Elgar, Petersen, Bavuma hit fifties but Bangladesh hit back with late wickets

Stumps South Africa 278 for five (Elgar 70, Bavuma 67, Petersen 64, Taijul 3-77, Khaled 2-59) vs Bangladesh

Half-centuries from Dean ElgarTemba Bavuma and Keegan Petersen kept South Africa’s scorecard ticking for most of the first day of the Gqeberha Test. But Bangladesh struck late in the day to keep the hosts at 278 for 5 at stumps, as honours were shared.

Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, who was brought in to replace the injured Taskin Ahmed, was the best bowler of the day with three wickets, while Khaled Ahmed picked up two. Both of them picked up one wicket each in the last few minutes of play, which should give Bangladesh a boost going into the second day.

Taijul broke the crucial 83-run fourth-wicket partnership between Bavuma and Ryan Rickelton, the biggest stand of the day. He had Rickelton caught at slip by Yasir ali after the batter had gloved the ball in his attempt at a reverse-sweep. Rickelton looked distraught to miss out on his maiden Test fifty, as he fell on 42.

Shortly after the new ball was taken, Khaled removed Bavuma when he edged the ball as it bounced more than expected, and Najmul Hossain Shanto completed the catch at first slip. Bavuma once again failed to build on a good start, falling for 67 – his 19th Test fifty, to go with just one century – as he was undone by a great delivery.

Earlier, South Africa got off to another good start by hurrying to 107 for 1 at lunch after Mehidy Hasan Miraz became the first spinner in 87 years to open the bowling in the first innings in South Africa

Sarel Erwee was the only wicket to fall in the first session when he was dismissed by Khaled’s awaygoing delivery in the 12th over. Erwee, who made 24, survived a close call in the third over of the morning when Khaled appealed for lbw. The umpire turned it down, and Mominul Haque was late at taking the review; replays showed red on all three counts.

Elgar, meanwhile, found the boundaries with ease, pulling and driving comfortably. He reached his half-century off 66 balls, his third fifty in the Test series.

South Africa started well after the lunch break, too, with Elgar and Petersen adding 82 runs for the second wicket. But the captain fell to a Taijul delivery that slid through, after the bowler had spent much of the day trying to draw him on to the front foot.

A 27-minute rain break further slowed down the side’s scoring rate after that, before Petersen became Taijul’s second victim after having looked in good touch before the delay. Petersen made 64 before dancing down the track, missing the ball, and being struck on his pad. The umpire had denied the appeal as it looked to be going down leg, but replays showed that the ball would go on to hit leg stump.

Bangladesh then broke the Rickelton-Bavuma partnership, which had kept South Africa going for 31 overs, to come back in the contest.

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