Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma batted half a century to give South Africa a slight lead on the opening day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Kingsmead on Thursday. South Africa was 233 for four when poor light stopped play after being sent to bat. South African captain Elgar made 67 in an opening partnership of 113 with fellow lefthander Sarel Erwee (41) but Bangladesh fought back before Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne kept the innings steady with an unbeaten fifth wicket partnership of 53.
Bavuma, playing in his 50th Test, didn’t make 53 and Verreynne was unbeaten on 27. It was Bavuma’s 18th half-century. He has touched a century.
The Bangladesh bowlers were unable to take advantage of a good grass pitch at the start of the match and bowled too many loose deliveries as South Africa scored 60 runs in the first hour with no losses in 13 overs.
But the tourists came back strong, taking three wickets between lunch and tea and keeping the run rate low.
Off spinner Mehidy Hasan played a key role for Bangladesh, bowling 26 overs on the day and taking one for 57. He bowled 22 overs in his first period, allowing captain Mominul Haque to switch his fast bowlers in short periods.
However, Mehidy’s outstanding contribution of the day was a sensational ending.
Fielding on backward point, he raced across the ground to make a dive stop when Bavuma ran into the covers. He picked up the ball neatly and threw the stumps down from a kneeling position to sack Keegan Petersen, who had looked in good form by making 19.
An easy throw provided minimal assistance to the bowlers and Elgar was the only casualty of a ball that behaved unpredictably, giving wicketkeeper Liton Das a flyout from a delivery from Khaled Ahmed which came up sharply from a good length.
South Africa, which missed five players who chose to play in the Indian Premier League, played two new caps in left-handed batsman Ryan Rickelton and fast bowler Lizaad Williams.
Rickelton looked solid making 21 before playing a poorly judged pull shot against Ebadot Hossain and scooping a flyout into the middle.
Bangladesh was unable to open batsman Tamim Iqbal due to illness.
The take-off was delayed by 35 minutes after the vision screen at both ends failed, with ground crews struggling to cover both screens with white cloth.
The umpires decided to shift play times by half an hour, but it was not possible to play a full day at South Africa’s easternmost testing ground, where poor light is often an issue.
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