Maharaj and Mulder put South Africa on course for 2-0 win

By Sports Desk April 09, 2022

Keshav Maharaj produced his best performance with the bat of his Test career before South Africa's pace attack put the Proteas in firm command of the series finale with Bangladesh.

Hoping to secure a 2-0 victory in the two-match series, South Africa resumed on 278-5, but an excellent all-round performance from the hosts in Port Elizabeth ensured they ended day two in a dominant position.

Maharaj's efficient 84 helped South Africa reach 453 all out, then Wiaan Mulder did the bulk of the damage with the ball as Bangladesh slumped to 139-5 in reply, trailing by 314 runs.

The tourists' hopes of avoiding the follow-on would appear to rest with Mushfiqur Rahim, who survived until stumps on 30 not out.

There were only 22 runs added to South Africa's overnight total before Kyle Verreynne was bowled by Khaled Ahmed.

But any hopes of Bangladesh quickly working through the South Africa tail were soon subverted by Maharaj, who hit nine fours and three sixes in a superb innings, his half-century coming in 50 balls.

Taijul Islam removed him either side of claiming the dismissals of Mulder (33) and Simon Harmer (29) to finish with figures of 6-135.

Having made a solid contribution with the bat, Mulder trapped Tamim Iqbal and Najmul Hossain Shanto lbw two overs apart, that duo having compiled a partnership of 79 to move Bangladesh to 82-1.

Captain Mominul Haque (six) fell in the same fashion to Mulder, and Duanne Olivier, who earlier dismissed Mahmudal Hasan Joy for a duck, knocked over Litton Das' middle stump to leave Bangladesh five down and in a dismal mess.

Maharaj magic

A half-century for Maharaj was his fourth in Test cricket and his first since December 2020. A mistimed and perhaps overaggressive attempt at a sweep to leg side saw Taijul deny him his first Test hundred.

Mulder shows all-round ability

After scoring valuable runs in a seventh-wicket stand of 80 with Maharaj, all-rounder Mulder tilted the contest decidedly in South Africa's favour with the ball. He ended the day with figures of 3-15, eyeing his first Test five-for.

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