Stumps Day Three Bangladesh 295 and 106 for 4 (Sarkar 55, MacGill 2-27) trail Australia 556 for 4 declared by 155 runs
All three Australian batsmen who took guard at Cairns' Bundaberg Rum Stadium today walked off with milestones that became millstones around Bangladesh's neck as the tourists chased 261 to merely avoid an innings defeat.
That chase started well enough, and Bangladesh at one stage were 87 for 1. But then one of the collapses that have so marred their time in Test cricket occurred, and Bangladesh lost three wickets for three runs. Hannan Sarkar scored another half-century to go with his 76 in the first innings, while Habibul Bashar made 25, those two knocks just about summing up all that was positive in the Bangladesh innings.
It was, not surprisingly given their expected dominance of the series, the Australians who hammered their way into the record books. Steve Waugh, Darren Lehmann and Martin Love - Australia's latest Test centurion - enjoyed their share of the action, as well as the spoils. Waugh, despite his longevity in the game, still finds records to challenge, and today he became the first batsman to register a score of 150 or more against all Test nations.
Waugh's unbeaten 156 - his 14th 150 - places him closer to the 18 scored by Don Bradman. Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar are behind him on 12, and while Gary Sobers and Brian Lara have 11, Javed Miandad, Len Hutton and Walter Hammond have 10. Waugh also moved closer to the highest run-scorer in Tests, Allan Border, and is now only 653 runs behind him.
Lehmann came out in attacking vein from the outset and soon surpassed his previous highest score of 160, made against the West Indies earlier this year. He took four successive fours off Anwar Hossain Monir early in the day but, on 177, he spooned an easy catch in the direction of Alok Kapali and was on his way after he and Waugh had added 250 for the fourth wicket.
Love then joined Waugh and got off the dreaded nought, building a fine innings as he and Waugh took full toll of a tiring Bangladesh attack. Given his first-ball duck in the first Test in Darwin, there was plenty of incentive for Love to do well, and he thrived on the opportunity. Australia went to lunch at 455 for 4, with Waugh having scored his 32nd Test century and his second in two innings in this series. Love was into his stride in the second session, advancing from his lunch score of 36 to get his second Test 50 off 96 balls and carrying on to his maiden Test century in 152 balls.
Waugh was unbeaten on 156 and, as soon as Love reached three figures, he declared the innings closed. Bangladesh's bowlers faced a tough time of it in the field, with Sanwar Hossain bearing most of the brunt of the Australian assault, taking 2 for 128 from his 30 overs.
Bangladesh lost Javed Omar, trapped lbw by Jason Gillespie, for eight when 12 runs were on the board. But Sarkar and Bashar then applied some pressure of their own, scoring at a good clip to add 75. Sarkar, however, attempted to blast a ball from Stuart MacGill over square leg and only found that Matthew Hayden was able to run back and take the catch, sparking off a collapse Bangladesh could ill afford.
Four balls later, Mohammad Ashraful became the second Bangladeshi player to secure a pair in the series at MacGill's hand as he was hit leg-before. Then Brett Lee snapped up Bashar, an intended pull easily pouched at square leg, for 25.
It was a miserable end to a demanding day for the tourists, who must now sleep on the fact that yet another loss looms when the Australian attack closes in for the kill tomorrow.
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