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Shakib brilliance puts Bangladesh in box seat against Australia

By Reuters - Aug 28,2017 - Last updated at Aug 28,2017

Bangladeshi cricketer Mehidy Hasan delivers a ball during the second day of the first Test cricket match between Bangladesh and Australia in Dhaka on Monday (AFP photo by Munir uz Zaman)

DHAKA — Shakib Al Hasan lit up his 50th Test with all-round brilliance to help Bangladesh claim a handy first-innings lead over a listless Australia in the second Test on Monday.

A day after rescuing Bangladesh from a top-order collapse with the bat, the left-arm spinner claimed 5-68 to help dismiss Australia for 217 and justify his status as he world’s top- ranked test all-rounder.

Having claimed a 43 run first-innings lead on a viciously turning track, Bangladesh further consolidated its position and were 45-1 at the close on the second day.

Soumya Sarkar threw his wicket away after scoring 15 but Tamim Iqbal was batting on 30 with nightwatchman Taijul Islam yet to open his account.

Bangladesh stretched their overall lead to 88 runs and Australia will have the unenviable task of batting in the fourth innings on a fast-deteriorating track at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

Resuming on a precarious 18-3, the tourists soon lost captain Steve Smith, their best batsman.

Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan, who took 12 wickets at the same venue to inspire Bangladesh’s first Test win over England last year, struck in his second over, sneaking one through the gate to dismiss Smith for eight.

Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb were subjected to a trial by spin with Mehidy (3-62) and Shakib hunting in tandem but the duo added 69 runs for the fifth wicket to halt the slide.

With the partnership blooming, however, Taijul trapped Handscomb lbw for 33 with a ball that kept slightly low, as it often did on a track offering variable bounce and prodigious turn.

Opener Renshaw soon joined him in the pavilion for 45, edging Shakib to slip.

Matthew Wade fell lbw for five to Mehidy and Shakib got Glenn Maxwell stumped for 23.

 

Ashton Agar made 41 and Pat Cummins contributed 25, adding 49 runs for the ninth wicket in a defiant stand to lend a touch of respectability to the Australian total.

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