South Africa were in a strong position at the end of the second day of the first Test against Bangladesh on Friday, but top-scorer Dean Elgar wasn’t satisfied with his team’s performance at the start of Bangladesh’s innings.
Bangladesh were 127 for three at the close, still trailing by 369 runs after South Africa declared their first innings on 496 for three.
Elgar, who made 199, said: “We are in quite a strong position but our bowlers didn’t really hit their straps, especially with the new ball.”
Although opening bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel both took a wicket, Elgar said they had wasted too many deliveries.
“The new ball doesn’t last very long on this wicket as we’ve seen over the last two days.”
Elgar admitted culpability for twice dropping Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.
Mushfiqur was dropped on six and 15 before eventually being caught at short leg off Maharaj for 44.
“With the chances that Kesh created they might have been in more trouble. I was standing too close,” he said.
Elgar said the target had been to take three wickets before the close. “We got our three but they got too many runs towards the end.”
Elgar and and Hashim Amla, who was in sublime form in scoring 137, put on 215 for the second wicket to build on the opening stand of 196 between Elgar and new cap Aiden Markram on Thursday.
South Africa batted on remorselessly until tea before captain Faf du Plessis declared.
The declaration caused a problem for Bangladesh because regular opener Tamim Iqbal had been off the field towards the end of South Africa’s innings, which meant he had to wait for 48 minutes before he could bat.
- Anti-climax for Elgar -
Two wickets fell before Tamim’s enforced absence came to an end and he eventually batted at number five.
It was the first time in his 52-Test career that he had not faced the first ball of an innings.
He and Mominul Haque (28 not out) batted through to the close, with Tamim dancing down the wicket to Maharaj to hit the last ball of the day for six to finish on 22 not out.
Elgar made his highest Test score before falling one short of a double century when a short ball from Shafiul Islam “stuck in the pitch” and he spooned a catch to short midwicket.
“I should have hit it for four,” said Elgar who still had regrets about the run-out of Markram, who fell three runs short of a century on debut after a mix-up on Thursday.
“I was bitterly disappointed. I would have loved to see Aiden get a hundred in his first Test innings and I am still angry about it.”
He described his own dismissal as a second anti-climax.
“It would have been great for me to get a double hundred. It’s what you play for and it’s a massive milestone for me. But our batting unit has failed quite a bit lately and it was important for the senior guys to stand up. So I’ll take 199.”
Bangladesh fast bowler Taskin Ahmed said he was surprised by the “flat” pitch.
“It’s the first time I’m playing here and I thought I would be bowling on a greenish pitch. But it’s slow and your loose balls get punished. We didn’t bowl very well," he said.
"But there was some tight bowling which was definitely a positive, otherwise if you bowl badly they can get 600. The negative is that we didn’t get enough wickets.”