Johannesburg — Temba Bavuma fell seven runs short of a second Test century as Bangladesh twice made double strikes in the morning session to keep themselves in touch in the first Test at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday.
Bavuma had batted superbly holding the South African innings together when Bangladesh charged back into the match on first afternoon and then against the second new ball on Friday morning. At lunch the Proteas were on 314/8.
However that second Test century still eludes him. Mehidy Hasan who has bowled with great control throughout, suddenly got one to grip and the rip back into Bavuma with the ball deflecting off his pad onto the leg-stump.
The anguish was evident from the South African vice-captain, who is playing in his 50th Test, as he leaned on his bat for a few seconds before turning and heading back to the changeroom. His 93 came off 190 balls and included 12 fours, with his shots through midwicket a highlight of his strokemaking.
It was the second time Bavuma had reached the nineties, with the last occasion equally tragic when he was stranded on 95 not as the team was bowled out by Australia at the Wanderers in 2018.
However the wait continues to add to the memorable century he made against England in the New Years Test in 2016.
Despite the disappointment at missing the personal milestone, there can be no denying the value of his innings to the team.
Bangladesh actually dominated the first session on Friday with Khaled Ahmed taking wickets with back to back deliveries in the third over with the second new ball. He trapped Kyle Verryenne lbw with a ball that slanted back into the right hander and kept low. Verreynne had made 28, sharing a 65-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Bavuma.
Wiaan Mulder played a loose stroke to the first ball he faced, edged the ball away from his body to Mahmudul Hasan Joy, who took a good diving catch at gully.
Keshah Maharaj showed great discipline as he lent Bavuma support to add some solidity as the home team closed in on the psychologically important 300-run mark.
Bavuma’s defence was sound, and when the Bangladeshi’s erred with their lengths, he stroked some beautiful boundaries through the midwicket region.
However as the excitement built and he started to nudge through the 90s, so the tension built until Mehidy struck, ending a 53-run seventh wicket partnership.
Ebadot Hossian, started the next over by clean bowling Maharaj for 19.
Simon Harmer, playing his first Test in seven years, will resume after lunch on 8 along with debutant Lizaad Williams who is on 6.