South Africans are not thinking ahead and will try to play session by session in the last two days of the first Test match of two-match Test series against hosts Bangladesh in Chittagong.
South Africa conceded a lead of 78 runs in the first innings as Bangladesh replied their first innings total of 248 with a 326-run innings. At stumps on the third day, the visitors amassed 61 runs without loss to reduce the deficit to 17.
The number one ranked Test side conceded a first innings lead against the Tigers for the first time in a Test match but they were not thinking much beyond the first session of the fourth day and want to move on from there on.
Despite the presence of three seam bowlers Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, who all are in the top 10 in the Test bowlers’ ranking, Proteas young off-spinner Simmon Harmer played a pivotal role on the third day.
Playing only his second Test match, Harmer finished the innings with a return of 3-105 including the key wickets of Sakib al Hasan and Liton Das, the two most successful batsmen of the day.
‘I think we need to make sure that we set ourselves a good base tomorrow morning ‘, said Harmer.
‘From there these discussions will start with the senior players and the management regarding the way forward in the game,’ he indicated about setting a target and outcome of the match.
The 26-year old hailed the two openers of his side who negotiated the Bangladeshi bowlers successfully before the rain halted the game and he also said that the pitch was already deteriorating.
‘Yeah it has deteriorated quite a bit so far obviously the subcontinent you know that coming into day three spinners will come into the game’, said Harmer.
‘It was enjoyable bowling on these wickets. I came around the wicket today and the ball was still turning. Back home you might not be able to get that sort of purchase from the wicket.
‘Dean [Elgar] and Stiaan [van Zyl] did a good job today evening to go unscathed in that last session especially with the bad light and the rain around.
‘I think the first session is going to be our target tomorrow and not too much past that.’
At the same time Harmer also praised the Tigers for their resilient batting, which allowed them not only to set their highest ever run against the Proteas but also their highest ever first innings lead while batting second in a Test match.
‘They batted well. A couple of their players really batted well. They didn’t give us any chances’, said the off-spinner.
‘I think what we bowled them out for is a respectable total.’
-With New Age input