Warner hits unbeaten 88 for Australia against Bangladesh

Australia's David Warner plays a shot during the second day of the second test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 5. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Australia’s David Warner plays a shot during the second day of the second test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 5. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

Chittagong, Bangladesh (AP) — Australia opener David Warner hit an unbeaten 88 on Tuesday to help his team to a commanding 225-2 at the end of the Day 2, reducing Bangladesh’s first innings lead to 80 runs in the second cricket test.

Fresh from his maiden century in sub-continental Asia, Warner combined two important partnerships to help his side in taking the upper hand.

He first put together a 93-run partnership with captain Steve Smith (58) after the loss of Matt Renshaw (4), which left Australia at 5-1. Warner then shared an undefeated 127 with Peter Handscomb.

Bangladesh let Warner survive twice – on 52 and 73. Mominul Haque dropped Warner at short leg off left-arm spin bowler Taijul Islam, while Mushfiqur Rahim missed a stumping chance off offspinner Mehidy Hasan.

Handscomb was unbeaten on 69 off 113 balls, including five boundaries. He survived a video review taken by Bangladesh but the ultra edge detected an inside-edge.

Warner was uncharacteristically restrained in a knock in which he negotiated 170 balls and hit only four boundaries.

“Usually Warner doesn’t bat in this manner and always likes to play shots, but today he was totally different and batted slowly,” Bangladesh batsman Nasir Hossain said. “The wicket did not have much turn like the Mirpur wicket. We intended to bowl at the rough in a bid to extract the turn but Warner showed huge patience.”

He began cautiously as Renshaw was out before lunch, chasing a leg-side delivery from Mustafizur Rahman (1-30) and giving Mushfiqur Rahim a diving catch behind the stumps.

Smith’s counter-attack helped the side stabilize the innings. He sent the ball across the rope eight times in his 58 off 94.

Left-arm spin bowler Taijul Islam (1-50) broke through in his first delivery of the innings by bowling Smith just as Australia appeared to be on course to survive the second session without losing any wickets.

That was the last time in the day Bangladesh managed to get any wickets as Warner and Handscomb kept them wicket-less thereafter, including the entire third session.

“For us, it’s a case of whoever’s bowling can get you out, so making sure you stay in,” Australian coach Darren Lehmann said. “From the first test it’s a totally different wicket. But that’s not our choice. If that’s what Bangladesh want to do, that’s well within their rights.”

Offspinner Nathan Lyon remained the pick of the bowlers early in the test. He claimed 7-94 as Australia wrapped up Bangladesh’s innings for 305 late in the morning session.

“Obviously he’s just getting better and better in these conditions,” Lehmann said of Lyon. “Changing his variations and growing and growing as a bowler. He’s really growing as a leader in our pack, if you like, in these conditions.”

He struck with his second ball of the day, dismissing Rahim for 68, after Bangladesh resumed the on 253-6.

Rahim was surprised by the sharp turn and bounce that Lyon extracted from the pitch. In a chanceless innings, lasting 166 balls, Rahim hit five boundaries.

Rahim and Nasir Hossain combined for a 43-run partnership for the seventh wicket before Asthon Agar (2-52) struck, having Hossain caught behind for 45.

Hasan (11) and Islam (9) helped Bangladesh surpass 300 before Lyon struck again to finish the Bangladesh innings, leaving Australia four overs to bat before lunch.