Tamim Iqbal scored another half-century    AFP
Tamim Iqbal scored another half-century AFP

Despite losing Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes for paltry scores, Bangladesh look strong to achieve a healthy lead as they went for lunch on Day Three of the first Test against Australia at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. Bangladesh took a 45-run first innings lead, bundling the visitors for 217 on Day Two. They put up 43 for 1 at stumps of the day, losing Sarkar. Tamim Iqbal (76*) anchored the innings regardless of losing multiple partners, scoring a half-century and is unbeaten at lunch with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (25*) as the lead extended to 176.

Bangladesh s ploy of sending Taijul Islam as nightwatchman helped them protect their wickets till stumps on Day Two. However, Nathan Lyon cleared him up early on Tuesday morning. Taijul got his front pad to the ball plumb in front of the middle stump, in a hope for the ball to turn when it does not, and departed for 4. Imrul Kayes, who is new to the No. 3 position for Bangladesh, failed again in this innings. Kayes was in a dilemma whether to play a certain Lyon delivery or not, edging it to David Warner at second slip at the end. Losing successive wickets at this point, Bangladesh were reduced to 67 for 3.

Mushfiqur and Tamim revived Bangladesh, building an unbeaten 66-run partnership. Tamim scored a half-century. Both looked comfortable playing the Australia bowlers. Boundaries came regularly in the span, including some handsome drives off Tamim s bat. Like Shakib, Tamim too is looking forward to make his 50th Test count. With 7 wickets in hand, Bangladesh look to be in a strong position against Australia, who will have to bat on Day Four against the skilled Bangladesh spinners. A lead past 250 will be unsettling for the visitors.

Brief scores:

Bangladesh 260 and 133 for 3 (Tamim Iqbal 76*, Mushfiqur Rahim 25*; Ashton Agar 1 for 26, Nathan Lyon 2 for 38) lead Australia 217 by 176 runs.