DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh flexed their spin muscles to claim five wickets in an eventful morning session as the hosts inched towards a memorable victory over Australia in the first test of their two-match series on Wednesday.
The tourists were reeling at 199 for seven at lunch, with their rapidly-diminishing hopes resting on Glenn Maxwell, who was batting on 14 with Pat Cummins on two, and Australia still needing 66 runs for an improbable victory.
Overnight batsmen David Warner and skipper Steve Smith were key to their chances of snatching a memorable win in the spin-dominated contest, and the duo raised 130 runs for the third wicket before fortunes fluctuated once more.
Resuming day four on 109-2, Warner batted with calculated aggression, while Smith was content to play second fiddle as they continued the good work they had started on Tuesday evening with some generous assistance from lady luck.
Warner survived a review before the southpaw brought up his 19th test century, a second in Asia. Then when the opener was on 106, he pulled a Shakib Al Hasan delivery and the ball flew past leg-slip before he could put his hands together.
Smith was on 28 when Tamim Iqbal spilled him at mid-on but Shakib (4-68) was lurking round the corner with his left-arm spin to change the complexion of the match.
Shakib first trapped Warner leg-before for 112 and, four overs later, had Smith caught behind for 37 to pile the pressure back on Australia.
On a turning track where their frontline batsmen have struggled against Bangladesh’s three-pronged spin attack, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade and Ashton Agar all fell in quick succession prior to lunch.
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