South Africa are in firm control of the second Test against Bangladesh with the tourists needing 386 more runs, having already lost three wickets, for an unlikely series-levelling victory as they head into the fourth day at St George’s Park.
Having quickly wrapped up the Bangladesh first innings for 217 in less than 20 minutes after lunch on Sunday, earning the Proteas a first-innings lead of 236, South Africa then declared on 176/6 to set the visitors a highly unlikely 413 to win.
That task became even more daunting when left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj removed Mahmudul Hasan Joy with just the third ball of the innings, with wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne parrying the catch to second slip Wiaan Mulder. Joy, having scored an epic century in the first Test, completed a pair in the second.
The delivery to dismiss Joy went straight on and bounced a bit more than expected, but in his second over, Maharaj ripped a delivery from outside off-stump into the pads of left-hander Nazmul Hossain Shanto and had him lbw for 7.
And then, on what became the last ball of the day, Simon Harmer obtained sharp turn and bounce, the ball coming off the shoulder of Tamim Iqbal’s defensive bat and looping to second slip. Tamim was out for 13 and Bangladesh were reeling on 27/3 at stumps.
Earlier, another solid, positive top-order display had seen South Africa easily set up their declaration as they scored at 4.45 runs-per-over, calling time on the second innings in the 40th over.
Sarel Erwee (41) and Dean Elgar (26) continued their effective opening partnership with a stand of 60 off just 69 balls, and Temba Bavuma (30) and Kyle Verreynne, with 39 not out off just 30 deliveries, both batted brightly.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam took 3/67 in 15 overs and fell just short of becoming the first Bangladeshi bowler to take 10 wickets in a Test against South Africa.
Bangladesh had started the third day on 139/5 in their first innings and Yasir Ali made a pugnacious start by hitting the first three balls of the morning, bowled by Lizaad Williams, to the boundary behind square on the off-side.
Yasir and an obstinate Mushfiqur Rahim added 60 for the sixth wicket but the Proteas attack don’t give up and Yasir was eventually caught-and-bowled by Maharaj for 46.
Just five minutes before lunch, Mushfiqur then played an ill-judged reverse-sweep against Harmer and was bowled for 51.
That opened the door for a collapse of four wickets for just seven runs after lunch, with spinners Harmer and Maharaj taking three wickets in three overs.
Harmer finished with 3/39 in 10.2 overs and Maharaj claimed 2/57 in 24 overs, while the contributions of seamers Mulder (13-7-25-3) and Duanne Olivier (15-4-39-2) should not be forgotten either.