South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj felt that the mindset of the country’s cricket is shifting towards spin bowling after he guided his team to a mammoth 220-run win over Bangladesh in the first Test in Durban on Monday.
Maharaj, who had taken two Bangladeshi wickets on Day 4, picked five of the remaining seven wickets on the final day to bowl out Bangladesh for 53 in 19 overs - their second-lowest in Test cricket history. Maharaj finished with 10-0-32-7 while Simon Harmer picked 3/21.
Starting at 11/3, Bangladesh batters fell like a heap of cards as the hosts took just 55 minutes on the fifth and the final day of the Test match to go 1-0 up in the series. Maharaj said he is glad to observe the change.
“Quite emotional, playing at home is always special. Glad that I could take the team over the line. It's just about being patient and hitting my line and length for long periods of time … I love playing at home,” Maharaj, who incidentally, didn't get any success in the first innings, said.
“I am glad there's a shift of mindset towards spin bowling in our country. Very happy for Simon (Harmer). You can't take Test wins for granted, back to drawing room from tomorrow,” Maharaj added.
Notably, Harmer returned to South Africa’s playing XI after a gap of more than six years. Before the just-concluded match against Bangladesh, his last appearance had come in November 2015.
“It was good to be back in the Test arena and contribute to the team’s win … To be back involved in South African cricket is pleasing. It would have been nice to have had a Test match fifer, but that didn't go my way. Hopefully, it will happen and I will get a lot more chances,” said Harmar.
Talking about the match, Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque sent South Africa to bat first. Riding on Temba Bavuma’s 93 and Dean Elgar’s 67, South Africa posted 367 runs on the board. In reply, Bangladesh managed to score 298 runs with the help of Mahmudul Hasan Joy’s 137. Harmer had returned 4/103 in the innings.
In their second innings, South Africa got bundled out for 204, setting a target of 274 for Bangladesh as Ebadot Hossain and Mehidy Hasan claimed three wickets each.