Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis moved smoothly to their hundreds when play started after a 90-minute rain delay on day two in Bloemfontein.
Once again the batsmen were untroubled as Amla took 14 balls to move from 89 overnight to his hundred. Faf du Plessis, on 62 off 92 balls at close of play, picked up his seventh Test hundred with a four, having faced a total of 147 balls; 55 of them in the morning session. Together they took the Proteas through 500 runs, coming at a rate of 4.62 an over.
They went into lunch after a shortened session on 530-3, with Amla on 132 and Du Plessis on 120.
The nature of the game was best summed up by a comment from Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who said after the first day’s play, when the Proteas had scored 423-3 at 4.7 an over: ‘I am not able to motivate my players or guide my bowlers.’
The bowlers never looked threatening on day two, and the one moment of excitement came when Du Plessis produced a powerful straight drive which the batsmen assumed would reach the boundary. The ball hit a pile of sawdust and stopped, while the two meandered down the wicket. They were alerted to the danger just as the ball came in for what would have been a ridiculous run-out.
Another moment came when Amla, on 127, was surprised by a delivery from Subashis Roy which leapt up and he edged over the vacant slips area. That would have been of interest to the watching Proteas bowlers.
At this rate of scoring, it will take just another 15 overs for them to go through the 600-run mark, a position from which they are unlikely to lose. The ruthless scenario would be to declare as soon as possible and unleash the pace bowlers on what looks like a dispirited side. When that shall be, will depend on the weather.
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