• Part-time spinners put SA on top

    July 30, 2015
    Dale Steyn

    Dean Elgar and JP Duminy took a wicket each in the final session on day one to give South Africa the edge in the second Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur on Thursday.

    Dale Steyn (3-30) and Morne Morkel also chipped in to limit Bangladesh to 246-8 at stumps after they resumed after tea on 154-3.

    The bowling attack also managed to dry up the runs and break threatening partnerships as they had a good day on an uneven surface after Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and decided to bat.

    Rahim and Mahmudullah (35) started the final session batting together and compiled a 94-run partnership before Steyn had the latter caught at mid-wicket to give South Africa some reprieve.

    Elgar had Rahim (65) caught by Dane Vilas just as he and Shakib Al Hasan started to get going with a partnership of 35 runs.

    Rahim asked for a review, seemingly not convinced that he had nicked the ball. The footage and snicko disagreed and Rahim, shaking his head, had to go.

    The scene was set for some absorbing cricket and Duminy, who finished on 3-27, struck a crucial blow as Elgar took the catch.

    Duminy bowled very little in the first Test, but his contributions with the ball has been invaluable so far and together with Elgar, who also looks like a decent part-timer, they provide Hashim Amla with enough alternatives.

    Amla declined to take the new ball when it became available and continued with the part-time spinners after Simon Harmer had a disappointing day with the ball.

    At 220-6 the game was still evenly poised, but Morkel picked up his first wicket to remove Al Hasan for 35 before Steyn swung the day undoubtedly in his team’s favour by bowling Mohammad Shahid for one.

    Earlier Duminy had struck in consecutive overs before tea, first removing Mominul Haque for 40, with new wicketkeeper Dane Vilas taking a good catch behind the stumps.

    Imrul Kayes (30) was next, getting trapped in the crease with lazy feet and given lbw as Bangladesh stalled at 86-3.

    Steyn bowled well throughout the day and again after lunch, focusing on the in-swinger to the right-handers rather than the out-swinger.

    With some reverse swing going around, he got an lbw decision against Mahmudullah, but the batsman immediately had the decision reviewed and an inside edge on to the pads was revealed.

    One of Steyn’s swinging deliveries also clipped the top of off-stump, but the bails remained unmoved. He thought it was an inside edge to the keeper, but the ball had fallen short. Not that it mattered.

    South Africa lost a review after an unsuccessful lbw shout by Morne Morkel was shown to have missed the wickets comfortably.

    Bangladesh went to lunch on 75-1 after recovering from Steyn’s early strike which took his Test tally to 400 wickets.

    Tamim Iqbal was Steyn’s 400th Test victim as the fast bowler joined Shaun Pollock as only the second South African to achieve the milestone.

    Hashim Amla took the catch at first slip off the third ball of Steyn’s third over as he became the joint second-fastest bowler, in terms of Tests played, to reach 400 Test wickets. He joins New Zealander Richard Hadlee, who also required just 80 Test matches to take 400.

    But he is the fastest of them all in terms of balls bowled, taking just 16 634 compared to Hadlee’s 20 ooo-plus; at a strike rate of 41.61 against Hadlee’s 50.75 and Glenn McGrath’s 51.40

    Muttiah Muralitharan remains the fastest bowler to get there in 72 Tests. Steyn’s next target will be Pollock’s tally of 421 wickets.

    It was supposed to happen in the first Test against the Tigers, but rain ruined those plans as the last two days in Chittagong were washed out.

    On Thursday, Bangladesh won the toss and unsurprisingly decided to bat. Steyn was on the money from the get-go and would have celebrated the milestone earlier had Dean Elgar not dropped a chance in the slips.

    Steyn didn’t have to wait long though, as Iqbal (6) edged one straight to Amla, who took it comfortably to start celebrations.

    Full scorecard.

    Picture: AFP



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