Gqeberha [South Africa], April 11 (ANI): An early two-wicket haul of spinner Keshav Maharaj provided South Africa with a dominating position over Bangladesh on Day 3 of the ongoing second and final Test here at St George's Park on Sunday.
At stumps, Bangladesh's score read at 27-3, with the visitors still needing 386 runs to win. Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque stands unbeaten at the crease.
After bowling out Bangladesh for 217, South African batters scored quickly to set a target of 413 and the spinners struck in the tricky period of play to put the visitors on the backfoot at stumps on day three.
Resuming day 3 at 139/5, Mushfiqur Rahim with Yasir Ali kept the score moving in the first session. Yasir got the momentum in Bangladesh's favour with three consecutive fours in the first three balls of the day off Lizaad Williams' bowling. However, Keshav Maharaj's introduction worked wonders for the host.
Maharaj was finding turn and bounce, forcing a false shot from Yasir after their partnership crossed the 70-run mark. Maharaj gave the ball some flight and dismissed Yasir on 46 runs.
In the penultimate over of the first session, the hosts scalped another important wicket, this time that of Mushfiqur Rahim who fell immediately after scoring his 25th Test fifty.
After the second session resumed, South Africa removed the Bangladesh tail in just 3.2 overs. Simon Harmer picked the wickets of Taijul Islam and Ebadot Hossain while Maharaj removed Mehidy Hasan Miraz for 11 runs.
South Africa bowled the visitors to a mere 217 runs, giving Proteas a massive lead of 236 runs before walking out to bat in the second innings.
The opening pair of Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee did not take much time to get going, finding boundaries consistently. The partnership propelled the South Africa total beyond the fifty-run mark in as many deliveries before Elgar lost his wicket after scoring 26 runs.
Keegan Petersen started positively but fell prey to Taijul Islam after scoring 14 runs. Bangladesh struck again after the break, with Erwee falling nine runs short of a half-century. The 29-run stand between Temba Bavuma and Ryan Rickelton steadied the hosts before Islam picked his third wicket to remove the latter for 12.
While Bavuma was solid at one end, Kyle Verreynne took the attack to the Bangladesh bowlers with 39 in 30 balls. Mehidy Hasan Miraz scalped Bavuma to break the brilliant partnership. South Africa declared the innings after the wicket, giving Bangladesh a 413 run target.
With the pitch assisting the spinners, South Africa started with Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer. Maharaj dismissed Mahmudul Hasan Joy and sent him back to the pavilion. He then trapped Najmul Hossain Shanto in his next over before Simon Harmer dismissed Tamim Iqbal. Bangladesh ended Day 3 at 27/3.
Brief score: South Africa 453 & 176/6 d (Sarel Erwee 41, Kyle Verreynne 39*; Taijul Islam 3-67) vs Bangladesh 217 & 27/3 (Tamim Iqbal 13, Mominul Haque 5*; Keshav Maharaj 2-17). (ANI)