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Cricket

Lyon, Warner power series-levelling Australia victory

Latest: Bangladesh 137/7 in 55.1 overs (Mominul 24, Miraz 4*)

07 September 2017,Thursday, 17:11



Nathan Lyon, in the bowling rhythm of his life, led Australia's bold push for victory over Bangladesh on a dramatic fourth day of the second Test in Chittagong, ESPNcricinfo reports.

A third six-wicket haul in succession took Lyon's series tally to 22, the most ever by an Australian in a two-Test encounter, left Bangladesh precariously placed with a lead of 82 and only two wickets in hand. Pat Cummins, with a pair of key wickets and a fine catch to earn Lyon his fifth wicket and best ever match figures, was also influential for the visitors. While a fourth innings chase always loomed as tricky, Australia's requirement appears far too few for Bangladesh to defend.

Bangladesh need only a draw to claim their first ever series win over Australia and only the fourth in their 17 years as a Test match nation, but there is now plenty of time remaining in the match for a result. Victory for Steven Smith's side would prevent the visitors from sinking to sixth in the ICC world rankings.

The Australians had been quickly dismissed when play resumed half an hour early due to Wednesday's showers, Lyon snicking Mustafizur with plenty of carry through to the slips. Cummins was likewise able to get plenty of vertical assistance when he took the new ball, while Lyon started up his spell from the other end.

Soumya Sarkar did not last long before edging a well-directed Cummins delivery from around the wicket, the ball sailing comfortably through to Matt Renshaw at first slip. Tamim Iqbal seemed intent on taking the attack to Lyon, but misjudged his opponent's flight, dip and spin to find himself stranded down the wicket as the ball turned past him. Matthew Wade still had plenty to do as the ball bounced high, but gloved it cleanly and completed an excellent stumping.

Only five more runs had been added when Imrul Kayes was confounded by a Lyon delivery that turned, bounced and also held in the pitch, resulting in an ineffectual forcing stroke that spooned gently to Glenn Maxwell at cover. Australian celebrations grew still more triumphant when Shakib Al Hasan was unable to cover Lyon's overspin and bounce, the ball flying from the shoulder of the bat into the hands of a helmeted David Warner at second slip.

At the other end Nasir Hossain seemed intent on driving anything Steve O'Keefe tossed up - despite plenty of turn - before a straighter delivery also jumped and flew off an edge high on the bat to Smith at slip. O'Keefe had clearly not forgotten Hossain's mimic of umpire Nigel Llong's raised finger to dismiss Cummins the night before, offering the "shhh" gesture to the vanquished batsman.

At that point Bangladesh were 43 for five and still 29 runs in deficit. But Mushfiqur and Sabbir were able to staunch some of the bleeding, helped by a successful appeal against a Llong lbw verdict from O'Keefe's bowling due to an inside edge, then next ball a decidedly optimistic review of another lbw appeal that was found to be well outside the line. Tensions were high between both sides, leading the umpire Ian Gould to counsel Mushfiqur to cool down in the final over of a hectic morning.

The Bangladeshi pair continued to live dangerously when play resumed, as a series of reverse sweep attempts failed to make contact and left the ball to spin agonisingly close to the stumps before going for byes. This was no fault of Wade, who maintained a very strong Test match behind the stumps by staying low to complete another stumping when Sabbir left his crease to Lyon and was beaten by a lack of bounce.

Mushfiqur's second long innings of the match gave Bangladesh the merest glimmer of a defendable lead, but the return of Cummins brought another sharply bouncing delivery and a thin edge through to Wade. Cummins' spell was fast and hostile, causing further pain for Mehidy Hasan when a short ball struck his thumb and then went on to clatter the grill of his helmet - the contact so firm that it knocked the neck guard off his helmet.

While Mehidy endured bravely, Mominul Haque top-edged a sweep at Lyon, leaving Cummins to run in from backward square leg and claim a terrific catch a few centimetres above the ground as he dived forward. The innings did not last long after tea, as Lyon slid a quicker ball through the defences of Taijul Islam, his 13th wicket of the match, before a similar offering from O'Keefe defeated the last man Mustafizur.

 

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