Aiden Markram could have easily become the seventh South African batsman to score a century on his Test debut, but a horrible mix-up in the middle cost him his chance to make history. Still, it was a day where South Africa dominated Bangladesh on day one of the first Test match.
Markram, along with opener Dean Elgar, punished Bangladesh bowlers all day round and kept them wicketless. The only time visiting boys celebrated was when there was a confusion between the batsmen.
The tough times for Bangladesh started when their skipper won the toss and decided to bowl first. That call was enough to turn their fortunes on day one, as debutant Markram and to expect Elgar showed enough patience on day 1.
Toying away with the pace of Mustafizur Rahman and Shafiul Islam at the start, openers started off well and held the fort till the end of the first session, when the score was 99 for zero. Soon, Markram became the 34th South African batsman to score a half-century on his debut.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh continued their hunt for wickets and the skipper introduced spinner Mehedi Hasan for the same. He though kept the batsmen silent on the crease, but was not able to get any wicket. The moment the opening pair touched the 150-run mark, they created a record. It was the first time since 2010 when the South African openers reached the mark. Graeme Smtih and Alviro Pietersen being the last pair to do so.
Markram was moving quickly towards his century, but in the 55th over, a mix-up between him and Elgar saw Bangalesh fielders getting their only chance in the day to celebrate and clinch a wicket. A century could have been an icing on the cake for the right-handed batsman, who has now ensured his place in the top order for the series at least.
Just a ball after Markram’s dismissal, Elgar reached his ninth Test ton.
Until the end of the day, Bangladesh bowlers continued their hunt for wickets, but the pair of Hashim Amla and Elgar did not give them a reason to smile. Elgar was at 128*, whereas, Amla 68* was looking good for his century by the end of the day.
Bangladesh skipper would be ruing his decision to bowl first as the pitch was pretty much good for batting and South Africa made merry, to punish Bangladesh. Should Bangladesh take early wickets tomorrow, it could help visitors cause or else, similar scenes are expected on day 2.
Brief Scores: South Africa 298/1 (Dean Elgar 128, Aiden Markram 97, Hashim Amla 68*; Shafiul Islam 0-44) vs Bangladesh at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom.