Port Elizabeth Test, Day 1: Elgar powers SA to 278/5
South Africa looked menacing on the first day's play in the ongoing second Test against Bangladesh in Port Elizabeth. SA's top and middle-order posted prominent numbers to propel their side to a commanding position. For Bangladesh, Taijul Islam and Khaled Ahmed toiled hard to collect five wickets in total. SA eventually wrapped up Day 1 on 278/5. Here are more details.
Opting to bat first, it was yet another desirable start by the hosts. Dean Elgar looked dominating as ever to strike his third fifty in the series. SA's middle-order batters rose to the occasion, dishing out crucial partnerships throughout the second and third sessions. Bangladeshi bowlers eventually got back into the game, dismissing Ryan Rickelton and Temba Bavuma in 81.3 and 84.3 overs respectively.
Elgar (70) charged onto Bangladesh with his 22nd Test fifty. It was his third-fastest fifty in Test cricket. Peterson (64) clocked only his fourth fifty, while it was number 19 for Bavuma (67) in the longest format. With that, Bavuma has now amassed 2,582 runs in 51 Tests at 34.42. He now averages 54.50 across seven innings versus Bangladesh.
Elgar's last three Test innings read 70, 64, and 67. He has raced past 4,800 runs in Tests. He has amassed 4,838 runs in 76 Tests at 39.65. He has 13 hundreds and 22 fifties. Against Bangladesh, the southpaw now averages a whopping 86.57. He has amassed 606 runs across six Tests versus Bangladesh, striking two hundreds and three fifties.
Bangladeshi quick Khaled Ahmed struck the first blow, dismissing Sarel Erwee in the 12th over. Khaled's fuller one got the better of Erwee as it edged and carried to the wicket-keeper. Later, he dismissed Bavuma to wrap up the day with figures of 2/59 in 20 overs. Meanwhile, spinner Taijul Islam (3/77) reaped rewards, but not before he bowled 32 overs.
"The surface looks like it'll crumble as the Test progresses, there is some grass, but it's very tufty. The ball will get scuffed up and reverse swing will be a factor," said former SA cricketer Shaun Pollack in his pitch report ahead of the second Test as per Cricbuzz. Pollock added that there won't be much bounce on the wicket either.