon meanwhile reached 250 Test wickets after removing Mehedi (18) and Taijul Islam (four). The wicket of Mehedi, who gifted a simple catch to Peter Handscomb at short leg, meant Lyon moved past Richie Benaud as Australia’s second most prolific Test spinner, behind only Shane Warne.

While much of the build up from an Australian perspective had surrounded Agar’s return to the Test side, it was Cummins – another to make a stunning Test debut as a teenager – who stole the show early.

Bowling first on an overcast morning in Dhaka, Cummins’ impact was almost immediate. With just his third ball of the day, he was close to removing Soumya Sarkar, who streakily edged a bouncer over the head of third slip for four. The opener was not as lucky two balls later as he clipped a Cummins delivery straight to Handscomb at gully to depart for eight. There was more damage in Cummins’ next over as the quick found an inside edge to remove Imrul Kayes caught behind for a duck.

Things looked even more ominous a ball later as wicketkeeper Matthew Wade took another catch, with Shabbir Rahman not adjusting to Cummins’ late swing. The batsman reviewed the decision however replays showed a clear edge, leaving the Tigers precariously placed inside the first half an hour. Shabbir’s golden duck further riled those Bangladeshis who criticised the call to overlook Mominul Haque, whose Test batting average is more than 46.

But Shakib comfortably defended the hat-trick ball at the start of Cummins’ next over, and the resistance gained strength as the sun emerged. Not ideal. #BANvAUSpic.twitter南京夜网/sdK7NW7t9T??? cricket南京夜网419论坛 (@CricketAus) August 27, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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