Monday 20 November 2017 / 02:52 AM

BRAVE AUSSIES GAIN CONTROL IN OPPRESSIVE HEAT

Two gutsy sessions in oppressive conditions from David Warner and Peter Handscomb have put Australia in a strong position at the end of day two of the second Test in Chittagong, trailing by 80 runs with eight wickets in hand.

Bangladesh resumed on 6/253 and were dismissed for 305, Nathan Lyon finishing with figures of 7/94. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored for the hosts with 68, while No.8 Nasir Hossain pitched in with a handy 45.

Sent in to bat 15 minutes before lunch, Australia endured a disastrous start when Matt Renshaw was caught-behind off Mustafizur Rahman for 4 in the second over, undone by a magnificent diving catch from Mushfiqur.

Warner and Steve Smith put on 93 for the second wicket, however, with the captain scoring a entertaining 58 featuring eight boundaries before being bowled by Taijul Islam.

That brought Handscomb to the crease as the Chittagong temperature soared to the 40-degree mark – combined with 80 percent humidity – and the 10-Test veteran was visibly ill in a stoic performance reminiscent of Dean Jones’ iconic innings in the tied Test of 1986 in Madras.

Handscomb battled his way to 69 not out off 113 balls by stumps, while Warner played with remarkable restraint to remain unbeaten on 88 off 170 balls at the end of the day. The pair’s partnership stood at 127 runs, Australia reaching 2/225.

Handscomb reportedly lost 4.5kg during his torrid afternoon out in the middle.

“Really gutsy,” Australian coach Darren Lehmann said.

“Obviously it’s pretty hot out there, we saw that (on Monday) and you have to work really hard for your runs.

“To get through and the way they played was excellent. They’re in the ice baths now and we’ll leave them with the medical team to get them right for (on Wednesday). It was a very special day and hopefully they can kick on.

“It’s really just focusing on each ball and trying to get through. I thought they used their feet really well, playing forward and back, made good decisions and towards the end of the day. It was just about getting through each ball and just take your time. The umpires handled it really well and so did the Bangladesh team to make sure they were right to play.

“They’re in the ice baths at the moment, they’ll be fine, they’re back tomorrow and away we go. They’re just exhausted.”

[YouTube – Cricket King]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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