Mahmudul Hasan Joy’s maiden Test century ton lit up Bangladesh hearts on a rather gloomy day as 17 overs were lost when bad light stopped play in the final session of Day 3 of the first Test against South Africa in Durban on Saturday.
Starting the day at his overnight score of 44, Mahmudul held the fort at one end and was the last man to be dismissed on 137. His knock ensured the hosts don’t end up with a big lead despite having the upper hand on the second day. Bangladesh were all out for 298 in reply to South Africa’s 367 in the first innings.
South Africa had reached 6/0 when bad light stopped play. Soon it started raining heavily but when it stopped, the skies became darker forcing the umpires to call it stumps on the day. Sarel Erwee and Dean Elgar will start for South Africa on Day 4.
Earlier, Bangladesh started the day on 98-4 after off-spinner Simon Harmer took all four of those wickets for South Africa on Day 2. Nightwatchman Taskin Ahmed lasted just two overs of the morning session to give pace bowler, Lizaad Williams his first Test wicket on debut.
Baring Taskin’s wicket, Bangladesh had a rather successful first session as an 82-run stand for the sixth wicket between Joy and Liton Das (41) carried the tourists to 183/5 at lunch. Litton was out soon, almost immediately after lunch without adding to his score.
But it was all Mahmudul after that as he stitched valuable partnerships with Yasir Ali (22) and Mehidy Hasan (29) and Khaled Ahmed (zero) to cut the South African lead short. In the process, Mahmudul also scripted history by becoming the first Bangladeshi batter to score a Test century against South Africa.
Mahmudul cleverly shepherded the tailenders and 197 of Bangladesh's runs came from the last five wickets.
Harmer, who shone with the ball on Day 2, failed to make an impact on the third day. He finished with 4/103 while Wiliams was the most successful bowler for the Proteas on the day with 3 for 54.
Brief scores: South Africa 367 & 6/0 lead Bangladesh 298 (Mahmudul Hasan Joy 137, Liton Das 41; Simon Harmer 4-103) by 75 runs.