DHAKA – Australia bowled out Bangladesh for 260 and then suffered a spectacular top-order collapse of their own to leave them reeling at 18/3 after the spin-dominated opening day of the first Test on Sunday.
On a day of fluctuating fortunes, Bangladesh slumped to 10/3 before Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal raised 155 runs to help them post a competitive total at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
Australia witnessed a similar collapse in their reply and slumped to 14/3 as Bangladesh roared back into the contest in an eventful final session where eight wickets fell.
Matt Renshaw was batting on six at stumps, with skipper Steve Smith on three. Australia now face a daunting task on a spin-friendly track, where slow bowlers have claimed nine of the 13 wickets that fell on the opening day.
After opting to bat, Bangladesh were left gasping for breath after Pat Cummins reduced them to 10/3 inside four overs with a terrific display of fast bowling.
The paceman gave an indication of things to come with his third delivery, which flew off the shoulder of Soumya Sarkar’s blade and soared over the agitated slip fielders.
Two balls later, the batsman was caught in the gully by Peter Handscomb.
Cummins returned to have Imrul Kayes and Sabbir Rahman off successive deliveries, the leaden-footed batsmen perishing caught behind without scoring.
With two left-handers at the crease, Smith pressed off-spinner Nathan Lyon into service but Shakib and Tamim, playing their 50th Tests, refused to retreat into a defensive shell and batted positively.
Both batsmen used their feet against the spinners, steadying the innings and reaching half-centuries in the process.
Glenn Maxwell’s part-time off-spin finally earned Australia the breakthrough with Tamim lobbing one to David Warner at backward point to fall for a 71, which included three sixes off Lyon’s bowling.
Lyon then claimed the important wicket of Shakib with an extra bit of bounce from the track when the batsman edged him to Smith in the slips. Shakib’s 84 included 11 boundaries.
Australia’s spin duo of Lyon (3/79) and Ashton Agar (3/46) shared six wickets between them to bowl out the hosts for a modest total.
The strong start Australia expected from their openers, however, did not materialise.
Warner fell lbw to Mehedy Hasan for eight, a delivery after successfully reviewing and overturning a similar leg-before appeal.
Usman Khawaja then ran himself out chasing a non-existent single, and nightwatchman Lyon fell lbw to Shakib to further complicate Australia’s crisis.