Proteas get back on even keel

2015-07-23 13:58
Dale Steyn (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Proteas managed to get the first Test match against Bangladesh back on an even keel as rain and bad light again curtailed the final session of play on the third day.

With Dale Steyn and Simon Harmer taking three wickets each the Proteas restricted Bangladesh to a first innings lead of just 78 when at one stage they looked like having an advantage well into three figures. Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar then continued the recovery with an unbroken first wicket stand of 61 that reduced Bangladesh’s overall lead to just 17 runs.

There are still two full days to play plus whatever time can be made up for the rain and there is thus plenty of time for the Proteas to post a challenging third innings total with their still having one major trump card to play in the fact that Bangladesh have to bat last on a surface that should show some sort of deterioration sooner rather than later.

Whatever other deficiencies have been apparent in the Proteas’ batting in this match they at least appear to have a settled opening partnership in the two left-handers who have gone past 50 in both innings. Van Zyl, playing his first series of note on the sub-continent, has looked particularly comfortable.

On the bowling front Steyn is now just one wicket shy of the 400 mark – something that only Shaun Pollock of his countryman has ever achieved before. If he does get that one wicket in the second innings he will be the second fastest of all time to take 400 wickets. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (72) matches has got there quicker. Steyn is currently playing his 79th Test match which is one less than one of the world’s great fast bowlers, Sir Richard Hadlee.

Bangladesh have made their own little niche in their history against South Africa by scoring more than 300 in a first innings for the first time, managing to bat for more than 100 overs for the first time and having three batsmen past the half-century mark.

They will nevertheless be disappointed that they did not build up a more threatening lead with the stand of 82 for the sixth wicket between Shakib al Hasan and Liton Das being the only one of note for them on day three.

In addition to Steyn (3/78) and Harmer (3/105), Vernon Philander continued to impress with his figures of 2/40 in 20 overs.

Their combined effort enabled the Proteas to take 6/147 on the day to wrap up the Bangladesh first innings.

Read more on:    proteas  |  dale steyn  |  cricket

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