Mahmudul-Liton stand keeps South Africa at bay

Mahmudul Hasan Joy (80*) registered his second fifty-plus score in an overseas Test and put on a good stand with Liton Das to keep the South African bowlers at bay in the first session on Day 2 of the opening Test in Durban. Bangladesh managed 85 runs off 30 overs in the session, with 82 of those coming in the unbroken partnership between Mahmudul and Liton, as they went into Lunch at 183/5, still trailing by 184.

Bangladesh lost Taskin Ahmed early on the second day, with the night-watchman falling shortly after the visitors crossed the 100-run mark. Wiaan Mulder picked up the catch at gully on second attempt to give Lizaad Williams his maiden Test wicket. After facing six dots, Liton got into the act with a pull and a cut for two fours off Duanne Olivier. He also had a lucky break when he was on 16 as Dean Elgar put down a simple catch at first slip to deny Williams a wicket.

The South African spinners found some assistance but Mahmudul led a counter-attack in the first hour, and was assisted by Liton, as they did not allow Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj to settle down. Mahmudul struck a four and a six off Harmer in one over, showcasing good footwork, while Liton cut a Maharaj delivery behind square for his first four against spin.

Liton also whipped a Harmer delivery off the back foot through midwicket for another four as Bangladesh reached 150 in the 64th over. It was slow going for the next 10 overs as the spinners kept the Bangladesh batters in check, with only 16 runs coming in that period. Mahmudul also got a reprieve as Sarel Erwee put down a tough chance at short leg off Harmer’s bowling while Liton, who was given out LBW off the same bowler, used the DRS to reverse the onfield decision.

The sixth wicket pair scored quick runs leading into the break, with Mahmudul scoring a couple of boundaries in a Maharaj over while Liton came down the track to Harmer for a four through midwicket. South Africa, meanwhile, were rueing another chance that went down as Mulder put down a difficult one at leg slip to give Liton his second reprieve. South Africa also lost their second review when they went upstairs for a bat-pad catch, with Harmer again failing to dislodge Liton, who ended the session nine away from a half-century.

Brief scores: South Africa 367 lead Bangladesh 183/5 (Mahmudul Hasan Joy 80*, Liton Das 41*; Simon Harmer 4-76) by 184 runs.

Updated: April 3, 2022 — 10:31 am

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