SA dominate despite loss of Amla, Elgar
South Africa are in the driving seat at Tea on Day 2 of the first Test against Bangladesh despite losing Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar.
The pair put on a 215-run stand for the second wicket before South Africa went to lunch at 411 for one. Bangladesh pacer Shafiul Islam started the proceedings after lunch and on the third delivery of the over Amla played an uppish drive which was taken comfortably by Mehedi Hasan at point. Amla scored a brisk 137 before he was removed.
Elgar added 27 runs more and was looking diligent as ever while inching closer to a double century. On the 131st over of the innings, Mustafizur Rahman came into the attack. Elgar, who was on 199 managed to top-edge a shorter derlivery from Mustafizur as he failed to judge the pace of the ball -- beaten for lack of pace on the bouncer, and he was holed out at mid-wicket by Mehedi Hasan. Elgar left after a fantastic 199, missing his double ton by one run as couple of Bangladesh players were seen patting him on the back for his brilliant knock.
Temba Bavuma and skipper Faf du Plessis did not miss out on getting some runs behind their name. The pair put on a 51-run unbroken stand before South Africa went to to tea with the score at 496 for the loss of three wickets.
The second session of the second day turned out to be Bangladesh's best session by far as they managed to pick up two wickets while South Africa managed to put on another 85 runs in the afternoon session from 29 overs before tea was called. Bavuma was unbeaten on 31 while du Plessis was batting on 26. South Africa delared their innings at Tea.
Earlier, It was more of the same for Bangladesh in the first session of the second day as South Africa twisted the knife into their opponents by reaching 411 for one at lunch in Senwes Park, Potchefstroom. The overnight pair of Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla, who resumed the day with the score on 298 for one, carried on serenely as Elgar added 44 runs to his overnight to reach lunch at 172 and Amla completed his 37th Test century and added 69 runs to his overnight tally to go to the break undefeated on 137.
The seven Bangladesh bowlers, undergoing purgatory after their captain's inexplicable decision to bowl first on a flat pitch, had no joy and seemed bereft of ideas. With the second-wicket stand already past thye century mark on the first day, Elgar brought up his 150 less than an hour into the day with a down-the-track six off off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz in the 101st over. He reached the mark in his 315th delivery with his second six. In the same over the serene Amla pushed the ball through the off side for a single that brought up his century off 143 balls.
The momentum came from Amla's bat while Elgar set his stall seemingly to bat for the entire day. Amla's innings was replete with cover drives of every style even as Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim tried to plug the holes with three fielders in front of square to save the single and one sweeper cover to stop the boundary. With each effortless arc of Amla's bat, however,the ball inevitable found the ropes.
Mushfiqur was understandable defensive, given the scoreboard, and had brought on Mahmudullah Riyad in the 14th over of the day, even though the ball was still new. There was also the small irony that the first session was played under overcast conditions, which may have influenced Bangladesh's bizarre decision to field first on Thursday. However, with a ball just four overs old at the start of the day, it did not seem to be too much of a factor.
Rain is forecast for the afternoon, and that may be the only silver lining in the Tigers' horizon.