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Ken Borland


Elgar & Bavuma fifties bookend highly satisfactory day for SA

Posted on April 28, 2022 by Ken

Vice-captain Temba Bavuma’s unbeaten half-century, his 18th coming up in his 50th Test, and captain Dean Elgar’s brisk 67, bookended a highly satisfactory day for South Africa as they reached 233/4 at stumps on the first day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Kingsmead on Thursday.

It was an extremely solid top-order display by the Proteas, especially since they had been sent in to bat, Bangladesh being swayed by a steamy morning that should have aided swing and a greenish tinge to the pitch.

The facts are, though, that Bangladesh bowled inconsistently through the day and South Africa suffered some soft dismissals.

The day began badly for the hosts when the start of play was delayed for 33 minutes by a malfunctioning sightscreen advertising board. But once Taskin Ahmed finally delivered the opening ball – a filthy leg-side full toss that was clipped away for four by Elgar – it was smooth sailing for the Proteas.

Elgar and Sarel Erwee took South Africa to 95/0 at lunch, but both fell soon afterwards, in the eighth and ninth overs after the break. Khaled Ahmed delivered a rearing delivery that found Elgar’s glove, wicketkeeper Liton Das snatching up the chance with a full-length dive. South Africa’s captain was at his pugnacious best, needing just 60 balls for his fifty and in all he hit 11 fours.

Erwee had worked hard for his solid 41, but then dragged a full and wide delivery from spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz into his stumps in the next over.

Keegan Petersen (19) was then run out by a spectacular piece of fielding by Mehidy, who dived full-length at point, got the ball in his hand and threw down the stumps while half standing up. It harkened back to the days of Jonty Rhodes at Kingsmead.

Debutant Ryan Rickelton moved boldly to 21, his first Test runs coming from a reverse-sweep for four off Mehidy, but he then mistimed a pull shot off fast bowler Ebadot Hossain and looped a catch to mid-on.

South Africa’s innings was at a crossroads on 180/4 half-an-hour after tea. But Bavuma, who had played with some glamour in the early part of his innings, really knuckled down and made sure he was there at the end of the day.

Bavuma reached the close on 53 not out, having occupied the crease for more than three hours and faced 119 deliveries, with six fours.

Kyle Verreynne (27*) showed good composure to bat through to stumps, which came at 5.18pm due to bad light, adding 53 with Bavuma to make it South Africa’s day.

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