Simon Harmer
World Test Championship

Harmer's all-round heroics puts South Africa in charge

SA v BAN, 1st Test, Day 2 Report

Hit For Six!

Temba Bavuma and the lower-order guided South Africa to a first-innings total of 367 before Simon Harmer's four-wicket haul on Day 2 put the Proteas in a solid position in the ongoing first Test against Bangladesh in Durban.


Simon Harmer first added 38 crucial runs with the bat, stitching crucial partnerships with Lizaad Williams and Duanne Olivier for the ninth and tenth wicket respectively before spinning a web around Bangladesh with a four-for. His all-round showing has put South Africa in a strong position heading into day 3.

Resuming Day 2 at overnight 233 for 4, South Africa found themselves in trouble after Bangladesh availed their second new ball early in the first session. Temba Bavuma, who'd gone past fifty during the final passage of the first day's play, promptly struck two boundaries off Khaled Ahmed. The right-arm quick bounced back in his next over, sending back Kyle Verreynne (28) and Wiaan Mulder off successive deliveries.

While Verreynne was trapped leg-before by a sharp inswinger, Mulder edged the first ball he faced to Mahmudul Hasan Joy at gully. Keshav Maharaj then joined Bavuma, and the pair frustrated the hosts for the next 15.3 overs, putting together a valuable 53-run stand for the seventh wicket. Bavuma got a reprieve when on 76, as Yasir Ali shelled a chance at the second slip off Ebadot Hossain right after the first drinks break.

The Proteas limited-overs skipper progressed steadily towards his second Test ton, but much to his and the team's disappointment, was undone by Mehidy Hasan's flighted off-break to be castled on 93. One brought two for Bangladesh as Maharaj was cleaned up off the very next ball by Ebadot for 19.

Debutant Lizaad Williams successfully overturned a leg-before call early into his innings, and struck a four on the final ball before lunch to help his side to 314/8.

Khaled had Williams caught in the gully for 12 soon after lunch to bag his fourth. Four quiet overs passed, before Simon Harmer and No. 11 Duanne Olivier decided to unleash, striking a four and a six each in a gritty 12-over last-wicket stand of 35. Mehidy Hasan trapped Olivier leg-before for 12 to end South Africa's first innings at 367. The off-spinner returned 3/94, while Khaled Ahmed Bangladesh's bowling performance with 4/92. Harmer, playing his first Test since November 2015, struck four fours and a six during his unbeaten 38.

Bangladesh openers Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Shadman Islam looked comfortable against Proteas new-ball pair of Olivier and Williams, showing solidity in defense first up.

Dean Elgar introduced spin in just the ninth over, and the move worked instantly as Harmer removed Islam for 9 right at the stroke of Tea. The left-hander erred in judging the length and pace of one that skidded through, and the ball sneaked between the bat and pad to hit the stumps. Bangladesh went into Tea at 25/1.

South Africa began with spin on either side in the final session, and the visitors responded with great positivity, with No.3 Najmul Hossain Shanto striking two fours and a six downtown early into his innings. Skipper Dean Elgar brought himself on and slipped in an over to interchange Harmer and Keshav Maharaj's ends. The spin pair found their control thereafter under fading lights, with the next 19 overs yielding just 20 runs, with nine maidens including a succession of four.

The Bangladesh pair focused on playing it out, until Shanto smashed Harmer downtown for his second six of the innings to complete a 50-run partnership. However, the joy was short-lived, as Harmer bounced back in his next over to castle Shanto with a peach. The batter pressed forward, and the ball drifted in before deviating away to take the off-stump.

The off-spinner continued to weave his magic, having Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque caught at silly point for a duck in his very next over. Harmer picked up got the prized scalp of Mushfiqur Rahim before stumps to put South Africa on top at the end of day two. 


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