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Ken Borland

When your opposition is 101-5 replying to 367 & your final lead is whittled down to 75, there is bound to be disappointment

Posted on May 03, 2022 by Ken

When you post 367 in your first innings and then reduce the opposition to 101 for five and your spinners have been as dominant as South Africa’s were, there is bound to be some disappointment when your lead is whittled down to just 75 by the end of the day, but that’s what happened to the Proteas on the third day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Kingsmead on Saturday.

Thanks to the epic defiance of opening batsman Mahmudul Hasan Joy, who was last man out for 137 made in 442 minutes off 326 balls, Bangladesh made it all the way to 298 all out.

It meant South Africa still emerged with a handy lead of 69, which openers Sarel Erwee and Dean Elgar extended to 75 as they reached six without loss in the four overs of their second innings that were possible before bad light and rain stopped play at 4.10pm.

But it could have been so much more with better bowling and catching. Most crucially, Liton Das was dropped on 16, a straightforward chance to Dean Elgar at first slip off Lizaad Williams, and he went on to score 41 and share an 82-run partnership with Joy that lifted Bangladesh from 101 for five to 183 for six.

There were three other half-chances that went down too through the innings, and South Africa, who were able to take the second new ball in the second over after lunch with Bangladesh on 186 for six, will be disappointed by how Williams and Duanne Olivier lost the lengths that they had been bowling earlier.

Williams had bowled Liton in the 79th over with a beautiful delivery with the old ball that nipped back sharply, but Joy and Yasir Ali were flourishing against the new ball, having added 33 when Yasir fell for 22 to a car-crash of a run out.

But Bangladesh’s next partnership between Joy and Mehidy Hasan Miraz was smoothly underway as they added 51 for the eighth wicket before Wiaan Mulder had Mehidy caught at slip for 29.

Joy then accelerated, quickly cutting the deficit from exactly 100 to 69 as he struck 27 runs off his next 17 deliveries with five fours and a six.

But the promising Williams ended his fun by having him caught at slip, to finish with three for 54 in 18.5 overs in his debut Test.

Simon Harmer failed to add to his wicket-tally of the previous day, finishing with four for 103 in 40 overs as the Bangladesh batsmen showed much more intent against him and Keshav Maharaj on Saturday.

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