Aussies poised for victory

Just when Australia had taken complete control of the first Test against Bangladesh at Fatullah Stadium, the home side chimed in with three late wickets on day four to create some intrigue as to the likely outcome of the match.

Chasing 307 runs for victory in its first Test on Bangladeshi soil, the Australians have advanced the score to 4-212 at stumps, with 95 runs required for victory on the final day.

But after a good start to the chase made by the Australian top-order, the late wickets of Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn and Michael Clarke have given the underdog home side a real chance of creating one of the biggest upsets in cricket history.

This despite the Bangladeshi tail offering little resistance in the morning session, the home side failing to add the runs it needed for a big lead as it crashed from 5-124 on resumption to be all out for 148.

The Australians will rely on Ricky Ponting (72 not out) and first innings hero Adam Gilchrist (six not out) to steer the world No.1 side over the line on Thursday.

Australia's batsmen began well, with Mike Hussey and Hayden putting on 64 before the West Australian - opening the batting only because of Justin Langer's injury - attempted to sweep Enamul Haque and dragged on for 37.

The big Queenslander was then joined at the crease by his skipper, and Ponting showed that his first innings failure was an anomaly as he combined with the left-hander to put on 109 runs.

Hayden, who had played patiently without forcing the tempo, finally succumbed when he was run out by Enamul attempting a quick single for 72 - his innings helped along with eight fours and a six.

Bangladesh though, determined to show that the game was not lost from them, firstly dismissed Damien Martyn cheaply - the recent Test recall bowled by Mohammad Rafique for seven - and then sent Michael Clarke (nine) back to the pavillion.

Clarke fell victim to Rafique when he edged a ball through to keeper Khaled Mashud giving the Bangladeshi left arm off-spinner his second wicket (2-68 from 25 overs).

Earlier, Australian bowlers Shane Warne and Jason Gillespie cleaned up the Bangladeshi tail within 45 minutes of the start of play.

Just as in the first innings when Stuart MacGill prompted a late order collapse to finish with figures of 8-108, Warne and Gillespie quickly ended any thoughts of a rearguard action.

Warne took his first wicket of the match when he trapped Rafique (14) leg before attempting to sweep.

Mashrafe Mortaza went the very next delivery to leave Warne on the brink of a hat-trick with Enamul (no score) following soon after.

Gillespie struck twice to send the obstinate Rajin Saleh (33) on his way after earlier dismissing wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud with his opening delivery of the day.

Gillespie finished with figures of 3-18 and Warne 3-28.

Bangladesh is searching for only its second Test win after breaking its duck at the 35th attempt last year.

In January 2005, the Tigers crushed Zimbabwe by 226 runs for its first win since becoming the world's 10th team to be granted Test status in 2000.

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