Day Two in Chittagong is done and dusted and South Africa continue to find this Test cricket stuff hard graft. ANTOINETTE MULLER looks at five talking points from day two of the first Test between Bangladesh and South Africa.
On the three-year anniversary of South Africa scoring 637-2 declared at The Oval against England, South Africa’s cricketing fortunes look a little duller than that time when Hashim Amla scored an unbeaten 300.
Back in reality, on an unfamiliar track in Chittagong, South Africa were put under the kosh by Bangladesh. Having been dismissed for 248 in the first innings, South Africa’s bowlers sweated on day two as Bangladesh poked and prodded their way to 179-4 before play was interrupted and ended by rain. Half centuries from Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad boosted Bangladesh’s charge and they trail by just 69 runs after day two.
Here are five talking points.
Even the smallest of leads will spell trouble for South Africa
Every sign is there that when this pitch starts to fall apart it’s going to happen fast. Bangladesh’s bowling attack is packed with spinners and with South Africa not yet in Test match mode, the struggle for scoring is only going to become more frustrating in their second innings. Even the smallest of leads for Bangladesh will mean South Africa have a tough time getting a win out of this Test. The bowlers will come out fresh tomorrow morning but they need to find a way through Bangladesh’s stubbornness if South Africa hope to get a positive result out of this.
Why is JP Duminy not bowling?
Speaking of bowlers, the most curious of all decisions was the fact that JP Duminy wasn’t given a chance to turn his arm over on day two. Duminy has become the go-to bowler to not only get through overs but also help South Africa find breakthroughs. Every other part-timer including, Dean Elgar and Stiaan Van Zyl, had a crack (and got results), but there’s no love for Duminy. Perhaps captain Hashim Amla felt that because Bangladesh had a look at him in the one-day series he doesn’t want to risk him yet, but the more logical explanation is perhaps Duminy has a little niggle.
Same bowling plans, different game?
South Africa’s bowling wasn’t horrific on day two, but they did seem set on sticking to one plan. There are no prizes for guessing that the plan is to bowl short. A barrage of the short stuff is something South Africa often tries with teams, but it’s also something that has often failed. When it hasn’t worked, South Africa hasn’t really tried something different. Bangladesh’s bowlers mostly opted for full and straight, which kept the South Africans unsettled. You can bet your bottom dollar Bangladesh were expecting the short stuff and despite the fact that South Africa has created pressure (Bangladesh’s scoring rate has been comparatively slower than South Africa’s) they’ve not collapsed in a heap because of the lack of runs.
Simon Harmer’s got something about him
After going years without having a reliable spinner in Tests, South Africa suddenly have a glut. Simon Harmer made his debut for South Africa against the West Indies and has done pretty well in this Test. He gets turn and because he’s a little bit taller, can extract a little bit more bounce. He will be properly put to the test in the fourth innings when the pitch is ripped up, but if his showing thus far is anything to go by, he’ll have a field day. Sure, it’s early days in his Test career and Dane Piedt as well as Eddie Lieie will constantly be pushing for his place (if they have a good first class season) but it’s quite a turnaround for South Africa to suddenly have options when it comes to spin bowling.
A little bit more scoring a little less attitude, please
There has been quite a bit of argy bargy between Bangladesh and South Africa in this series and this Test was no different. Quinton de Kock and Iqbal bumped shoulders on Wednesday during the 30th over. As Iqbal got out, he got into a chat with De Kock and after not too long, the two were bumping shoulders. Ever the statesman, Amla stepped in. It’s all good and well to have a few words, that’s just what happens in sport, but some of the South Africans seem to be at Iqbal’s throat all the time. A similar incident happened between Iqbal and Rilee Rossouw during the limited overs series and Rossouw was fined for his conduct.
Scorecard summary: Bangladesh trail by 69 runs with six wickets remaining in the first innings.
First innings South Africa 248 all out: Temba Bavuma 54 (108), Faf du Plessis 48 (122); Mustafizur Rahman 17.4-6-37-4, Jubair Hossain 14-1-54-3
Second innings Bangladesh 179-4: Tamim Iqbal 57 (129), Mahmudullah 67 (138); Vernon Philander 12-1-22-1, Stiaan van Zyl 9-2-13-1. DM
Photo: South Africa’s JP Duminy plays a shot during the second day of the second cricket test match against Australia in Port Elizabeth, February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Rogan Ward
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