Andile Phehlukwayo’s maiden Test wicket was South Africa’s sole reward for a tough morning’s graft at Senwes Park on Saturday where Bangladesh dug in on a life-less pitch.
The tourists enjoyed lunch on 218/4 with Mominul Haque on 72 and Mahmudullah on 26. Bangladesh still trail the Proteas by 288 runs.
It had been, as many in the South African side had forecast, a difficult morning for the bowlers on a pitch lacking pace and bounce. In fact it is very familiar for the Bangladeshis and Mominul has gotten well stuck in, making his 12th Test half-century, as he seeks to help his side reduce the first innings deficit.
For South Africa’s bowlers there has only been a hint of reverse swing for the seamers, while spinner Keshav Maharaj proved to be a less troublesome proposition for the visitors than was the case in his first spell on Friday when the ball was harder.
Faf du Plessis in fact waited more than an hour to introduce Maharaj on Saturday, instead relying on his seamers to try and get some reverse swing going.
There was no lack of creativity from the South African captain who at point, when Phehlukwayo and Duanne Olivier bowled from the University End, employed three short covers, a ploy usually utilised on the slower surfaces of the subcontinent.
This pitch though, as Dean Elgar mentioned Friday, demanded a “sub-continental style” of play, certainly the opposite of what the South Africans want to play against a sub-continent side.
Phehlukwayo’s first Test wicket owes everything to the athleticism and anticipation of wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who flung himself to his right taking a one handed catch to end Tamim Iqbal’s stay at the crease.
The stylish left hander had scored 39 off 67 balls, hitting six fours and one six.