Thursday, September 7, 2017

Test of Resolve to Find a Winner

The rains finally arrived on day 3, delaying the start of play until after lunch and only allowing 54 overs to be bowled for the entire day. It showed the Australians the dire position they are in having lost the 1st Test of the series and the problems they face in trying to force a result here in the 2nd Test in order to draw the series and save some face in the contest. Though their position at the conclusion of the day is better than how they started the day, it was probably not as good as they thought it may have been at one point of the afternoon.

One wonders just what may have happened had the run out of Handscomb not have happened. With Warner on strike and on 99, Handscomb was doing everything in power to get that single. When Warner was slow in saying no, having already taken a step down the wicket, Handscomb was stranded if the throw from Shakib was a direct hit. It was. Run out for 82 with a second Test century beckoning, Australia’s position at the end of the day would likely have been far more advanced than it ended up being.

Warner’s (eventual) century was a triumph, and the chance he had offered early the previous day proved costly for Bangladesh. His dismissal for 123 with the score at 298 now left the questions on Australia’s all-round resistance to be answered. How far could the likes of Maxwell, Cartwright, Wade and Agar take the lead before they perished? The answer was, not far. Cartwright looked comfortable enough for 18 before being undone. Wade managed to hold on for half an hour before being pinned again LBW, this time by the left arm quick Mustafizur. Agar again looked good before being bowled by Shakib. Maxwell curbed his aggression, batting for over two hours for his 38 before edging behind. It was an innings again where he showed he can handle the craft of Test batting, but needs to find a way to turn starts into bigger scores.

At the conclusion of the day, Australia was 9/377, a lead of 75. The fourth day will be an intriguing one if the rain can stay away. Bangladesh will be looking to establish a lead of 200 plus in order to put the pressure on the Australians in the fourth innings. The Australians will be looking to take quick multiple wickets, hoping to keep any lead to a manageable chase of 100-150. Chasing this and avoiding any possible washout will be an interest Test of resolve.

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