Early finish follows farcical late start as South Africa edge day one against Bangladesh

By Sports Desk March 31, 2022

Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma made half-centuries as a depleted South Africa made a promising start against Bangladesh in the first Test at Kingsmead.

With a number of star players away at the IPL, the home side are significantly weakened for this two-Test series, but captain Elgar remains committed to the Proteas cause.

He top-scored with 67 in a team total of 233-4, before fading light brought play to an early close, after the start was delayed in farcical circumstances due to a malfunctioning electronic sightscreen.

Elgar's runs came in a first-wicket stand of 113 with Sarel Erwee, who made a useful 41 and soon followed his skipper back to the dressing room.

Khaled Ahmed had Elgar caught behind off the glove by wicketkeeper Liton Das, when the paceman's delivery to the left-hander climbed sharply off the pitch, before Erwee edged spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz into his stumps.

Mehidy struck again when he produced a sensational piece of fielding to run out Keegan Petersen for 19, scrambling to make a fine stop at point before throwing down the stumps at the batsman's end.

Ryan Rickelton pulled Ebadot Hossain to Mominul Haque at mid-on to fall for 21, before Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne saw the home side through to the close with no further damage done.

Bavuma ended the day on 53 not out, with Verreynne unbeaten on 27 in a 53-run partnership.

The umpires pulled the plug on the day's proceedings after 76.5 overs, having perhaps wished they could have done the same thing to a sightscreen at the beginning of play, as it failed to turn to white.

Groundstaff scrambled to cover the screen with white sheets to allow play to get under way, but the action was delayed and did not commence until over 30 minutes past the scheduled start.

Cricket South Africa later apologised, citing a "technical glitch" as the problem.

Plenty to prove for Proteas

The real challenge for South Africa is likely to come with the ball. They are on course to put together a decent total and will hope their attack can back that up, but they are without the likes of Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada.

A largely second-string attack will see this as a chance to shine and earn future selection, but Bangladesh will sense an opportunity themselves, and after beating New Zealand recently in a Test for the first time, they might sense a chance to put the hosts under pressure.

South Africa may be unbeaten in 12 Tests against Bangladesh (W10, D2), but they lost the recent ODI series between the sides and their recent Kingsmead record against all-comers is poor in the five-day game, with just one win in their last nine.

Bavuma marks 50 with fifty

This is Bavuma's 50th Test match, and he marked it with an 18th half-century.

The 31-year-old only has one Test century to his name, and that came six years ago in Cape Town against England, so it would be right to be cautious about his prospects of reaching three figures here, but it looks a fair opportunity.

Related items

  • 'Fancy doing another Trent Bridge?' – Bairstow revels as another Test century blunts New Zealand 'Fancy doing another Trent Bridge?' – Bairstow revels as another Test century blunts New Zealand

    Jonny Bairstow could not hide his emotions after crafting his second century in as many Tests for England against New Zealand, but the message that prompted his innings at Headingley was simple.

    Bairstow arrived at the crease with the score at 21-4 in front of his home Yorkshire crowd, with Trent Boult and Tim Southee having ran through the England top order on Friday.

    Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes followed soon after to leave the hosts reeling at 55-6, before debutant Jamie Overton and Bairstow combined in a record seventh-wicket Test stand for England at Headingley.

    The pair put on 209 runs in just 37.1 overs to leave England trailing the Black Caps first-innings score by 65 after Bairstow posted his second Test century on his home ground.

    Indeed, it was not the first time New Zealand have been frustrated by Bairstow, who plundered the second-fastest Test century in England's history at Trent Bridge in the second Test of the three-match series.

    Bairstow revealed he had joked about recreating the Trent Bridge innings, where he combined with captain Stokes in imperious fashion, after the pair were brought together with wickets tumbling in Leeds.

    "'Fancy doing another Trent Bridge?' was the first thing we said. That was it. OK, let's crack on," Bairstow told Sky Sports.

    "Sometimes it's a simple game we complicate. We're trying to strip back that complicated nature of it back. Allow people to go out and express themselves, also as personalities.

    "We talk about growing the game and you grow the game by showing people your personality.

    "It was good craic. It feels amazing. This place means so much to me, being a Yorkshire lad scoring a Test 100 at home is pretty special. My family and my mates are here as well.

    "Every time you score a Test hundred it's emotional. You know what I'm like, it means so much for me to play Test cricket for England. That's the kind of guy I am. I wear my heart on my sleeve. That's not always everyone's cup of tea."

    Bairstow also had plenty of praise to dish out to his partner in crime Overton.

    "For Jamie [Overton] to play the way he did, on debut, under pressure, to have the confidence to play as he did against this New Zealand attack, that is exceptional," he added.

    Bairstow will resume on day three unbeaten on 130, while Overton is just 11 runs shy of marking his Test debut with a century as England look to complete a series whitewash.

  • Home hero Bairstow leads England's Headingley recovery after Boult burst Home hero Bairstow leads England's Headingley recovery after Boult burst

    Headingley hero Jonny Bairstow and new boy Jamie Overton dug England out of trouble on a sensational second day of the third Test against New Zealand.

    Playing on his home ground, Yorkshireman Bairstow scored a breathtaking 130 not out, forging an unlikely and unbroken alliance worth 209 runs for the seventh wicket with Jamie Overton as England, in their first innings, recovered from 55-6 to reach 264-6 at stumps.

    They were replying to New Zealand's 329 all out, in which Daryl Mitchell converted his overnight 78 not out into a third century of the series. That is the joint-most hundreds by any New Zealand player in a Test series, matching Andrew Jones' feat against Sri Lanka in 1991 and Ross Taylor's three against West Indies in 1993.

    He was eventually out for 109, caught smartly by England captain Ben Stokes off Jack Leach (5-100), as New Zealand progressed from 225-5 at the start of play.

    Getting close to that score looked beyond England when they made a dismal start in reply, the mercurial brilliance of Trent Boult accounting for the home side's top three as New Zealand's left-armer bowled Alex Lees, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley.

    It was a masterful demonstration of swing bowling, and the situation got no better for England as Joe Root fell for five, caught behind off Tim Southee, before Stokes (18) and Ben Foakes (0) were prised out by Neil Wagner.

    Desperate times called for Bairstow brilliance, and the man whose late father David played so many matches on this Leeds ground delivered in remarkable style, driving, pulling and cutting as New Zealand struggled to contain him.

    Bairstow drove Boult through mid-off to seal a 95-ball century, the second Test ton he has made at the ground after the 140 that set up an innings victory against Sri Lanka in 2016.

    It was his second century of this series and a fourth in Tests for the 32-year-old since the turn of the year, after he also reached three figures against Australia. Across his career, it was a 10th Test ton.

    Test newcomer Overton was exceptional too, unbeaten on 89 by the close, setting up what could be a pivotal Saturday.

    England lead the three-match series 2-0, with Bairstow and Overton raising hopes of a clean sweep.

    MARVEL MITCHELL

    Before the Bairstow show began, the man of the day was Mitchell. He has enjoyed a stupendous series, reaching 482 runs from five innings so far.

    That is the most runs scored by a New Zealand batter in a men's Test series against England, and Mitchell should get another crack in the second innings too. Centuries at Lord's, Trent Bridge and Headingley mean, even in defeat, he has been able to hold his head high.

    WELL, THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY

    From a position of peril, Bairstow and Overton took 37.1 overs to add over 200 runs. In the process they achieved England's first ever century partnership for the seventh wicket at Headingley, and then doubled it. Overton is in the side principally for his bowling but looked perfectly nequipped with bat in hand.

    Bairstow's highest Test score is the 167 not out he scored against Sri Lanka at Lord's in June 2016, a matter of weeks after the Headingley ton against the same opposition. Going beyond that must be now in his sights.

  • Unbeaten Carey guides Australia to consolation win against Sri Lanka Unbeaten Carey guides Australia to consolation win against Sri Lanka

    Alex Carey delivered an important unbeaten 45 as Australia defeated Sri Lanka by four wickets on a difficult pitch in Colombo.

    Sri Lanka had sealed their first home multi-game bilateral ODI series victory over Australia in three decades with a game to spare, but made a poor start in the final match on Friday.

    Chamika Karunaratne, who came in at number eight, top-scored with a run-a-ball 75 but Kusal Mendis (26), Charith Asalanka (14) and Pramod Madushan (15) were the only other batters to register double figures.

    That saw Sri Lanka bowled all for just 160, with Josh Hazlewood (2-22), Matthew Kuhnemann (2-26) and Pat Cummins (2-22) the pick of the bowlers.

    Having seen Sri Lanka struggle in bowler-friendly conditions, Australia began their chase in similarly slow fashion, falling to 19-3 after losing David Warner (10), Aaron Finch (0) and debutant Josh Inglis (5).

    Mitchell Marsh (24) and Marnus Labuschagne (31) steadied the ship, though, before Carey produced his patient.

    Carey was ably supported by Glenn Maxwell's flurry of 16 from 17 deliveries, while Cameron Green stepped up with an impressive, unbeaten 25 that included one six and two fours as Australia avoided a series whitewash.

    Hazlewood recovers

    Hazlewood has struggled when facing Sri Lanka in ODIs, registering a bowling average of 96 – his poorest in the format against any side – before this game.

    However, the paceman found his form, and is now just three wickets away from picking up 100 dismissals in 50-over international cricket.

    Sri Lanka come unstuck

    Sri Lanka have thrived against Australia by producing pitches to favour their spinners, though that plan was the reason they came unstuck this time out.

    Having faltered here, Sri Lanka missed the chance to record four consecutive ODI wins over Australia at home for the first time since a run of four between September 1994 and September 1996.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.