Recent Match Report – South Africa vs Bangladesh 1st Test 2021/22


Lizaad Williams has picked up the only wicket on the day, that of Taskin Ahmed

Lunch Bangladesh 183 for 5 (Mahmudul 80*, Litton 41*) trail South Africa 367 by 184 runs

Mahmudul Hasan Joy scored his second half-century, in just his third Test, and shared in an unbroken 81-run stand with Litton Das for the sixth wicket as Bangladesh avoided the follow-on on the third morning of the Durban Test. Mahmudul has recorded his highest Test score and impressed with an enterprising display of run-scoring all around the ground and glimpses of attacking intent against a fielding effort that looked to force Bangladesh to play defensively.
The predicted rain was nowhere to be seen and despite the floodlights being on for the morning session, the clouds cleared and the sun made a brief appearance, which could have an impact in pitch deterioration as the match progresses. Despite the success of their spinners overnight, South Africa started the morning with Lizaad Williams and Duanne Olivier and only introduced Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer after 50 minutes of play, but they went on to bowl in tandem for the rest of the session.

Williams enjoyed the only success of the morning when he removed nightwatchman Taskin Ahmed, in the third over of the day. Taskin punched a short-of-a-length delivery to gully, where Wiaan Mulder juggled the chance but held on to give Williams his first Test wicket. While Williams bowled at good pace – a shave under 140kph – Olivier’s innocuous presence in this match continued. He was neither quick nor threatening and defaulted back to shorter lengths which Litton was only too happy to receive. He brought out the cut and the pull before offering a chance. Litton was on 16 when Williams found his outside edge and Dean Elgar was offered a regulation catch at first slip. Elgar got both hands to it but the ball bobbled out.

That was the first of four missed opportunities for South Africa, three of which denied Harmer the wicket that would have given him a five-for. Mahmudul, on 64, was dropped at short-leg by Sarel Erwee and Litton was given out caught behind on 29, reviewed immediately, and Ultra Edge showed a flat line.

Mahmudul was particularly severe on Harmer, who bowled quicker and fuller than yesterday. Mahmudul’s fifty came up off 170 balls, when he drove Harmer straight down the ground, and he went on to dance down the track and launch him over wide long-on. Litton was also positive in his approach to Harmer and it nearly cost him when he appeared to inside-edge a Harmer delivery to Erwee at short-leg and South Africa celebrated only to see an unmoved Marais Erasmus. They reviewed, unsuccessfully, to lose their second review of the innings.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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