Cricket 7.10.2017 06:28 pm

Bumbling Bangladesh gift Proteas a powerful position

Temba Bavuma manages a magnificent grab in the gully. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Temba Bavuma manages a magnificent grab in the gully. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Faf du Plessis and his bowlers should be under no illusions over how easy the visitors actually made it for them in Bloemfontein.

Appearance was deceiving on the second day of the second Test between the Proteas and Bangladesh in Bloemfontein.

There’s no doubt South Africa are racing their way towards victory inside three days.

In fact, Bangladesh are still 419 away from just making their hosts bat again after they ended on 7/0 in their second innings, having been wiped out for 147 in their first off just 42.5 overs.

South Africa stacked up a massive 573/4 declared.

But whether the Proteas attack really deserved all their wickets is debatable.

They couldn’t exactly claim that they were consistent in their lines and were helped by a Bangladeshi batting order that looked totally disinterested.

Lithon Das’ stylish unbeaten half-century was a perfect indication of what is possible on this pitch if a batsman just actually makes a bit of an effort.

He hit 13 fours without much fuss to end on 70 off just 77 deliveries.

It was the type of innings that really should’ve let the rest of his teammates hang their heads in shame.

Opener Soumya Sarkar set the tone by moving too far across his stumps and being bowled by Kagiso Rabada, Mominul Haque was caught down the legside off Duanne Olivier and Mahmudullah lazily fished outside off after hitting Wayne Parnell (1/36) for a boundary.

Sabbir Rahman was another sinner, tamely pushing to extra cover.

The only man who was probably blameless was struggling skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, who fell to a stunning, one-handed grab by Temba Bavuma at gully.

The diminutive but superbly agile fielder was stunned when he actually saw he’d held on.

Rabada profited greatly to finish with figures of 5/33 and had good support from Olivier, who grabbed 3/40.

Earlier, the experienced pair of Hashim Amla (132) and Faf du Plessis (135*) toyed with the visiting attack.

The bearded stalwart completed his 28th Test century, moving past Graeme Smith to be the South African batsman who’s scored the second most hundreds in the red-ball format.

Du Plessis also notably made his first hundred in 19 Test innings.

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