Fine half-centuries by captain Dean Elgar (70), Keegan Petersen (64) and Temba Bavuma (67) helped South Africa reach 278/5 at stumps against Bangladesh on the opening day of the second and final Test here on Friday.
Bowelers Taijul Islam (3/77) and Khaled Ahmed (2/59) picked quick wickets towards the end of the day, ensuring that tourists have something to work with going into the second day. Kyle Verreynne (10) and Wiaan Mulder (0) were unbeaten at the crease for South Africa at the end of Day 1.
Earlier, South African skipper Dean Elgar won the toss and opted to bat first and it was an almost identical start for the South African openers to that of the Durban Test, as runs came thick and fast in the opening session, with Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee dominating the Bangladeshi bowlers from the start.
In absence of their regular seamers Taskin and Shoriful, Bangladesh’s pace attack lacked experience and they once again struggled to pick up wickets at the start. Skipper Mominul Haque deployed spinners straightaway and rotated his bowlers regularly in the opening session, but Elgar and Erwee were almost untroubled from the start, except when Erwee got hit on the pads by Kahled in the third over of the day. Erwee was lucky to be given not out and, had Bangladesh reviewed the decision, he would have walked back to the pavilion.
The batters continued their good form and brought up their 50-run opening partnership, but the first South African wicket fell when Erwee perished to an outside-off delivery from Khaled. The opener, who had safely sailed through the new-ball spell, had scored 24 off 40 deliveries, but wasted another start as he attempted to drive a full and wide delivery only to edge it to the wicketkeeper.
But at the other end Elgar’s consistency with the bat continued. After playing knocks of 67 and 64 in the opening Test, he followed it up with another half-century. Elgar brought up his 22nd Test 50 in the 22nd over and later continued to pound the pacers. His new batting partner Keegan Petersen looked stable from the start as South Africa went in for lunch at 107/1.
Elgar could only add 11 runs to his score post-lunch as he walked back to the pavilion on 70 after losing his wicket to left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. Elgar edged a slightly quicker delivery off Taijul to the wicketkeeper and walked back in despair, failing once again to convert his start into a three-figure score.
Petersen shifted gears in the second session and immediately started collecting runs, smashing Ebadot for a hat-trick of boundaries and bringing up his half-century in 74 deliveries. Runs had started to flow for South Africa, but a 28-minute rain break allowed the visitors to regroup. And disciplined bowling from Bangladesh after the resumption paid off when Taijul struck, with Petersen’s wicket reducing South Africa to 184/3, an ICC report said.
Petersen’s 64 came off 124 balls before he was trapped in front as he advanced down the wicket. The umpire initially turned down the appeal as it looked to be going down leg, but DRS showed that the ball would go on to hit the leg stump.
Bavuma and new batter Ryan Rickleton made sure South Africa did not lose any more wickets as they went for tea at 199/3. To continue the momentum at the start of the final session, Bangladesh continued with their spinners.
However, Bavuma and Rickleton stood firm and survived the tricky first 30 minutes.Bavuma soon brought up his 19th Test half-century with a boundary, and the two batters completed their 50-runs partnership shortly after, putting South Africa in a strong position.
But Bangladesh wrested back some control right at the end of the opening day. First Taijul had Rickelton caught off the glove for 42, and then Khaled struck with the crucial wicket of Bavuma, sending him back for 67. The two late strikes saw South Africa close on 278/5, a strong first-day effort but not the dominant position that had looked to be moving into when Rickelton and Bavuma were in full flow.
Brief scores: South Africa 278/5 (Dean Elgar 70, Keegan Petersen 64, Temba Bavuma 67, Ryan Rickelton 42; Khaled Ahmed 2-59, Taijul Islam 3-77) vs Bangladesh