South Africa pile up 453 despite Taijul’s six-for

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Sports desk, April 09: Keshav Maharaj’s career-best 84 led South Africa to a formidable 453 even as Taijul Islam bowled his heart out picking 6 for 135 from 50 overs.

The umpires called tea on the second day, immediately after Bangladesh bowled out the home side in the 137th over.

Maharaj’s innings dragged the game away from Bangladesh, who are reeling from being bowled out for 53 in the Durban second innings last week. The visitors had to toil for five sessions, with Taijul’s six-for being the only saving grace in an otherwise inconsistent bowling effort. His sixth wicket of the innings was also his 150th Test scalp, only the second Bangladesh bowler to achieve the feat after Shakib Al Hasan. This is the third time Taijul has picked five wickets or more in an innings on foreign soil, and tenth overall.

It took him a while to stop Maharaj, who was on fire at the start of the second session. He hammered Ebadot Hossain for consecutive fours, although the first one was a chance at slip that Yasir Ali got a finger to. It was followed by a classy square-drive, and then he hammered the same bowler, in his next over, over midwicket.

One ball later, Maharaj played the shot of the day, timing an angled Ebadot delivery from around the wicket, through covers. He held the pose, obviously pleased with his own style. But after one more boundary, Taijul knocked over Maharaj with a straight delivery as the batter attempted one of his rare slogs.

It was Taijul’s fifth wicket, but Bangladesh were held up for a further 12 overs as Simon Harmer and Lizaad Williams added 35 runs for the eighth wicket. Taijul broke that stand when he had Harmer stumped for 29, before Mehidy Hasan Miraz trapped Williams lbw for 13 to signal the end of the innings.

Maharaj had reached his fifty in the morning session in an entertaining effort that was quite effective for South Africa too. He added 80 runs for the seventh wicket with Wiaan Mulder, whose own innings got slightly revived by Maharaj’s energy.

Bangladesh made a good start when Khaled Ahmed, after a brief altercation with Kyle Verreynne, bowled the South Africa wicketkeeper for 22. Maharaj didn’t mind the situation, attacking from the get-go with two fours off Khaled. He hammered Taijul Islam’s first ball for a six over midwicket before adding another boundary, and repeated the same treatment to Mehidy Hasan Miraz in his first over too.

Maharaj lofted Taijul straight down the ground for two sixes, the second of which took him to his fifty. Mulder also struck one six and three fours, before Taijul removed him with a beauty. Having had a rough morning, Taijul got one to spin one from leg to off-stump, bowling Mulder for 33.

Source: ESPNcricinfo