South Africa pulled off a massive 333 run victory over Bangladesh in the first Test between the two nations. The home side decimated the visitors in all departments despite playing on a pitch that advantaged Bangladesh with its affinity to spin.
Scoring 496 in the first innings, Du Plessis declared early and put the Bangladeshis in to bat, who then managed 320 themselves. The massive lead meant that the home side didn’t have to score much more to give the visitors a big target to win the match. Bangladesh ultimately needed 423 runs to win, a target far beyond their means.
Bangladesh fell apart without Shakib Al Hasan, something not unforeseen by anyone who follows their cricket. To challenge the Proteas, they desperately need to pull up their socks. Can they trouble the home side in the second Test, or will it be another one-sided encounter?
Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Duanne Olivier, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell
Mushfiqur Rahim(c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Liton Das, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Subashis Roy
Where the Teams Stand
The home side were clinical in all departments, dispatching Bangladesh with consummate ease. Markram was excellent on debut, narrowly missing out on scoring a century as he ended with 97 to his name. His partner, Dean Elgar, was arguably unluckier after he was dismissed on 199, becoming the 12th batsman to have been dismissed this close to a double hundred. At number 3, Hashim Amla also dominated proceedings, scoring 137. That they only lost 9 wickets in two innings speaks volumes of how dominant South Africa were with the bat.
All these three got out relatively cheaply in the second innings, with only Amla crossing 20. Bavuma and Du Plessis then stepped in and carried the innings forward. The knock was an important one for the former, who scored 71, earning him an ODI call-up and ensuring he retains his place in the eleven. Regardless, playing at home, the Proteas’ batting lineup is outstanding and needs no tinkering at all.
The home side has bad news to deal with. Morne Morkel was ruled out of the second Test due to a side strain. Wayne Parnell or Dane Paterson will replace him though Parnell has a higher chance of doing so given that Paterson will make his debut if selected. Rabada, Morkel, and Maharaj tormented the Bangladeshis, with Maharaj being the pick of the lot with 7 wickets, followed by Rabada with 5 and Morkel with 4.
Morkel’s unavailability should not pose much of a problem considering the quality the Proteas possess. They bundled out the visitors for 90 in the second innings. Bar a miracle, this team is not likely to fail.
If losing Shakib wasn’t enough, news emerged that Tamim Iqbal will miss the second Test to injury. Soumya Sarkar will most likely replace the left-hander in the team. The visitors have been overburdened with expectations, not unjustifiably so, and their performance has indicated this. The over-reliance on Shakib was also evident, but even without his contribution,
Bangladesh valiantly reached 320 in conditions that any subcontinental nation would struggle in. This not just through a one or two-man show, but a collective performance from several players. However, this sounds encouraging when one completely ignores their second innings.
Bangladesh suffered due to the incompetence of their bowlers, a major weakness that is being exposed away from home. None of their bowlers took over two wickets alone, with Mustafizur managing 2 in the second innings. The visitors’ bowling was always largely dependent on his performance, and his failure has reflected in the team’s failure. The only way they can hope to win the next game, or any game is to take wickets. This will be a long tour for them if their bowlers cannot support the batsmen’s efforts. The signs look bleak for them, but Bangladesh thrives on being the dark horse. Can they surprise us in the second Test?
South Africa win.
Will South Africa replicate their crushing victory over Bangladesh, or can Bangladesh surprise the hosts? Let us know in the comments below.
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