Rain robbed Bangladesh of a chance to push South Africa harder in the first Test after it ate up nearly 25 overs of the third day in Chittagong on Thursday.
The Tigers recorded their highest score of 326 runs against South Africa to take a vital 78-run first innings lead and was then looking to take a few wickets in the evening session.
But rain and bad light forced early stumps for the second consecutive day.
South Africa reached 61-0 in 21.1 overs in their second innings to trim the lead down to just 17 runs. The two openers Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar survived unscathed at 33 and 28 respectively, giving South Africa an opportunity to regroup and correct their first innings mistakes today.
Bangladesh had their moments on the third day as Sakib al Hasan and Liton Das shared a 82-run partnership for the sixth wicket to take them to the lead, before tail-ender Mohammad Shahid belted 25 off 19 balls.
Sakib (47) and Liton (50)
came together at time when they were still in danger of losing their way, having resumed the third day’s play at 179-4 and lost skipper Mushfiqur Rahim early to Dale Steyn.
Steyn outthought Mushfiq making him play repeatedly, before hitting him plumb in front to get his first success of the day. Umpire Joel Wilson initially declared Mushfiq not out but South Africa successfully reviewed the decision to send back the Bangladesh captain, who could only add 12 to his overnight 16.
Sakib struggled initially but grew in confidence after hitting medium pacer Stiaan van Zyl for two back-to-back fours. Liton batted with more conviction driving Steyn straight to take Bangladesh past South Africa’s first innings total.
Liton then hit JP Duminy, who was surprisingly introduced in the attack only in the third day, past cover, to help Bangladesh surpass their previous highest score of 259 runs against South Africa.
With Bangladesh scurrying ahead, Sakib made a big blunder, apparently in pursuit of his maiden a fifty against South Africa, when he top-edged spinner Simon Harmer to get dismissed.
Sakib attempted the same shot four balls earlier in the same over but his miscued pull landed in no-man’s land. Harmer then tested him with a little-bit fuller ball and the Bangladesh talisman duly obliged.
The biggest entertainment came moments later when Shahid hit Harmer for three fours and a six in his next over to take 18 runs. He showed the same aggression against a more accomplished bowler Vernon Philander and paid the price by offering a low, diving catch to van Zyl at midwicket.
Liton completed his maiden Test fifty in his second Test two overs later nudging Harmer to the leg side for a single, but was caught off-guard by an awkward bounce in the same over to end his innings.
It was too much of an ask for Bangladesh’s tail-enders to keep the innings going against such a quality attack and they inevitably failed. Steyn claimed the last two wickets to finish with 3-78, moving closer to becoming second South African bowler to take 400 wickets in Tests.
Steyn needs just one more wicket to join former captain Shaun Pollack, which will also make him only third among the current cricketers after Harbhajan Singh and James Anderson to get 400 wickets.
-With New Age input