Sport Cricket Australia swoops to big win to level series against Bangladesh

Australia swoops to big win to level series against Bangladesh

Shakib Al Hasan trudges off as Nathan Lyon celebrates
Bangladesh batted for long enough to give Australia a target to chase in the fourth innings. Photo: AP
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Nathan Lyon’s career-best performance has helped Australia to dodge an embarrassing series defeat to Bangladesh, winning the second Test in Chittagong by seven wickets.

Set a target of 86 runs to win after bowling out Bangladesh for 157 in its second innings on day four, Australia claimed victory on Thursday in its 16th over and with a day to spare.

Glenn Maxwell (25 not out) scored the winning runs with a six over midwicket to the bowling of spinner Nasir Hossain.

The result tied the two-match series at 1-1 after the ninth-ranked Tigers claimed a stunning 20-run victory in the first Test in Dhaka.

Offspinner Lyon proved the hero for Australia, backing up his seven-wicket haul in Bangladesh’s first dig to record career-best match figures of 13-154.

Nathan Lyon clapped off by team-mates in Chittagong
Nathan Lyon is clapped off the ground after completing stunning match figures in Chittagong. Photo: AP

Australia were forced to endure some nervous moments during their run chase with David Warner and Steve Smith both falling cheaply.

Warner (8) was caught at deep square leg while attempting to pull a short delivery from paceman Mustafizur Rahman.

Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam then had Smith (16) caught behind to cap off his relatively underwhelming series with the bat.

Mustafizur had Renshaw well caught by Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim before Maxwell and Peter Handscomb (16 not out) guided Australia to victory.

A 2-0 series loss would have sent Australia tumbling to No.6 on the world Test rankings, its lowest point in almost 30 years.

Lyon’s 6-60 in the second innings took his wicket tally for the tour to 22, just one shy of Sri Lankan tweaker Rangana Herath’s record for the most dismissals in a two-match Test series.

An innings victory for Australia had looked like a genuine possibility when Bangladesh collapsed to 5-43 before lunch.

But Mushfiqur and Mominul Haque (29) led a spirited rearguard action to keep the hosts in with a chance.

Mushfiqur, who is bound to come under scrutiny from match officials for angrily confronting umpire Ian Gould before lunch, departed on 31 when Pat Cummins had him caught behind.

Mehedi Hasan
Bangladesh’s Mehedi Hasan avoids a Pat Cummins bouncer. Photo: AP

Cummins (2-27) was forced to battle through stifling heat but still managed to rattle the Bangladeshi batsmen with sheer pace and an array of short-pitched deliveries.

The deteriorating pitch proved to be a blessing for Australia, with Lyon in particular able to exploit plenty of turn.

Matthew Wade made an important contribution with the gloves, stumping danger man Tamim Iqbal (12) and Shabbir Rahman (24) both off the bowling of Lyon.

Australia was earlier bowled out for 377 in its first innings, with the visitors unable to add to their 72-run overnight lead after resuming with one wicket in hand.

Warner backed up his drought-breaking century in Dhaka with a gutsy 123 in Australia’s first dig.