South Africa v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Day 4, Review: Hosts in firm control to draw first blood

South Africa v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Day 4, Review: Hosts in firm control to draw first blood

Bangladesh need 375 more runs to win with 7 wickets in hand.

Morne Morkel
Morne Morkel celebrates a wicket with his teammates. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Host South Africa are in line to draw first blood in the ongoing two-match Test series against Bangladesh. They scalped three quick wickets in the fag end of the penultimate day to push the visitors on the back foot. At 49/3 and 375 more runs needed for the win, the Bangla tigers surely know they have an uphill task to do on the final day of the game.

Earlier in the match, a marathon knock of 199 from Dean Elgar and timely 137 from Hashim Amla had propelled South Africa to a total of 496/3 in the first innings. Bangladesh, riding on fifties from Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah, did exceedingly well to score 320 in their first innings. However, conceding a first innings lead of 176 was never going to help their cause.

Bavuma, Du Plessis dictate terms

By the end of the third day, the Bangladeshi side managed to scalp two Proteas wickets. Amidst this backdrop, Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma resumed the South African innings on the fourth day. While Mustafizur sent Hashim back for 28 soon, Bavuma found ideal support from skipper Faf du Plessis from the other end.

Both Bavuma and du Plessis frustrated the opposition big time to keep the scorecard ticking. Both batsmen reached their respective fifties. Mominul accounted for both dismissals in quick succession as the batsmen tried to up the ante towards the end. Bavuma scored a stable 71 off 107 deliveries with 7 fours to his name.

Meanwhile, skipper Du Plessis top scored in the innings with 81 off 101 deliveries. His knock was embellished with 6 fours and a six. South Africa declared their second innings soon after the dismissal of the two set batsmen.

They declared at 247/6 and set a mammoth target of 423 for the Bangladesh side in the final innings. Mominul was the pick of the bowlers with 3/27 to his name. The pitch did not seem to deteriorate much and hence the visitors thought they could be in the game with a chance.

Morkel rattles the top order

However, with the way South African pacers rattled the Bangladeshi top order, the match seems to be heading away from the visitors’ hands. Morne Morkel cleaned up Tamim Iqbal for a duck in the very first over of the final innings of the Test. A delivery later, he caught Mominul Haque plumb in front of the stumps on a duck as well.

At 0/2 at the end of the first over, Bangladesh stared at the gun barrel with naked eyes. Another wicket, that of opener Imrul Kayes (32), fell towards the end of the day as Kayes edged one to Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim remained unbeaten on 16 at the end of the day.

Brief Scores:

South Africa: 496 for 3 dec and 54 for 2 (Hashim Amla 17*, Temba Bavuma 3*)

Bangladesh: 320 (Mominul Haque 77, Mahmudullah 66; Keshav Maharaj 3/92)

South Africa: 247 for 6 decl (Du Plessis 81, Bavuma 71, Mominul 3/27, Mustafizur 2/30)

Bangladesh: 49 for 3 (Imrul 32, Morkel 2/19)