Bangladesh had a highly impressive one-day series against South Africa, but they will still not favourites going into the Tests. They had even lost to Pakistan after beating them 3-0 in the ODIs. Against this backdrop, they were not the favourites to win the first Test at Chittagong. And, while the rain again played spoilsport, ruining almost half of the game, Bangladesh would be extremely pleased with the kind of effort they put up. They first restricted South Africa with a very good bowling performance, before themselves coming up with an impressive batting effort.
After a wonderful one-day debut against India, Mustafizur Rahman continued to do well in the series against South Africa as well in the ODIs. He was given a deserved Test debut at Chittagong, and did not let the team down. In fact, he was one of major sources of trouble for South Africa claiming four wickets, his victims including the big ones of Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock. Jubair Hossain was also good claiming three wickets, and cleaning up the tail. Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam did a decent job of keeping the runs down.
Bangladesh’s batting, in comparison, was slightly disappointing. They managed only 326 in response to South Africa’s 248. Three batsmen got half centuries in the innings, but not one could carry on and reach three figures. Mahmudullah top scored with 67, Tamim Iqbal made 57 while Litton Das contributed 50. At least one of them should have made a big score. A lot of others also got starts. Imrul Kayes was dismissed for 26, Mushfiqur Rahim got out for 28, and Mohammad Shahid made 25. Again, these numbers could have been much better.
Undoubtedly though, South Africa should be the more disappointed of the two teams. Like in the ODIs, their batting let them down here as well. Bavuma was the only man to cross the fifty mark, and even he got out soon after. Their top three batsmen all crossed the 30 mark, and the situation would have been so different, if they starts had been converted. Instead, Dean Elgar fell for 47, Stiaan van Zyl for 34 and Faf du Plessis for 48. They did better in the bowling with Dale Steyn and Simon Harmer claiming three wickets each, but Morne Morkel’s lack of effectiveness remains a worry for them.
-- By A Cricket Analyst