Debutant pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman’s brilliant spell denied South Africa a chance to put a commanding total despite a promising start, said batsman Temba Bavuma after opening day’s play in the first Test.
South Africa, opting to bat first on a placid wicket, were bowled out for 248 runs as Mustafiz ripped through their innings with his 4-37, which included three wickets in the space of four balls in one magical over.
Playing only his third match, Bavuma staged a lone fight to score 54 runs, his maiden Test fifty, which gave their innings some decency if not complete respectability.
‘I think for Bangladesh that’s when the momentum swung in their favour,’ Bavuma told reporters. ‘From that point they just kept on nailing it down on us and we weren’t able to recover from there,’ said Bavuma.
‘The spell form their left-arm bowler was world class and unfortunately we just got caught wanting today.
Bavuma insisted that he had enough home work about Mustafiz’s bowling, knowing that he could be instrumental in the Test series after making an impressive start to his limited over career.
Mustafiz managed to trouble the African batsmen in the ODIs with his five wickets in his final two matches, which followed a remarkable debut against India when he picked 13 wickets in just three games.
It was suggested that top team will soon have a better understanding of the bowling and decipher the mystery but Mustafiz has been proving all wrong in every passing day.
Bavuma, who was not a part of South Africa’s Twenty20 and ODI squad, said he talked to his team-mates to get an idea about Mustafiz’s bowling without any success.
‘I am not much of a video guy,’ he said. ‘But I talked to the guys to get a kind of awareness and understanding of how different it is facing him, especially those quick cutters.
‘It did take me a bit of a while. His ball grips a lot on the wicket so you generally have to wait a lot longer with the ball,’ he said.
‘We were just trying to have some kind of a game plan against him,’ he added.
Bavuma added that Bangladesh were mentally strong then the visitors as they crawled back to take the control despite being at the receiving end in the opening session.
Tigers made a remarkable turnaround in the second session as the Proteas slipped from 104-1 at lunch break to get dismissed without crossing the 250-run mark.
‘When we had opportunities to try and get a better momentum in our innings we kind of lost it there,’ said Bavuma. ‘Maybe mentally we were quite weak at times.
‘I think it wasn’t our best day. We were on top till lunch, a 130 or something for 1 and then to be bundled out for about 250. it’s not about our best day,’ he said.
-With New Age input