Play on the fourth day of the first Test between South Africa and Bangladesh was abandoned due to extensive rain, denying Stiaan van Zyl and Dean Elgar the opportunity of growing their useful 61-run opening stand in the second innings at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdbury Stadium in Chittagon

Van Zyl, on 33, and Elgar, on 28, will resume on Saturday on the final day of the first Test.

This leaves South Africa with the depressing prospect of being denied a ninth consecutive Test win against Bangladesh. The Proteas won seven of their previous eight matches against the Tigers, and recorded an emphatic five-wicket victory in the eighth clash between the two Test nations.

The visitors made a sound start to their first innings and looked in good shape on 136 for one before their ultra-defensive approach after lunch and an inspired spell of left-arm swing bowling by Mustafizur Rahman saw them collapse to 248 all out.

Rahman finished with a superb four for 37 in his maiden test.

Temba Bavuma scored his maiden test half-century and rallied attractively after Rahman’s devastating three wickets in four deliveries had left South Africa in disarray on 173 for six.

Bangladesh started excellently in their first innings, but slumped from 277 for five to 326.

The offspinner Simon Harmer claimed three for 105 in 35 overs. It included the prized scalps of Shakib Al Hasan for 47 and Liton Das for 50 off 102 balls.

Dale Steyn took three for 78 and wrapped up the tail, although was well below his devastating best.

A feature of the Bangladesh approach was the willingness to leave the safety of the crease in an attempt to unsettle the attacking off-spin produced by Harmer.

Mahmudullah was the best batsman on view and managed 67 off 138 balls with ten fours.

South Africa chipped away impressively in the second innings. Both Van Zyl and Elgar pounced on anything remotely wayward.

Van Zyl, in his first test as SA opener, struck four boundaries and looked assured.

He had a let-off on 19 when Das could not get a glove to an edge that flew dangerously close to his grasp to the third-man boundary for four.

South Africa will look at a positive approach on Friday instead of getting bogged down or in a defensive rut against the Shakib-led spin onslaught.

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