The hosts will resume today at 6-253 on a flat and lifeless wicket which, despite Nathan Lyon’s heroic five-wicket haul, has provided little for the bowlers to work with.
In a start to the opening day which mirrored that of the first Test in Dhaka, Australia lost the toss but went on to claim early wickets before Bangladesh regrouped with a big middle-order partnership.
This time it was Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (62 not out) and Shabbir Rahman (66), who put on a 105-run stand as Australia toiled in hot conditions for little reward after lunch.
The breakthrough came shortly before stumps when Lyon (5-77) dismissed Shabbir courtesy of a brilliant stumping by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who survived the selection axe ahead of Usman Khawaja.
Lyon, who notched his third consecutive five-wicket haul, was the clear pick of the spinners ahead of Ashton Agar (1-46) and Steve O’Keefe (0-70).
The conditions made it tough going for Australia’s bowlers but especially sole quick Pat Cummins (0-33), who briefly left the ground for treatment of a heat-related illness during the final session.
“This would be my 69th Test match and I don’t think I’ve been tested like that physically,” Lyon said after play.
“Patty is an unbelievable cricketer. He’s been sitting in the ice bath for the last 30 minutes but he’ll bounce back. We’ll bounce back.
“I’ve got no idea what a good score is (for Bangladesh). We’ve got to wait until we see both teams bat on it… (but) we need to go out there and take the four wickets.”
Thunderstorms are forecast in Chittagong today, although the local weather conditions have proven near-impossible to accurately predict throughout the series.
Bangladesh had declared they intended to play aggressively in the second Test but the only change to their XI was to add another batsman, with Mominul Haque replacing paceman Shafiul Islam.
A draw would be enough for the Tigers to claim victory in the series – something they have only previously achieved in Test cricket against Zimbabwe and a depleted West Indies.
“We would have been in a better position had I remained unbeaten but I thought we did well today,” Shabbir said.
“I am not really sure what is a good score here. We just have to bat as long as possible.”
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