South Africa ended Day 2 of their opening Test against Bangladesh on a strong note with the visitors in a spot of bother at 98/4, still trailing by 269. Off-spinner Simon Harmer picked all the four wickets.
The off-spinner, who came on to bowl in the 9th over, picked up his first wicket on his return to Test cricket when he castled Shadman Islam. The opener paid the price for playing back. After the Tea break, Najmul Shanto, the number three batter, danced down the deck to crack sixes and also essayed the drive to put some pressure back on the spin duo of Keshav Maharaj and Harmer.
Just when it seemed like Bangladesh would end the day’s play one down, Harmer bowled a peach to clean up Shanto with the one that drifted and then turned away to rattle the off-pole. Harmer continued to run through Bangladesh as Keegan Petersen pouched a sharp catch at silly point to send Mominul Haque back to the hut. Harmer also won an appeal for a strangle down leg against Mushfiqur Rahim. Just that the experienced batter got it overturned via the review system.
Unfortunately for Bangladesh, Rahim didn’t last long as the veteran cricketer once again tried to nudge it around the corner while facing Harmer from round the wicket but could only glove it to the ‘keeper. This time around, the on-field decision was not out but Harmer persuaded his captain to opt for the review and it turned out to be a successful one. Hasan Joy, who batted with patience and discipline, remained unbeaten on 44 off 141 at stumps. He will resume the innings tomorrow with the nightwatchman Taskin Ahmed.
Temba Bavuma also played a key role in South Africa finding themselves in a position of strength at stumps. The number three batter had started the day on a confident note against the second new ball, with a glance off Khaled Ahmed through fine leg. However, Khaled trapped Bavuma’s batting partner – Kyle Verreynne – in front with the wicketkeeper-batter getting stuck in the crease. The very next ball, the pace bowler dislodged Wiaan Mulder, with the all-rounder edging one to the fielder stationed at gully.
Bangladesh also could have dismissed Bavuma in the 92nd over when Ebadot forced him to edge one to Yasir Ali at second slip but the chance was put down. Eventually, Mehidy cleaned up Bavuma seven short of what would have been a well deserved hundred. Ebadot followed it up by snuffing out Maharaj, with the lower order batter being castled by a nip-backer.
Harmer then showcased his ability with the bat and remained undefeated on 38. Lizaad Williams and Duanne Olivier, batting at 10 and 11, also cracked a few shots, to help the home side post a healthy total of 367. On the other hand, Khaled bagged a four-for.
Brief Scores: South Africa 367 (Temba Bavuma 93; Khaled Ahmed 3-80) lead Bangladesh 98/4 (Simon Harmer 4-42) by 269 runs