Dean Elgar scored 199 as the Proteas declared on 496-3 at tea on day two in Potchefstroom. JON CARDINELLI reports.
South Africa are in terrific position to win the first Test against Bangladesh at Senwes Park. The top order fired on day one and in the first session on day two to lay the platform for a mammoth first-innings total.
With 10 sessions remaining in the game, the pressure is now on Bangladesh to avoid the follow-on as well as a substantial defeat.
That said, the Proteas should be somewhat disappointed with the way they went about things after lunch. Earlier, Elgar and Hashim Amla did brilliantly to amass 215 runs for the second wicket and set the South Africans up for a big total. Three balls after the break, Amla threw his wicket away when he swatted at a Shafiul Islam delivery and was caught for 137.
Elgar was involved in the mix-up that led to Aiden Markram’s run-out on day one. The debutant was on 97 at the time.
The senior batsman more than redeemed himself over the course of the next few sessions. Following Amla’s dismissal, however, new batsman Temba Bavuma battled to score and the pressure started to build on the hosts. Elgar tried to break the shackles by playing several expansive strokes.
Needing one more run for his first double hundred, Elgar attempted to knock a Mustafizur Rahman delivery onto the leg side. The ball found the top edge and dropped into the eager hands of Mominul Haque.
Proteas skipper Faf du Plessus took the fight to the Bangladesh bowlers and managed to boost the run-rate. That said, South Africa scored fewer runs in the second session on day two (85) than they did in the first (113). Perhaps the hosts would have been better served by batting Du Plessis at No 4 or pushing the quick-scoring Quinton de Kock up the order.
Du Plessis opted to declare on the stroke of tea. Bangladesh will bat for 34 overs – weather permitting – in the final session.
SA 496-3 declared (1st innings) – Dean Elgar 199, Hashim Amla 137, Aiden Markram 97
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