A sensational one-handed grab by Temba Bavuma at gully lit up the afternoon’s play as South Africa continued to assert its dominance over Bangladesh at the Mangaung Oval here on Saturday.
Bavuma flung himself to his right after a flashing cut by Bangladeshi skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, hanging onto the ball - somewhat to his own surprise given his reaction - in his right hand even as it was passed his eyeline. At tea Bangladesh were 61/4 trailing the hosts by a massive 512 runs.
The reaction of Bavuma's teammates spoke volumes, Kagiso Rabada nearly shook his teammates shoulders off and even Hashim Amla, gave his cap a a vigorous rub.
You had to have sympathy for poor old Mushfiqur, who not only got the decision wrong after winning the toss, but then by his own admission was unable to inspire his bowlers and then he fell to a magical bit of fielding.
Bavuma’s stunning intervention game amidst an aggressive opening burst from South Africa’s new ball pair Rabada and Duanne Olivier - the beneficiary of Bavuma’s brilliance.
The duo made life extremely uncomfortable for the Bangladeshi openers, targeting their bodies with a series of short balls. There are only so many cuts, pulls ducks and weaves a batsman will endure until forced into error and that’s what happened to Soumya Sarkar and Mominul Haque. The former was bowled around his legs stepping too far across to the off-side - trying to cover that extra bounce - by Rabada, while Olivier found Mominul’s glove as he tried to fend off his chest with De Kock taking a neat catch behind.
Then Bavuma happened, after which Parnell and his new hair colour accounted for Mahmadullah caught behind by De Kock for 4.
South Africa eventually declared half an hour after lunch, with Faf Du Plessis not out on 135 and Quinton de Kock on 28. The scoring rate throughout the innings was comfortably over four runs an over.
Following on from the centuries by openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram on the first day, Amla and Du Plessis’s landmarks is just the second time that South Africa have scored four centuries in a Test innings. The previous occasion was in 2005, when Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis and
Ashwell Prince made centuries against the West Indies on the flattest pitch in living memory at the St. Johns Recreation. The West Indies replied with four hundreds of their own including a triple hundred by Chris Gayle.