Hashim Amla says South Africa were confident of getting a win in the first Test against Bangladesh, especially on a deteriorating pitch, before rain washed our the final two days.
The Proteas were set to resume on 61-0 on Friday, with Stiaan van Zyl (33) and Dean Elgar (28) still at the crease. The visitors were still 17 runs behind Bangladesh’s first innings total of 326, which is their highest ever Test score against South Africa.
‘Going into the fourth day we had a slight advantage,’ Amla said. ‘Certainly with Bangladesh set to bat on the last day it would have been a really good Test match.
‘If we had batted well and gotten a lead of around 250 I think it would have been a tough challenge for Bangladesh to chase on the last day. You don’t have control of the rain but it was set up to be a good match.’
Amla believes the squad will take confidence from the way they fought back following a disappointing collapse with the bat, and the resilience with the ball in placid conditions.
‘The openers batted really well and laid a good foundation for us, and obviously Temba [Bavuma] getting a good 50 as well,’ he said.
‘Faf [Du Plessis] was solid; there were contributions despite nobody getting a big score so it’s a bit of confidence that guys can take into the next Test.
‘On the bowling front, I thought our seamers tried exceptionally hard. The wicket was probably the best to bat on when Bangladesh were batting and to their credit they batted really well. Our seamers tried hard and I think they put in a good showing while Simon Harmer, who picked up a three-for, is turning out to be a good spinner for us.’
While rain remains an uncontrollable force of nature, Amla was pragmatic in his views on how to handle the setback and the frustrations.
‘It goes without saying, we’ve come all the way from South Africa so you want to be playing cricket,’ he said.
‘With these type of things you have no control so there is no use getting frustrated by the rain. The game was poised in our favour, I feel, but there is nothing we can do about it. Whether we have rain or not is immaterial for me, what counts is what we do when we are given the opportunity to play.’
The Proteas travel to Dhaka on Sunday for the second Test starting at the Sher-e- Bangla National Stadium on Thursday.