Bangladesh were 49-3 in pursuit of 424 at tea on day four in Potchefstroom. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Proteas should be pleased with the way things have gone on day four. South Africa declared an hour and a half before tea after amassing a 423-run lead. Morné Morkel then struck twice in his first over to leave Bangladesh reeling at 0-2.
The Proteas have four sessions to claim seven wickets. More than an hour of play was lost in the second session on day four due to rain. There may be further interruptions over the next 24 hours or so.
The hosts showed plenty of intent during the first session. Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma clubbed together for a 142-run partnership – a fourth-wicket record against Bangladesh. The rate at which these batsmen scored allowed the Proteas to build a lead in excess of 400 and declare well before tea.
That said, the Proteas didn’t have everything their own way after lunch. Du Plessis was denied a richly-deserved century when he was trapped lbw by Mominul Haque. Bavuma and Quinton de Kock perished in quick succession after the rain break, with Mominul and wicketkeeper Liton Das combining brilliantly to effect both dismissals.
The Proteas certainly made the period before tea count. Morkel bowled Tamim Iqbal with his fourth delivery and then wrapped Mominul on the pad two balls later. The South African spearhead thought he had the key wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim in the third over when the ball clattered into the stumps. A television replay, however, confirmed that Morkel had overstepped and a no-ball was called.
The Proteas continued to apply the pressure. Imrul Kayes edged a Kagiso Rabada delivery to the slip cordon and was put down by Du Plessis. The hosts have already put down several chances behind the wicket in this Test. It’s certainly something new coach Ottis Gibson should look to address in the coming weeks.
Kayes’ luck ran out on the stroke of tea. The left-handed batsman pushed at a delivery from Keshav Maharaj and edged the ball to De Kock.
Will Bangladesh survive the third session? The tourists will hope for a further rain disruption. There’s a chance that play may conclude earlier than expected due to the gloomy conditions – as was the case on day three.
Even then, the odds are against Bangladesh batting for the duration of day five to save this Test.
SA (1st innings) 496-3 declared – Dean Elgar 199, Hashim Amla 137, Aiden Markram 97
Bangladesh (1st innings) 320 – Mushfiqur Rahim 44, Mominul Haque 77, Mahmudullah 66
SA (2nd innings) 247-6 declared – Faf du Plessis 81, Temba Bavuma 71, Mominul Haque 3-27
Bangladesh (2nd innings) 49-3 – Imrul Kayes 32, Morné Morkel 2-19
Bangladesh need 375 runs to win