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Warner leads the way as Australia near rare Asian success in Bangladesh

186   //    29 Aug 2017, 17:51 IST
Warner - cropped
David Warner on the drive for Australia against Bangladesh

David Warner's composed riposte helped Australia make great strides towards a rare away win against Bangladesh on day three of the first Test in Mirpur.

Brutish opener Warner and Australia's struggles on the road, especially in Asia, are well documented but the left-hander scored a brilliant unbeaten 75 on Tuesday to leave the tourists 156 runs away from their victory target of 265.

Nathan Lyon had earlier turned the tide, taking 6-82 and affecting a run out, as Bangladesh were limited to 221 in their second innings, despite fine contributions from Tamim Iqbal (78) and Mushfiqur Rahim (41).

The departures of Matt Renshaw (5) and Usman Khawaja (1) suggested Australia's appetite for the fight may be lacking, but Warner made the most of a dropped chance to compile his highest score in Asia since 133 against Pakistan in October 2014, with captain Steve Smith (25 not out) an able partner.

Australia have won just two Tests on Asian soil this decade and their hopes of a third appeared to be fading as Josh Hazlewood left the field early on with a side strain which will end his tour.

But Lyon had other ideas and removed Taijul Islam and Imrul Kayes for single-figure scores, only for Mushfiqur and Tamim to combine resolutely to give Bangladesh a 176-run lead at lunch.

Just 13 balls after the restart, Tamim was gone, however, gloving a Pat Cummins delivery which disturbed the surface through to Matthew Wade - Umpire Aleem Dar's not-out decision overturned by Smith on review.

Shakib Al-Hasan (5) soon followed trying to smash Lyon over the top and the off-spinner was well in the game when he got fingertips to a Sabbir Rahman drive to run the hapless Mushfiqur out.

Nasir Hossain went without scoring and the collapsing hosts' luck was out as Sabbir (22) followed three balls later, caught by Peter Handscomb at short leg, only for replays to show he got nothing on Lyon's delivery before it came off the pad.

Handscomb took a brilliant, plunging grab to remove Shafiul Islam, completing Lyon's five-for and a late Mehedi Hasan blast was curtailed on 26 by the same bowler.

Mehedi was in more familiar success when he trapped Renshaw lbw and Australia's wobble continued when Khawaja top-edged Shakib to deep-backward square.

The wobble threatened to become a full-on tremor when Smith walked off after being stumped first ball, but he was saved on review with perhaps just a boot spike behind the line.

Warner had been dropped on 14 by Soumya Sarkar off Shakib's bowling, but the left-hander's confidence was in evidence as he ended that over by reverse sweeping for four.

The left-hander's excellent use of his feet regularly turned good balls into boundaries and running Shakib down for a huge straight six was further proof of his nimbleness.

Victory is far from assured for the tourists, but Warner and Smith at least drew up the template for a rare Australian success in these conditions.

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