Elgar, Bavuma give South Africa early edge over Bangladesh

Published April 1, 2022
South Africa's Kyle Verreynne (R) plays a shot during the first day of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and Bangladesh at the Kingsmead stadium in Durban on March 31. — AFP
South Africa's Kyle Verreynne (R) plays a shot during the first day of the first Test cricket match between South Africa and Bangladesh at the Kingsmead stadium in Durban on March 31. — AFP

DURBAN: Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma hit half-centuries to give South Africa a slight edge on the first day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Kingsmead on Thursday.

South Africa were 233 for four when bad light stopped play after being sent in to bat.

South Africa had controlled the first session and captain Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee put on a 113-run opening stand before they fell in quick succession after lunch. Mehidy Hasan Miraz pulled off a brilliant run out of Keegan Petersen in Bangladesh’s fight back in the middle of the day.

But Bavuma buckled down after tea for his 18th test half-century. He was supported by Kyle Verreynne (27 not out) and their unbroken 53-run stand took South Africa to stumps, although only 76.5 overs had been bowled on the opening day when the umpires decided the light wasn’t good enough to keep playing in Durban.

Bangladesh is aiming to follow up on their groundbreaking victory in the one-day international series last week, which was the first time they had won a series of any kind in South Africa. The tourists’ chances might also be aided by the fact that South Africa is missing a number of their top players to the IPL.

The Proteas are without batsmen Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen, pace bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen, and all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, who all opted to play in the IPL instead of the two-test series against Bangladesh.

South Africa were solid at the start to go to lunch on 95-0 as Bangladesh’s bowlers initially struggled to find their range after putting the home team in to bat. Elgar led the way after clipping the first delivery of the day for four to set the tone for that first session. He eventually hit 11 fours in his 67 off 101 balls.

But the tourists came back strongly, taking three wickets between lunch and tea and keeping the run rate down. Miraz was central to that effort by bowling Erwee for 41 and then producing an excellent piece of fielding to get rid of Petersen for 19. Miraz made a diving stop with one hand and then released a throw almost in the same movement to run Petersen out with a direct hit.

Ryan Rickelton made 21 on his test debut but mishit a pull shot off Ebadot Hossain after looking good with four boundaries. He hit a reverse sweep for four for his first runs in test cricket.

Bavuma took control but will be the subject of yet more focus on the second day having converted just one of his half-centuries into a century in eight years of playing tests.

An easy-paced pitch offered minimal help to the bowlers and Elgar was the only victim of a ball which behaved unpredictably, gloving a catch to wicketkeeper Liton Das off a Khaled Ahmed delivery which lifted sharply off a good length.

The start was delayed by 35 minutes after sightscreen malfunctions at both ends, with ground staff struggling to cover both screens with white cloth. The umpires decided to move back the playing times by half an hour but it was not possible to complete a full day’s play at South Africa’s most easterly Test ground where bad light is often a problem.

Scoreboard

SOUTH AFRICA

D. Elgar c Liton Das b Khaled Ahmed 67 S. Erwee b Mehidy Hasan 41 K. Petersen run out (Mehidy Hasan) 19 T. Bavuma not out 5 R. Rickelton c Mominul b Ebadot 21 K. Verreynne not out 27 EXTRAS (B-2, LB-1, NB-2) 5 TOTAL (for four wickets, 76.5 overs) 233 STILL TO BAT: W. Mulder, K. Maharaj, S. Harmer, L. Williams, D. Olivier FALL OF WICKETS: 1-113 (Elgar), 2-117 (Erwee), 3-146 (Petersen), 4-180 (Rickelton) BOWLING: Taskin 18-3-58-0 (1nb), Ebadot 17-6-58-1, Khaled 12.5-0-49-1 (1nb), Mehidy 26-4-57-1, Mominul 3-0-8-0

BANGLADESH: Mominul Haque, Shadman Ismail, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2022

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