South Africa claim victory as Maharaj, Harmer put Bangladesh in a spin

3 minute read

Cricket - South Africa v England - Second Test - PPC Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa - January 6, 2020 South Africa's Keshav Maharaj celebrates taking the wicket of England's Sam Curran REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

DURBAN, April 4 (Reuters) - Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj took seven wickets as South Africa made light work of bowling Bangladesh out for 53 in 19 overs in their second innings to claim a 220-run victory in the first test at Kingsmead on Monday.

It was the lowest test innings total at Kingsmead, less than the 66 India managed in 1996.

Bangladesh had been set a target of 274 for the win but resumed on 11 for three and were bowled out inside 55 minutes.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Maharaj took 7-32 and fellow spinner Simon Harmer 3-21 to complete a dominant performance for the home side, who were missing five first team regulars that have opted to play in the Indian Premier League, including their entire frontline pace attack.

"It is pretty special," South Africa captain Dean Elgar said at the post-match presentation. "It was hard graft in conditions we are not used to and was a challenge for a young bowling unit."

He had particular praise for the spin duo, who took 14 wickets between them.

"They are extremely skilled and developed in their game. They are pushing each other in the nets and it's great to see how they operate. They are extremely competitive, that is their nature."

South Africa’s lack of bowling options had in part forced them to play two spinners at a venue that has traditionally been known to favour the seamers.

Maharaj’s effort was all the more impressive after he bowled with a finger injury on the fourth and fifth days, but the guile and accuracy with which he and Harmer attacked the Bangladeshis was impressively relentless.

He trapped Mushfiqur Rahim (0) leg before wicket in the opening over of the day and from then on it was a procession of batsmen back to the pavilion.

He had the dangerous Litton Das (2) caught by Harmer at mid-on, and then bowled Yasir Ali (5) with a delivery that pitched on middle stump and hit off.

Harmer removed Mehidy Hasan Miraz (0) and innings top-scorer Najmul Hossain Shanto (26), the latter stumped by wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne, before Maharaj claimed the final two wickets.

"We just tried to play to the merit of the balls," Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque said. "We are used to playing spin in Bangladesh, but we played too many loose shots. We have one more match, we need to come back strongly."

The second and final test begins in Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, on Thursday.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Pritha Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.