Cricket - Australia slump to 123-6 as spinners wreak havoc
DHAKA (Reuters) - Australia found themselves in a big hole after losing three wickets, including that of skipper Steve Smith, on Monday morning to slump to 123 for six at lunch on day two of the opening test against Bangladesh.
Mehidy Hasan dealt a huge blow by dismissing Smith in the third over of the day and although Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb raised 69 runs for the fifth wicket to arrest the slide, both departed in quick succession just before the break.
Glenn Maxwell will resume on eight after lunch with Matthew Wade on five at the other end.
Australia still trail Bangladesh's first innings tally of 260 by 137 runs and will have the unenviable task of batting in the fourth innings on a fast-deteriorating track at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
Smith is often cited as an example of how to negate the spinners on the rank-turners in the sub-continent but the Australian captain for once failed to enhance that reputation.
Off-spinner Mehidy, who took 12 wickets at the same venue to script Bangladesh's first ever test win over England last year, struck in his second over, sneaking one through the gate to dismiss Smith for eight.
Renshaw and Handscomb were soon also subjected to a trial by spin with Mehidy and left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan hunting in tandem on a surface that perfectly suited their craft.
The inexperienced Australians survived some anxious moments and numerous leg-before appeals as the ball turned viciously and occasionally bounced alarmingly.
Shakib was convinced he had trapped Handscomb on nine and asked skipper Mushfiqur Rahim to review the not out decision but could not get it overturned.
Renshaw was on 14 when he was adjudged lbw to Mehidy but the southpaw reviewed the decision to prolong his stay after replays suggested the ball would have missed the stumps.
With lunch approaching and the partnership blooming, however, Taijul finally trapped Handscomb lbw for 33 with a ball that kept slightly low.
Opener Renshaw soon joined him in the pavilion for 45, edging Shakib to slip where Soumya Sarkar took a sharp catch at the second attempt.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Nick Mulvenney)