Monday, 23 May, 2022

Tigers caught in African spin

Tigers caught in African spin
Bangladesh batsman Litton Das (left) walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal by South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj during the fifth day of the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban on Monday. –AFP PHOTO

A horrible batting performance by the Bangladeshi batsmen in the second innings saw them lose the first Test by 220 runs to hosts South Africa on the final day at Kingsmead in Durban on Monday.

Bangladesh, who resumed on 11-3 on the fifth and last day - needing more 263 runs to clinch their maiden Test win against South Africa - lost their remaining seven wickets within 55 minutes of the day’s play to get bundled out for 53 runs in just 19 overs.

South Africa’s spin duo Keshav Maharaj (7-32) and Simon Harmer (3-21) shared all 10 wickets between them to complete the massive win for the hosts and it gave them a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series.

This was also Bangladesh’s second-lowest innings total in their Test cricket history. Bangladesh’s lowest Test innings total came against West Indies when they could only make 43 runs during the first innings of the Antigua Test in 2018.

Bangladesh came on the final day having lost their advantage in the last half an hour of the fourth day’s play where they lost three top-order batsmen while chasing a target of 274 runs.

The onus was on the remaining batsmen, especially on Mushfiqur Rahim – the most experienced batsman in the team - to bring the visitors back in the contest on the final day of the Test.

However, Mushfiqur disappointed Bangladesh the most as he was trapped in front by Maharaj while trying to play down the wrong line of a ball which hurried through straight during the fifth ball of the first over of the day’s play without opening his account.

Liton Das (two) followed him two overs later as he was dismissed by the same bowler while Maharaj then bowled Yasir Ali in his next over to complete his eighth five-wicket haul in the longer format. 

Mehidy Hasan’s (0) losing his wicket to Harmer in the next over saw Bangladesh getting reduced to 33-7 and there was all sort of possibility that Bangladesh might be bowled out to their lowest ever Test total.

However, Taskin Ahmed smashed Maharaj for a six and later took a single in the next ball to go past their previous lowest total in Tests.

Najmul Hossain Shanto, who managed to survive till that time, was the next batsman to be dismissed by Harmer on 26 before Maharaj removed Khaled Ahmed (0) and Taskin (14) to complete his best innings bowling performance on home soil and also wrapped up Bangladesh’s second innings.

Maharaj was also named player of the match for his brilliant bowling performance in the second innings.

Bangladesh earlier made 298 runs in their first innings replying to South Africa’s 367 runs after Mahmudul Hasan Joy struck a brilliant 137 runs.

The Proteas were then bowled out for 204 runs in their second innings giving Bangladesh some chance of repeating their Mount Maunganui feat in Durban.

However, a bizarre batting performance in the second innings forced them to concede a humiliating defeat at the end.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s Cricket Operation Chairman Jalal Yunus confirmed The Daily Sun that they will file official complaint to the ICC for several poor umpiring decisions in the first Test after the series.

The second and final Test will begin on April 8 at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.