The month of August has sprung up a few cricketing upsets towards its end with West Indies defeating England at Headingley on Tuesday - their first win in England since 2000. And yesterday, Bangladesh registered the biggest win in their Test Cricket history by stunning Australia in Dhaka to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series.
The biggest reason why Bangladesh were able to script their maiden Test win against Australia was Shakib Al Hasan’s stupifying all-round effort which justifies his stature as the best all-rounder in the world right now.
Bangladesh were off to a horrible start in the Test as they lost three crucial batsmen within the first four overs as Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, and Sabbir Rahman were sent packing by Pat Cummins. At this point, opener Tamim Iqbal was joined on the crease by Shakib, both playing their 50th Test match.
Shakib could be considered a bit little lucky towards the start of his innings as he had a few lucky boundaries but as his innings progressed, he began to come into rhythm. The shots began to flow and the covers region saw balls sailing through. The 30-year-old was totally getting the better of the likes of Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, and Ashton Agar.
The southpaw reached his half-century and was receiving tremendous support from Tamim Iqbal on the other end. The duo added 155 for the fourth wicket and Bangladesh's innings looked to be on track. The partnership, however, was broken by Glenn Maxwell after he dismissed Iqbal for 71.
Shakib Al Hasan reached 84 before he was sent to the dressing room by Nathan Lyon. His dismissal triggered a collapse in the Bangladesh batting and from 188/4, the hosts were bowled out for 260.
Shakib takes five in the first innings as Australia fall 43 runs short
After impressing with the bat, Shakib impressed with the ball as well. Australia lost their first four wickets for only 33 runs with the former Bangladesh skipper scalping night-watchman Nathan Lyon.
However, opener Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb added 69 for the 5th wicket and Australia were looking to get back on track before the latter was dismissed by Taijul Islam. Shakib then dismissed Renshaw before getting rid of the dangerous Glenn Maxwell.
Shakib then dismissed Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood to end Australia's innings at 217, picking up his 16th five-wicket haul in Tests in the process.
Shakib takes another five-for to sink Australia
In the second innings, Tamim Iqbal's 78 and Mushfiqur Rahim's 41 took Bangladesh to 221 while Nathan Lyon bowled a terrific spell of 6/82. Shakib al Hasan could not contribute much with the willow this time as he scored only 5.
Australia had a simple task ahead of them as they had to chase down 265 for victory but were off to a disastrous start as they lost Renshaw and Usman Khawaja early. David Warner and Steve Smith then batted the remainder of Day 3 and got the visitors to 109/2.
Warner and Steve Smith took their partnership to 130 with Warner reaching his century. Just as Australia were looking well set for a win, Shakib intervened and dismissed Warner before taking out Smith.
The dismissals of Smith and Warner triggered a downfall for Australia, the architect of which was Shakib Al Hasan as he dismissed Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade to take his 17th five-for in Tests and his second 10 wicket-haul.
Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon tried their best to take Australia to victory and they almost succeeded only for the Bangladeshi bowlers to dismiss Lyon and then Josh Hazlewood as Australia were dismissed for 244 and hand Bangladesh their maiden Test win over Australia by 20 runs.
Shakib al Hasan was unsurprisingly adjudged the Man of the Match for what was undoubtedly the best all-round performance in Bangladesh's Test Cricket history and one of the finest all-round performances seen in Tests this year.Published 31 Aug 2017, 20:55 IST