Bangladesh 427 Australia 145-6: Bangladesh have Australia on verge of following on

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Adam Gilchrist fought back with a gritty half-century yesterday after an embarassing top-order collapse left Australia struggling at 145 for six wickets on the second day of the first cricket test against Bangladesh.

Australia, which is 282 runs behind Bangladesh's impressive first innings total of 427, will be hoping vice-captain Gilchrist can remain at the crease to help the visitors score the 82 runs still needed to avoid the follow-on at Fatullah Osmani Stadium.

Gilchrist smashed seven boundaries and two sixes for his unbeaten 51 from 74 balls. He shared an unbeaten 52-run stand with Brett Lee, who was not out on 13 at stumps.

His gritty innings help stem a dramatic batting collapse Monday, after Bangladesh grabbed three early wickets to leave the world's No. 1 test team struggling on 50 for three wickets at the tea break.

The final session saw the fall of another three vital wickets as spinning duo Mohammad Rafique and Enamul Haque relished a pitch that helped balls keep low and turning.

Rafique and Haque grabbed two wickets apiece, while pacemen Mashrafee Bin Mortaza and Shahadat each took one wicket.

Top-order batsmen Matthew Hayden (6), Ricky Ponting (21) and Damien Martyn (4) all went cheaply. Martyn was bowled by Rafique with just two balls to go before the tea break, and later dismissed Michael Hussey for 23.

Haque removed Michael Clarke (19) and Shane Warne (6). Clarke was bowled, while Warne edged a turning ball into the gloves of Khaled Mashud.

Mortaza struck the first blow dismissing opener Hayden in his second over. Ponting was out lbw to paceman Hossain.

Earlier, Stuart MacGill tore through Bangladesh's lower order to notch a career-best 8-108.

MacGill snared all remaining five wickets after Bangladesh resumed on 355 for five. He took three wickets on Sunday.

MacGill struck after Rajin Saleh hammered his fifth test half-century to take Bangladesh to 413-6 at lunch Monday.

The home side lost its last four wickets only for 11 runs.

MacGill took the responsibility in the absence of Shane Warne who was not available because of a shoulder injury he suffered on Sunday.

On Sunday opener Shahriar Nafees smashed 138 from 189 balls for his maiden test century as Bangladesh piled up 355 runs for the loss of five wickets on the opening day.