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Ken Borland


SA top-order enjoy affable pitch but generous in giving wickets away

Posted on May 09, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s top-order enjoyed themselves on a greenish St George’s Park pitch that turned out to be pretty affable, but they were generous in giving away their wickets when well-set as they ended the first day of the second Test against Bangladesh on Friday on 278 for five.

Even under heavily overcast skies, the new ball did a bit but nothing untoward and the Bangladesh spinners had to rely on changes in pace and flight rather than turn to pose a threat. So although it was a most solid display of batting by the Proteas, with three batsmen recording half-centuries and another making 42, they will be disappointed that no-one kicked on to a really big score.

Captain Dean Elgar won the toss and elected to bat, and he flourished in the morning session as he and Sarel Erwee (24) put on 52 for the first wicket, and Elgar and Keegan Petersen then added another 81 for the second wicket either side of lunch.

Elgar had reached a fluent 70 off just 89 deliveries, his third successive half-century continuing his fine run of form, when he presented a thin edge to wicketkeeper Liton Das off left-arm spinner Taijul Islam’s impressive arm-ball, but Petersen and Temba Bavuma initially found the going easy as they added another 51 for the third wicket.

Bangladesh’s bowling tightened up considerably though after a 26-minute rain delay and they were rewarded with the wicket of Petersen for a bright, stroke-filled 64, DRS showing he was lbw to Taijul despite coming down the pitch as he missed a leg-side flick.

South Africa took tea on 199 for three and Bavuma and Ryan Rickelton were able to entrench themselves for most of the last session, adding 83 for the fourth wicket.

Rickelton continued to impress as he improved on his career-best of 39 not out in his debut Test last week, delicately treading the fine line between his natural stroke-playing intent and responsibility towards the team cause. He did eventually fall to a reverse-sweep on 42, but it was a stroke he had played well previously. But this time he just played too early at Taijul, the ball coming off his glove and looping to slip.

Bavuma had looked in control as he spent three-and-a-half hours at the crease, scoring 67, but the new ball winkled him out. The second over with the change of ball saw Khaled Ahmed produce a fine lifting delivery just outside off-stump, Bavuma defended off the back foot but edged low to first slip, where Nazmul Hossain Shanto scooped up an excellent catch.

Kyle Verreynne (10*) and Wiaan Mulder (0*) then managed to stay at the crease for the last 24 minutes before stumps.

Taijul justified his recall to the team as he took three for 77 in 32 overs and the hardworking Khaled claimed two for 59 in 20 overs.

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