Port Elizabeth, April 8: Good half-centuries from captain Dean Elgar (70), Keegan Petersen (64) and Temba Bavuma (67) helped South Africa to 278/5 on 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 fast terrain towards the end of the day, making sure tourists have something to work with on day two. Kyle Verreynne (10) and Wiaan Mulder (0) were unbeaten in the South African crease at the end of Day 1.
Previously, South African skipper Dean Elgar won the toss and opted to bat first and it was an almost identical start to the first South African matches as the Durban test, as the runs were thick and fast in the opening session, with Dean Elgar and Sarel. Erwee dominating the Bangladeshi bowlers early on.
In the absence of their regular closers Taskin and Shoriful, Bangladesh’s pace attack was inexperienced and once again struggled to pick up wickets early on. Captain Mominul Haque deployed the spinners immediately and rotated them regularly in the opening session, but Elgar and Erwee had almost no trouble from the start, except when Kahled hit Erwee on the pads in the third over of the day. Erwee was lucky that he was not given and if Bangladesh had reviewed the decision, he would have returned to the ward.
The batsmen continued their good form and brought out their opening partnership of 50 runs, but the South African first wicket fell when Erwee died due to an outside delivery from Khaled. The starter, who had safely navigated through the new-ball spell, had made 24 of 40 deliveries, but wasted another start when he attempted a full, wide delivery just to get to the keeper.
But at the other end, Elgar’s consistency with the bat continued. After playing shots of 67 and 64 in the opening Test, he followed up with another half century. Elgar brought out his 22 50 test in the 22nd and then continued to beat pacers. His new batting partner, Keegan Petersen, seemed stable from the start as South Africa walked into lunch at 107/1.
Elgar was only able to add 11 runs to his post-lunch score as he walked back to the pavilion at 70 after losing his wicket to left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. Elgar overcame a slightly faster delivery from Taijul to the keeper and walked back in desperation, once again failing to turn his start into a triple-figure score.
Petersen switched gears in the second session and immediately began collecting runs, crushing Ebadot for a bounds hat-trick and showing off his half-century in 74 deliveries. The racing had started to flow for South Africa, but a 28-minute rain break allowed the visitors to regroup. And Bangladesh’s disciplined bowling after the restart paid off when Taijul struck, with Petersen’s wicket reducing South Africa to 184/3, according to an ICC report.
Petersen’s 64 came off 124 balls before getting caught up front as he advanced down the wicket. Initially, the referee rejected the appeal because it looked like he was going down, but DRS showed that the ball would hit the stump of his leg.
Bavuma and new batsman Ryan Rickleton made sure South Africa lost no more wickets when they went to 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 their ground and survived the difficult first 30 minutes. Bavuma soon brought out his 19th Test half-century with a cap, and the two batsmen completed their 50-run partnership soon after, putting South Africa in a strong position.
But Bangladesh regained some control just at the end of the opening day. First, Taijul had Rickelton catch the glove for 42, and then Khaled struck with the crucial Bavuma wicket, sending him back for 67. The two late strikes saw South Africa close at 278/5, a strong first-day effort but not the dominant position he seemed to be closing in on when Rickelton and Bavuma were in full swing.
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