Agar-Cummins resistance frustrates Bangladesh

Tea Australia 193 for 8 (Cummins 25*, Agar 22*, Mehidy 3-52, Shakib 3-54) trail Bangladesh 260 by 67 runs
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Glenn Maxwell was stumped off Shakib Al Hasan © Getty Images

Pat Cummins and Ashton Agar fought against the tide to produce Australia’s longest partnership of the innings, after Bangladesh threatened to take a hefty first-innings lead on the second day in Mirpur. At tea, Australia were 193 for 8, with Cummins on 25 and Agar on 22, and they had chipped Australia’s deficit away to 67 runs.

There were moments of good fortune, such as when Cummins skied a chance off Shakib Al Hasan on 11 and saw Shafiul Islam spill a straightforward chance, but the patience shown by Cummins and Agar was for the most part exemplary. They had come together with the score on 144 for 8 in the 44th over, and by the tea break they had occupied the crease for nearly 24 overs.

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Australia had started the morning on 18 for 3 and further disaster struck when Steven Smith, on 8, danced down the pitch and tried to flick Mehidy through the leg side only to be bowled. That left Australia in major trouble at 33 for 4, but a 69-run partnership from Peter Handscomb and Matt Renshaw steadied the Australians at a key time.

The pitch offered variable bounce for both the spinners and fast men, but while Handscomb and Renshaw found ways to survive and keep the scoreboard ticking over, there was always the sense that a wicket might come soon. Such was the case when Handscomb played right back on his stumps to Taijul Islam and missed a delivery that slid through quickly, and was trapped lbw for 33.

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Renshaw seemed set to survive through the session, but in the final over before the break he played for spin that wasn’t there and edged a Shakib delivery wide of off stump to slip, where Soumya Sarkar juggled a catch on the second take.

The second session began in similarly disappointing fashion for the Australians, when Matthew Wade was given out lbw off Mehidy by umpire Nigel Llong, and declined to ask for a review. It was a strange decision, given Australia had two reviews remaining, and replays confirmed that the ball would have slid past leg stump and Wade would have been reprieved.

Glenn Maxwell made a confident 23 before he was lured out of his crease by Shakib, who turned the ball past the outside edge and the stumping was completed by Mushfiqur Rahim. Shakib might have had Agar stumped as well, but some exaggerated bounce off the pitch tricked Mushfiqur as it did the batsman.

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Cummins survived another close call late in the session when he was given out caught down leg side off Shafiul, but immediately Cummins asked for a review of Aleem Dar’s decision, and replays confirmed the ball had brushed his thigh-pad only. It had been a tough day for Dar, who earlier had given Renshaw lbw off Mehidy, only for a review to show the ball would have bounced well over the top.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

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