Recent Match Report – South Africa vs Bangladesh 1st Test 2021/22

South Africa 367 & 204 beat Bangladesh 298 & 53 (Shanto 26, Maharaj 7-32, Harmer 3-21) by 220 runs

Keshav Maharaj bowled South Africa to an emphatic win in 13 overs and 55 minutes on the fifth morning of the first Test, dismissing Bangladesh for the lowest total in an innings at Kingsmead. It was Maharaj’s eighth Test five-for and best figures at home, which helped South Africa win just their second of the last ten matches at the venue.
He was supported by offspinner Simon Harmer, who made his comeback to Test cricket, and finished the match with seven wickets. Between them, the spinners took 14 wickets – the second-most by South African spinners in a home Test and the most since readmission.

Bangladesh were dismissed for their second-lowest total in Tests and lowest against South Africa, an unfortunate end to a match where they remained competitive until the last half-an-hour on the fourth day. Set 274 to win, Bangladesh were 11 for 3 overnight and lost seven for 42 on the fifth morning. Only two of their batters got into double figures and four were dismissed without scoring.

Maharaj struck with his fifth delivery when he had Mushfiqur Rahim rapped on the pads with a delivery that drifted in and struck him fairly low. Mushfiqur was given out on-field, but reviewed in optimism, and ball-tracking confirmed it was hitting middle and leg stump. In his next over, Litton Das chipped him to mid-on and in the over after that, Maharaj delivered the best ball of his spell when he got the ball to drift in on middle stump and spun away from Yasir Ali to take out his off stump and give Maharaj five wickets.

At the other end, Harmer found Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s outside edge and Keegan Petersen accepted a simple catch before a slightly more complicated dismissal when he had Najmul Hossain Shanto, Bangladesh’s top-scorer in the innings, stumped. Shanto lunged forward and was beaten on the drive and could not drag his back foot over the line in time.

Maharaj thought he had a sixth when he beat Taskim Ahmed’s defence and South Africa reviewed but the ball had spun too much – not something Maharaj is known for – but he did not have to wait too long for more success. Three balls later, Khaled Ahmed top-edged a slog to mid-on. Lizaad Williams had to make some ground to take the catch but kept his eye on the ball and made no mistake. Maharaj finished the Test when he had Taskin caught at slip by Wiaan Mulder, five minutes before the first scheduled drinks break of the day.

From the president’s suite, Maharaj’s father Athmanand, applauded as his son kissed the turf, gestured a prayer to his late grandmother and led the South African team off the field, match-ball in hand. Maharaj’s seven wickets came in 60 balls, the second fastest since 2002 after Stuart Broad’s against Australia in 2015. It was also the first time South Africa have bowled out an opposition using only two bowlers after neither of seamers were called on in the second innings.

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