Spinners crush dismal BD as SA complete clean sweep
GQEBERHA: South Africa spinners Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer took all 10 wickets between them as the hosts crushed dismal Bangladesh by 332 runs to claim the series 2-0 following the completion of the second Test at St Georges Park on Monday.
Bangladesh resumed on the fourth morning at 27 for three chasing a venue record 413 but seemed to already have their minds on the flight home as poor shot selections allowed South Africa to skittle them out for 80 in their second innings.
Maharaj took 7-40 and Harmer 3-34 on a wicket that provided prodigious turn but were not unfamiliar conditions for sub-continent side Bangladesh, who will be desperately disappointed with their application.
The home side will be especially pleased with the series win as six of their first team regulars chose to play in the Indian Premier League and were not available.
“Playing this series with what people have called a weakened squad gives other guys opportunities at this level,” captain Dean Elgar said at the post-match presentation.
“Having the luxury of two quality spin bowlers in our squad is brilliant. We have tough challenges coming up, England (July-September) and Australia (December-January) away but if you have a lot of options you give yourself the best chance of winning.”
South Africa started the day with two substitutes in their side after opening batsman Sarel Erwee and all-rounder Wiaan Mulder tested positive for Covid-19 overnight.
The International Cricket Council allows for players to be replaced in the line-up under such conditions and Khaya Zondo was therefore handed his Test debut, which lasted all of an hour, while seamer Glenton Stuurman came in for Mulder.
Both teams agreed the tour would not be played in a bio-secure environment to allow players more freedom away from the pitch.
It was the second successive match in which the two spinners bowled unchanged through the fourth innings. It was also Maharaj’s second seven-wicket haul in successive matches after he took seven for 32 in South Africa’s 220-run win in the first Test in Durban.
Maharaj, who top-scored with 84 in South Africa’s first innings, was named player of the match and player of the series.
South Africa made light work of dismissing the tourists, though Bangladesh were their own worst enemies as they tried to hit themselves out of trouble with disastrous results.
Three wickets fell in the first half hour in what for Bangladesh was a depressingly similar pattern to the first Test when they were bowled out for 53 after starting the last day on 11 for three.
Resuming in a near-hopeless position, Bangladesh lost their fourth wicket just eight balls into the day’s play.
Mushfiqur Rahim went on a big drive against Maharaj and was smartly caught at slip by Elgar for one.
Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque did not add to his overnight score of five, top-edging an attempted sweep to midwicket.
Yasir Ali slogged the fourth ball he received from Harmer to deep midwicket and Bangladesh were 44 for six, having lost three wickets for 17 runs in 29 balls since the start of play.
Liton Das batted brightly, scoring 27 and sharing a stand of 25 with Mehidy Hasan before leaping down the wicket against Maharaj to be stumped by Kyle Verreynne.
The last three wickets fell in the space of seven balls.
“I’m a bit disappointed but we have to move forward,” Mominul said.
“We could not make partnerships with the bat or ball. We can’t give any excuses about the conditions.
“We have to play according to our process and in this series we lost our process.”
SOUTH AFRICA (1st Innings) 453
BANGLADESH (1st Innings) 217
SOUTH AFRICA (2nd Innings) 176-6 decl
BANGLADESH (2nd Innings, overnight 27-3):
Tamim Iqbal c Mulder b Harmer 13 Mahmudul Hasan c Mulder b Maharaj 0 Najmul Hossain lbw b Maharaj 7 Mominul Haque c Rickelton b Maharaj 5 Mushfiqur Rahim c Elgar b Maharaj 1 Liton Das st Verreynne b Maharaj 27 Yasir Ali c Williams b Harmer 0 Mehidy Hasan c Verreynne b Maharaj 20 Taijul Islam lbw b Harmer 0 Khaled Ahmed lbw b Maharaj 0 Ebadot Hossain not out 0 EXTRAS (B-6, NB-1) 7 TOTAL (all out, 23.3 overs) 80 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Mahmudul), 2-11 (Najmul), 3-27 (Tamim), 4-33 (Mushfiqur), 5-36 (Mominul), 6-44 (Yasir), 7-69 (Liton), 8-80 (Mehidy), 9-80 (Khaled) BOWLING: Maharaj 12-3-40-7 (1nb), Harmer 11.3-3-34-3
Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2022