Tamim Iqbal remained unbeaten at 30    AFP
Tamim Iqbal remained unbeaten at 30 AFP

Bangladesh were off to a steady start before stumps of Day Two, putting up 45 for 1 and taking an 88-run lead in the first Test against Australia. At Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Australia had a hard time in front of Bangladesh’s spin attack, collapsing for 217. Later, Tamim Iqbal provided a good start to Bangladesh and remained unbeaten after losing his partner Soumya Sarkar. As play resumes on Day Three, he will bat at 30 along with nightwatchman Taijul Islam, who is yet to score.

Australia had a disastrous start with the bat. They had managed to restrict Bangladesh at 260 but themselves failed to post a big total. No Australia batsman scored half-century, the highest score coming from Matt Renshaw.

Renshaw kept on losing partners at the other end, including skipper Steven Smith, till he built the most crucial partnership of the innings with Peter Handscomb. They put up the only partnership that added in excess of 50 runs. However, they could not convert it into a bigger one as the hosts’ bowlers ran through the line-up. Another brief yet effective partnership was formed between Pat Cummins and Ashton Agar that pushed the team’s score past 200. Shakib Al Hasan finished the innings with a 5-for, enlisting himself to the unique list of bowlers who have bagged 5-fors against all Test-playing nations.

However, Bangladesh’s fielding remained disappointing. Given the number of chances the bowlers had produced, Bangladesh were capable of restricting the visitors within 200. Many catches were put down, one of which was that of Cummins who later went on to add a vital 25 runs.

Batting again, Tamim and Sarkar looked good initially. Bangladesh put up over 40 runs on the board not losing any wicket until Sarkar went for a risky shot. Agar bowled a full-length delivery outside off, and Sarkar came out of his crease to hit it hard, straight to Usman Khawaja at long on. Khawaja took a juggling catch in his third attempt to get rid of the batsman for 15. Bangladesh’s ploy of sending nightwatchman Taijul also worked, as he survived the last few overs of the day to remain unbeaten.

Brief scores:

Bangladesh 260 and 43 for 1 (Tamim Iqbal 30*, Soumyo Sarkar 15; Ashton Agar 1 for 9) lead Australia 217 (Matt Renshaw 45, Peter Handscomb 33, Ashton Agar 41*; Mehedi Hasan 3 for 62, Shakib Al Hasan 5 for 68) by 88 runs.