South Africa’s aggressive short ball tactics inflicted physical and mental anguish on Bangladesh on the third morning of the second Test here as the Proteas closed in on victory picking up four wickets.
Resuming on 7/0 after being asked to follow-on late on Saturday, Bangladesh added 85 runs on Sunday going to lunch on 92/4.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, who was struck a horrible blow on the side of his head, was out to the last ball of the session, trapped lbw by Wayne Parnell a decision that required ratification by the TV official after Mushfiqur had referred the on field decision. Mahmadullah was not out at lunch on 14 with Bangladesh still trailing by 334 runs.
It had been a brutal morning’s cricket for the tourists, with Mushfiqur one of three players to be hit on the head, by South Africa’s quicks.
Mushfiqur was struck with the second ball of the 14th over by Duanne Olivier and required treatment for nearly 10 minutes. The Bangladesh skipper was hit on the side of his head as he turned his head away from a short ball and fell to the ground. He was tended to by Bangladesh’s physio and the South African team doctor and manager Mohammed Moosajee. The Proteas team manager advised Mushfiqur to leave the field and get a head assessment, but the batsman said he was alright to continue.
Considering it was the second time Mushfiqur has taken a blow to the head this year - he was actually taken to hospital during a Test in Wellington against New Zealand - perhaps he should have heeded Moosajee’s advice.
As it was he continued playing for another hour, facing 32 more balls, before falling victim to Parnell after scoring 26.
Mominul Haque and Imrul Kayes both copped blows from Olivier and Kagiso Rabada as South Africa targeted the bodies of the touring batsmen. While some may have thought they overdid the tactic, given that the Bangladeshi batsmen kept going for the pull or were so awkward in trying to avoid the ball, South Africa’s persistence was certainly justified.
Soumya Sarkar was the first wicket to fall in the morning when he was caught at second slip by Faf du Plessis off the bowling of Rabada for 3, while Mominul was caught on midwicket boundary by Keshav Maharaj after scoring 11.
That wicket was Rabada’s 99th of his career leaving him on the cusp of becoming the 16th Test wicket taking centurion for South Africa.
Imrul Kayes was Bangladesh’s top scorer but he too misjudged an attempted deflection to fine leg and was caught by De Kock, giving Olivier, who bowled a 10-over spell from the Loch Logan End, his sole reward of the morning.