Maharaj in seventh heaven as South Africa breeze past Bangladesh at Kingsmead

By Sports Desk April 04, 2022

Keshav Maharaj claimed a remarkable seven-wicket haul as South Africa required just 13 overs on the fifth morning of the first Test to register an emphatic 220-run victory over Bangladesh at Kingsmead.

The Proteas were bowled out for 204 in their second innings in Durban on Sunday, setting the tourists 274 to win before Maharaj and Simon Harmer reduced Bangladesh to 11-3 at stumps.

The visitors' sizeable task significantly increased when they lost Mushfiqur Rahim in the first over the day, pinned in front by Maharaj, who claimed six of the seven wickets to fall on Monday to finish with 7-32.

Dean Elgar's hosts only used spinners Harmer (3-21) and Maharaj in the final innings, which lasted just 19 overs in total, as they claimed a 1-0 lead in the two-match series by bowling the Tigers out for 53.

The rampant Maharaj picked up where he left off on day four as he struck with his fifth delivery to remove Mushfiqur for a duck, while Litton Das (two) chipped a simple catch to Harmer in the left-armer's next over.

Yasir Ali (five), who was bowled by Maharaj, and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (zero) followed in quick succession, with the latter snaffled at slip by Keegan Petersen off Harmer.

Najmul Hossain Shanto offered brief resistance but when he was stumped for 26 by Kyle Verreynne off Harmer, Bangladesh were languishing at 50-8 and Maharaj soon wrapped up victory.

Khaled Ahmed needlessly slogged the finger spinner to Lizaad Williams before Taskin Ahmed (14), who survived an earlier lbw review, edged Maharaj to Wiaan Mulder at slip to seal victory in just 55 minutes.

Spin tames Tigers

Maharaj went wicketless in 37 overs in the first innings. However, he ramped up the pressure in the second with his seven dismissals coming in 60 balls, the second-fastest since 2002 after Stuart Broad's against Australia in 2015, as he collected his eighth Test five-for and best figures at home.

Indeed, it was also the first time South Africa have bowled out an opposition using only two bowlers after neither of the seamers, Duanne Olivier and Williams, were called on in the second innings.

Kingsmead hoodoo ends in dominant fashion

South Africa cruised to just their second win in their last 10 matches at Kingsmead as Bangladesh were bowled out for their second-lowest total in Tests and lowest against the Proteas.

The visitors will have to figure out how to bounce back against Maharaj and Harmer, who took seven wickets on his comeback to international cricket, in the final Test in Port Elizabeth that starts on Thursday.

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