Despite an optimistic prediction of the result going 2-0 in Bangla-desh's favour, Tamim Iqbal, before the start of the series, stressed on the importance of winning the small duels and sessions which are crucial to making the goal a reality.
After playing six sessions through the first two days of the gripping Test where 21 wickets have fallen, the home side have edged ahead in terms of session stakes.
The Tigers managed to dominate three out of those six sessions while the Aussies were ahead on two and the other looked even for both sides.
The visitors started with a bang in the very first session of the first day, picking up three early wickets to leave Bangladesh reeling at 10 inside four overs. Pat Cummins was devastating on a pitch, which was expected to support spinners, as the pacer displayed some fire and brimstone to defeat Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes and Sabbir Rahman in no time. However, experienced campaigners Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim started to repair the early damage as Bangladesh went to lunch on 96 for three. But the first session belonged to the Aussies.
Bangladesh came back with the Shakib-Tamim partnership adding 155 runs. It was a much-needed partnership for the home side to not only make amends but to also counterattack on a pitch where a total of 300 seemed enough. The first hour of the second session remained smooth as the home side added sixty runs without losing a wicket. However, both the batsman then departed before tea but the second session well and truly belonged to the Tigers.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the first day was the third session as both teams fought like boxers with punches being thrown from both ends. Bangladesh lost five wickets in close succession after starting the evening session on 190 for five, eventually being dismissed for 260 by some tight and incisive bowling from Australia. The visitors, however, were unable to have the last laugh of the day and went on to lose three wickets in the final hour and ended the first day on 18 for three, 242 behind. So it can be said that the session belonged to both teams.
Bangladesh managed to win two out of three sessions yesterday, the second day, when they dispatched three more Australian batsmen in the first session. Young Mehedi Hasan Miraz dismissed the dangerous Aussie skipper Steven Smith to start the proceedings and the visitors went to lunch on 123 for six.
Australia however made a comeback, riding on tailenders Ashton Agar and Cummins, who added 49 runs for the ninth wicket to frustrate Bangladesh and more importantly, deprived Bangladesh of a big lead as Australia went to tea on 193 for eight.
Bangladesh managed to come back strong in the last session and bundled out Australia for 217, earning a 43-run lead. Openers Tamim and Soumya then displayed a sensible approach and were heading towards a perfect ending. Soumya however lost his cool and was dismissed in a rather irresponsible manner in the second last over of the day but the third session was claimed by Bangladesh.
With three more days to go and the Tigers resuming today with a lead of 88 and nine wickets in hand, there is still a lot of drama left in the match. Ultimately, the winner of the lion's share of the remaining sessions will emerge victorious as a draw seems nearly impossible, as long as the weather continues to be a good sport.