South Africa 573 for 4 dec (Markram 143, du Plessis 135*, Amla 132, Elgar 113, Subashis 3-118) beat Bangladesh 147 (Liton 70, Rabada 5-33, Olivier 3-40) and 172 (Mahmudullah 43, Imrul 32, Rabada 5-30, Phehlukwayo 3-36) by an innings and 254 runs
Kagiso Rabada completed the third 10-wicket haul of his 22-Test career, became the fifth-youngest to 100 Test wickets and went past 50 wickets for the calendar year as South Africa completed an innings and 254-run demolition of Bangladesh. Bangladesh folded for 172, following on from their first-innings 147, inside two sessions on the third day to suffer their heaviest defeat in Tests against South Africa.
South Africa had used the short ball to tremendous effect in the morning session to nip out four wickets and the core of Bangladesh’s batting. It took them just over an hour after the lunch break to carve up the remaining six. Rabada’s 10 for 63 is second only to Dale Steyn’s 11 for 60 among the most economical 10-wicket hauls for South African bowlers.
It was hard to tell which innings went worse for the visiting team. For a very brief period of nine overs following the lunch interval, Bangladesh found some respite when Mahmudullah and Liton Das struck nine well-timed boundaries and punched 43 runs. Liton struck two each off Wayne Parnell and Andile Phehlukwayo, driving them through the covers twice and picking up the other two on the leg-side. Mahmudullah married grace with power and was partial to the cover region, where he collected five of his seven fours.
But Phehlukwayo ensured it was short-lived when Liton Das, having misread the line, shouldered arms to be bowled. Next over, Rabada was back among the wickets when he had Mahmudullah slicing to be caught brilliantly by a diving Dean Elgar at gully. Sabbir Rahman committed a similar error and edged a catch to Faf du Plessis at second slip.
Taijul Islam and Rubel Hossain lost their stumps to searing pace, giving Rabada his fourth and fifth scalps. Phehlukwayo then put Bangladesh out of their misery with his third wicket when Mustafizur Rahman’s leg stump was shattered.
It was hardly a different story to what had transpired in the morning. South Africa unsettled Bangladesh with a barrage of short deliveries. Rabada found the outside edge of Soumya Sarkar when the batsman dangled his bat outside his off-stump and was smartly caught by a diving du Plessis at slip. He then struck Mominul Haque flush on the helmet before the ball deflected over the keeper. Two balls later, Mominul holed out to deep square leg off another short ball.
So nasty were South Africa with the short stuff that in all three of Bangladesh’s batsmen were hit on the helmet. After Rabada, Duanne Olivier, who sent down a marathon 10-over spell, was responsible on two of those occasions. Mushfiqur was on the receiving end of the worst of those blows when took his eyes off one that climbed on him at pace, leaving him with little time to react. It forced a lengthy break in play with Mushfiqur receiving medical attention before he could get back up and resume his resistance. He was subsequently taken to the hospital during the break, where tests revealed that he was fine.
South Africa, however, were relentless with the length. Imrul Kayes was strangled down the leg side when he tried to tuck a hip-high short ball from Olivier to be caught by Quinton de Kock. Imrul had made 32 that was characterised by some confident shots, but, for the most part, a lot of struggle.
It was then the turn of Mahmudullah to cop a blow on the head, but he did well to steady himself and tackled the delivery better than the rest. South Africa would go on to strike one final time, at the stroke of lunch, when Mushfiqur misjudged Parnell’s line and offered his pad to a length ball that nipped in slightly to trap him in front of off. Mushfiqur opted to review, but replays showed that the impact was inside and the ball would have clipped off-stump, forcing the appeal to be withheld.
As with the ball, South Africa were hardly pushed as a batting unit with four of their batsmen – Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla and du Plessis – cracking hundreds. What must have been most encouraging would be the manner in which Rabada led the attack in their first Test without Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander since January 2007.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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