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Late strikes by Maharaj hurt Bangladesh in 274-run chase

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DURBAN: Bangladesh lost three quick wickets and were struggling at 11-3 in pursuit of a victory target of 274 against South Africa after giving theirselves a sight of victory in the first Test and another piece of history on Sunday.

Bangladesh took nine wickets for 88 runs in the last two sessions of the fourth day to bowl South Africa out for 204 in their second innings when it looked like the home team was about to build an unassailable lead.

But just as South Africa lost quick wickets to change the complexion of the match and raise Bangladesh’s hopes of a first Test win over the Proteas, so the Bangladesh batsmen slumped at the start of their chase to see it see-saw back in the home team’s favor.

Openers Shadman Islam (0) and Mahmudul Hasan Joy (4) and captain Mominul Haque (2) were already out for Bangladesh having hardly helped in the chase. South Africa turned to their spin bowlers and not their pace men to open the bowling at the end of the day and it worked perfectly.

Keshav Maharaj collected 2-7 and Simon Harmer 1-4, and Bangladesh were in deep trouble after facing just six overs before bad light forced the umpires to call stumps.

South Africa were 116-1 in their second innings soon after lunch, 185 runs ahead and seemingly in position to build a huge advantage at Kingsmead and take the game away from Bangladesh.

South African captain Dean Elgar, who made 67 in the first innings, was dropped in the slips twice, on 34 off Mehidy Hasan and on 43 off Ebadot.

But pace bowler Taskin Ahmed forced out Elgar lbw for 64 for the crucial breakthrough and Bangladesh’s other bowlers took that cue to run through the South Africans and keep the Test alive.

Bangladesh also later made up for the errors with outstanding catches by Yasir Ali at slip and Shadman at silly mid-off, while substitute Nurul Hasan pulled off a direct hit run-out of Harmer with a throw from the cover boundary.

Seamer Ebadot Hossain and spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz clai­med three wickets each as South Africa went from that position of strength at 116-1 to 204 all out.

The victory target of 274 meant Bangladesh had a realistic chance to win the opening Test and follow up on their historic one-day series result last month, when they won a series in South Africa for the first time.

But Bangladesh’s maiden Test win over South Africa is in the balance.

Offspinner Harmer had Shadman caught at slip in the second over of the innings and left-arm spinner Maharaj sent Mahmudul and Mominul packing in the fifth over.


SOUTH AFRICA (first Innings): 367

BANGLADESHl: (first Innings): 298

SOUTH AFRICA (second Innings, overnight 6-0):

S. Erwee lbw b Ebadot Hossain 8

D. Elgar lbw b Taskin Ahmed 64

K. Petersen c Mahmudul b Mehidy 36

T. Bavuma c Yasir Ali b Ebadot Hossain 4

R. Rickelton not out 39

K. Verreynne c Shadman Islam b Medhidy 6

W. Mulder c Yasir Ali b Mehidy Hasan 11

K. Maharaj lbw b Taskin Ahmed 5

S. Harmer run out (sub – Nurul Hasan) 11

L. Williams run out (Shadman Islam) 0

D. Olivier lbw b Ebadot Hossain 0

EXTRAS (B-12, LB-7, W-1) 20

TOTAL (74 overs) 204

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-48 (Erwee), 2-116 (Elgar), 3-126 (Petersen), 4-126 (Bavuma), 5-148 (Verreynne), 6-168 (Mulder), 7-183 (Maharaj), 8-202 (Harmer), 9-204 (Williams), 10-204 (Olivier)

BOWLING: Khaled Ahmed 13-1-33-0, Mehidy Hasan 35-6-85-3, Najmul Hossain 1-0-3-0, Ebadot Hossain 13-1-40-3 (1w), Mominul Haque 1-1-0-0, Taskin Ahmed 11-1-24-2

BANGLADESH (second Innings):

Mahmudul Hasan b Maharaj 4

Shadman Islam c Petersen b Harmer 0

Najmul Hossain not out 5

Mominul Haque lbw b Maharaj 2

Mushfiqur Rahim not out 0


TOTAL (for three wkts, 6 overs) 11

STILL TO BAT: Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-4 (Shadman), 2-6 (Mahmudul), 3-8 (Mominul)

BOWLING (to-date): Maharaj 3-0-7-2, Harmer 3-1-4-1.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2022

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