Bangladesh 260 and 221; Australia 217 and 244
It was only going to take one. As an overnight consensus, it was proven spot on. As soon as Bangladesh saw the back of century-maker David Warner and then captain Steve Smith they crashed and bashed through a brittle Australian middle order, recording a famous first Test victory in contests between the sides. The locals responded accordingly, both on and off the field.
It was only fitting that a riveting four-day contest had a twist in the final stanza, with power-hitting from Pat Cummins taking the tourists to within 21 runs of triumph themselves, but the hosts held their nerve when it mattered most. Matchwinner Shakib Al Hasan's five wicket bag – in an unchanged spell on the fourth day – gave him 10 for the match, alongside a vital first-innings 84 with the bat, reinforcing his status as the world's top ranked all-rounder.
It doesn’t take a lot of digging to find examples of similar Asian collapses from the Australian side, as recently as the first innings here, for one. Bangalore in February is another, where six wickets were lost for 12 runs to surrender their most recent fourth-innings chase. Today, the damage was a 41-6 turn at the point Bangladesh looked all-but finished with the runs they were defending disappearing fast.
To that point, Warner and Smith had been playing a fourth-innings blinder after coming together at 28-2 in need of 265 in the most sporting conditions against a trio of finger spinners turning it square on command. Along the way, Warner raised his 19th Test century. It was one of his best, considering the pitch and the context of his dismal record in Asia, exacerbated again by an unflattering first innings demise. The 83 strike-rate he collected his 112 runs transferred the pressure back on the hosts, deploying more defensive fields by the over. They were rattled.
Enter Shakib. Enticing Warner to pull off the front foot, some variable bounce was enough to trap the opener and halted his stand with Smith at 130. They had their breakthrough, at last, with 107 runs still to play with. Four overs later they had the captain as well, edging when attempting to cut a fraction too close a delivery that bounced a fraction too much. Game on.
Peter Handscomb, too smart by half, gifted a catch to slip off third spinner Taijul Islam, who became an awful lot more than that as the day wore on. It was Shakib's turn again when Wade came and went, the wicketkeeper's disastrous match complete when missing on the inside edge in a fashion so familiar in Asia. Heading into lunch, Ashton Agar was Taijul's second, returning a catch, misfiring with his first shot of note.
To the interval, hopes rested with Glenn Maxwell who surveyed much of the damage from the other end while looking altogether competent, especially in defence. In a tough moment to watch for fans of the Victorian, he made room for himself by backing away to the legside to the first ball of the fresh session, but his off-stump was clipped when the Shakib's straighter one didn't bounce. But that's no excuse; variable bounce was the norm all day, and it had to be accounted for.
Joining Cummins with 66 to get and two wickets left, Nathan Lyon swept and swept until he missed. After his nine wickets, he isn't where the blame lies. Instead, credit to Mushfiqur Rahim, who brought back 19-year-old wunderkind off-spinner Mehedi Hasan just at the point where Taijul was taking some tap.
The 29 runs tallied for that ninth wicket did put Australia vaguely within striking distance. At least that was the case when Cummings went on to take 15 from Mehedi's next over, including two massive sixes over square leg. Suddenly, it was 20 to get. But Shakib's timely maiden put the injured Josh Hazlewood at the business end for the start of a new over. Taijul was brought back for it, needing only five balls to hit the No11 plum in front. Game over.
But what a game. For Bangladesh’s part, they have defeated England and Australia in consecutive Tests at Dhaka – the first time for both occurrences. Their home of cricket is quickly becoming a fortress. Squaring an away series with Sri Lanka between times means they are a team that can never be underestimated again.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Asian problem persists. Over the last 10 years, they have won two of 23 matches on the subcontinent. For all the progress made in India earlier in the year, this constitutes a significant setback. They have four days turn it around, the second and final Test of the series starting in Chittagong on Monday.