Maharaj and Harmer put Bangladesh in the mire at Kingsmead

By Sports Desk April 03, 2022

Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer put Bangladesh on the ropes as South Africa closed in on victory on day four of the first Test at Kingsmead.

The Proteas were bowled out for 204 in their second innings in Durban on Sunday, setting the tourists 274 to win.

Captain Dean Elgar top-scored with 64, while debutant Ryan Rickelton complied an unbeaten 39 as wickets tumbled at the other end.

Ebadot Hossain (3-40), Mehidy Hasan (3-85) and Taskin Ahmed (2-24) were the Tigers' wicket-takers on the penultimate day, but their hopes of taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series appear to be slim after they were reduced to 11-3 before bad light brought play to an early end.

Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Mominul Haque were dismissed by Maharaj (2-7) after Harmer removed Shadman Islam, leaving South Africa needing seven wickets for victory on the final day.

Ebadot snared Sarel Erwee leg before after the Proteas resumed on 6-0, but Bangladesh let Elgar off the hook twice before he brought up a 21st Test half-century.

Najmul Hossain Shanto and Yasir Ali dropped the skipper in the slips and Keegan Petersen was fortunate that Mominul opted against reviewing when he was struck in front on 14 by Khaled Ahmed, as umpire Marais Erasmus kept his finger down.

Elgar fell lbw to Taskin after lunch and Petersen (36) was dismissed by Mehidy before Temba Bavuma fell for only four.

Rickelton played patiently to keep the lead building as South Africa lost their last six wickets for 56 runs. Maharaj and Harmer then spun South Africa well on course for victory before bad light prevented them from making further inroads.

 

Elgar rides his luck

Skipper Elgar was grateful for some sloppy work in the slips from Yasir and Shanto, taking advantage of those strokes of luck to spend almost three hours at the crease to strengthen South Africa's grip on the game.

Rickelton struck four boundaries but was denied a debut half-century when he ran out of partners.

Tigers in a spin

The tourists surely needed a solid start to their second innings to have any chance of pulling off a victory, but they were rocked when Shadman was caught by Petersen at slip off Harmer's second ball.

Things went from bad to worse for Bangladesh when left-arm tweaker Maharaj struck twice in an over, bowling first-innings centurion Joy and pinning Mominul in front.

Related items

  • Roach snares his 250th Test wicket as West Indies close in on victory against Bangladesh Roach snares his 250th Test wicket as West Indies close in on victory against Bangladesh

    Kemar Roach took his 250th Test wicket as the West Indies closed in on victory against Bangladesh in St Lucia on Sunday.

  • 'I've never experienced anything like it' – Leach praises Stokes and McCullum for restoring belief 'I've never experienced anything like it' – Leach praises Stokes and McCullum for restoring belief

    Jack Leach has praised captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum for their leadership and says he has "never experience anything" like playing in this England Test side. 

    The Somerset spinner took 5-66 on day four of England's fourth Test against New Zealand to claim his first 10-wicket haul in the format.

    Leach is the first England spinner to take 10 wickets in a Test since Moeen Ali in 2017.

    Not since Derek Underwood against Pakistan at Lord's in 1974 had an England spinner claimed two five-fors in a home Test.

    Stokes and McCullum have put their faith in Leach and been rewarded; he is thriving under the new leadership, with England on course for a clean sweep in their three-match series against the Black Caps.

    "[Under Stokes] it's really attacking, and I am really enjoying bowling attackingly [sic]," Leach told Sky Sports.

    "Stokesy's confidence in his decisions but also in us as players – I have never experienced anything like it.

    "It is very special to be a part of, and that is credit to Stokesy and Baz [McCullum] for setting that up.

    "You realise teams I have played in, the way I have thought, a lot of decisions are made around negativity.

    "A lot of four or five-day games you give up on the win quite early, but now it feels like you are always pushing for that win, so there is never really too bad a situation.

    "My biggest thing is having belief in myself, and that is what Ben and Baz have helped me with."

    Leach's latest impressive showing helped England to bowl out their opponents for 326 in their second innings, leaving the hosts requiring 296 runs for victory in Yorkshire.

    Continuing their attacking approach under Stokes and McCullum, England will enter the final day on 183-2 thanks to strong work by Ollie Pope (81 not out) and Joe Root (55 no).

    Zak Crawley (25) and Alex Lees (nine) fell early on in the chase, but Pope and Root's unbeaten 132-run stand means England now require just 113 runs with eight wickets in hand.

    Should England complete the job on Monday, they will become the first team in Test history to successfully chase a target of at least 250 three times in a single series.

    But Tom Blundell (88 no), who became the highest-scoring visiting wicketkeeper in a Test series in England, vowed that New Zealand will give their all to avoid a whitewash.

    "This team has been known to fight, and we've got to come out there and do that tomorrow," he said. "You put a couple of wickets on there and you just never know.

    "Obviously you've got two guys out there in good form, but if we get one of those, who knows?

    "The wicket is deteriorating. A little bit of variable bounce, obviously with the spin as well. It's quite hard to drive with that older ball. 

    "It looks like it's going to deteriorate even more, and hopefully we can utilise that tomorrow."

  • India swat away Ireland challenge after Dublin clouds clear India swat away Ireland challenge after Dublin clouds clear

    India crushed Ireland by seven wickets after rain clouds cleared at Malahide, delivering a clinical display in the opening T20I.

    Late-afternoon wet weather in Dublin meant this was reduced to a 12-overs-a-side contest, and Ireland recovered from a rocky start to post 108-4 from their allocation.

    Harry Tector cracked three sixes in making 64 not out from 33 balls, the highest T20I score by an Ireland batter against India, but the 22-year-old was the only member of the home team who made a substantial impact. They had been 22-3 at one point.

    The hosts' total looked on the low side given the batting power in India's ranks, and that was how it turned out as India sauntered to 111-3 in 9.2 overs.

    India lost Ishan Kishan for 26 and Suryakumar Yadav without scoring to successive deliveries from Craig Young in the third over, bowling the former and pinning the latter lbw.

    They had 30 on the board at that point but were not slowed down by the twin blows, with opener Deepak Hooda's 47 not out from 29 balls the pivotal innings.

    Captain Hardik Pandya bludgeoned 24 from 12 deliveries, striking three sixes, before being snagged lbw by Josh Little, by which time the victory line was in sight.


    Too little, too late

    By the time Little pinned Pandya for a prized scalp, this contest was effectively already over. Hooda had provided the glue that held India's innings together, so it was appropriate he was the man to strike the winning runs at the start of Little's next over, cracking the first two balls to the boundary to clinch the victory. Little's 2.2 overs cost 39 runs, while Young finished with 2-18 from two overs.

    Harry in a hurry

    These sides meet again on Tuesday, also at Malahide, and Ireland will be looking for more fireworks from Tector. His innings on Sunday followed a handy run of three prosperous T20I innings in February, when he clattered 24 from 15 deliveries against Germany, 35 from 27 balls against Oman and 50 from 37 against the United Arab Emirates.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.