India skittled South Africa over for only 87 to seal a huge 82-run win in Rajkot, levelling up their T20I series at 2-2 and teeing up a mouth-watering decider on Sunday.

Avesh Khan claimed outstanding figures of 4-18 as India eased to a victory even more comprehensive than Tuesday's 48-run win in Visakhapatnam.

India earlier lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (5), Shreyas Iyer (4) and Ishan Kishan (27) during the opening seven overs, but that was nothing compared to the tourists' spectacular collapse, as Rassie van der Dussen top scored for the Proteas with just 20 runs.

The hosts had been reduced to 40-3 after being put in by Temba Bavuma, but a stand of 65 between Hardik Pandya (46) and Dinesh Karthik (55) following Rishabh Pant's departure for 17 got them motoring.

Karthik's superb half-century helped carry India to a respectable 169-6, and he was only dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius midway through the final over before South Africa put in a dreadful performance with the bat.

Quinton de Kock (14) was the first to go, followed within three balls by Pretorius for a duck after captain Bavuma retired with an elbow injury.

Things only got more painful from there as Avesh ran riot, adding the scalps of Van der Dussen (20), Marco Jansen (12) and Keshav Maharaj (0) to that of Pretorius, while Yuzvendra Chahal (2-21) also made his mark as India kept their hopes of a stunning series turnaround alive.

Avesh wreaks havoc

Avesh capitalised on another fragile display with the bat and the momentum is firmly with Indiai.

If Tuesday's attempt at a chase had been poor – Heinrich Klaasen's 29 representing their best showing, Friday's was truly woeful, with only De Kock, Van der Dussen and Jansen reaching double figures during a chastening chase.

Pandya and Karthik step up

India had been wobbling early on, but Pandya and Karthik stepped up following top-order failures.

In particular, Karthik's 55 off 27 balls carried the hosts into the final over, and helped to leave the series delicately poised.

Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal starred as India wrecked the South Africa top order in Visakhapatnam, sealing a massive 48-run victory to reduce their T20I series deficit to 2-1.

The hosts needed to win to keep their hopes of a series triumph alive after going down to Heinrich Klaasen's career-best 81 in Sunday's four-wicket defeat.

And superb bowling displays from Harshal (4-25) and Chahal (3-20) meant they did exactly that after Ruturaj Gaikwad (57) and Ishan Kishan (54) hit half-centuries for the hosts, who scored 179-5.

The tourists produced a disappointing performance with the bat as they toiled to 71-5 and ultimately fell well short of their much-improved hosts, eventually bowled out for 131 in the final over.

Having been put in to bat by South Africa, Gaikwad and Ishan wasted little time in establishing a strong platform for the hosts, the former becoming the first dismissal of the contest in the 10th over, by which point India had 97 on the board.

While Dwaine Pretorius (2-29) eventually claimed the wickets of both Ishan and skipper Rishabh Pant (6) to keep the Proteas in contention, their hopes of wrapping up the series early were quickly shattered when they took up the bat.

The dismissal of skipper Temba Bavuma for just 8 set the tone for a dismal South African display, with Reeza Hendricks (23), Rassie van der Dussen (1), Pretorius (20) and David Miller (3) all following in a miserable start.

With India in full control, Chahal and Harshal ran riot, the latter claiming his fourth wicket when dismissing Tabraiz Shamsi for a golden duck with the final ball of the contest as the dominant hosts kept the series alive.

Dominant duo run riot

Having struggled to make headway against South Africa in the first two contests of the series, the Indian attack was back to its best in this potentially decisive third clash. 

Harshal set the tone by sending Bavuma and Hendricks tumbling early before finishing with four, while Chahal stepped up to claim his own treble, ensuring there was to be no repeat of Klaasen's heroics by dismissing him for 29.

Home openers on form

Gaikwad and Ishan's gave India a superb platform to build from, with the former recovering from his poor start to the series – in which he had previously scored just 24 runs across two innings – as the pair each hit crucial half-centuries.

Heinrich Klaasen smashed a career-best 81 as South Africa claimed a 2-0 T20I series lead with a four-wicket victory over India.

Ishan Kishan (34) and Shreyas Iyer (40) offered India a bright start at the Barabati Stadium on Sunday.

But the hosts' middle-order batters struggled before Dinesh Karthik scored a brisk 30 off 21 balls to propel India to 148-6.

Having chased an improbable 212 in the first meeting, South Africa initially struggled this time around with Bhuvneshwar Kumar reducing the tourists to 29-3 after an opening spell of three wickets for 10 runs.

Captain Temba Bavuma watched as wickets fell around him but posted an important 35 before being bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal (1-49).

Bavuma combined in a vital 64-run partnership with Klaasen, whose brutal 81 came off just 46 deliveries before he was removed by Harshal Patel (1-17) and Wayne Parnell (one) fell to Kumar (4-13).

David Miller (20 not out) then saw South Africa over the line with 10 balls to spare as the Proteas furthered their advantage in the five-match series.

Rapid Rabada

Rabada became the fourth South African bowler to claim 50 wickets in men's T20Is when he dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad for one in the first over.

The fast bowler achieved the feat in his 42nd game, making him the third-fastest bowler from South Africa to a half-century of dismissals, behind only Dale Steyn (35) and Imran Tahir (31).

Hendricks misses opportunity

Chasing a far from imposing total, Reeza Hendricks had the chance to make his mark as an opener, replacing South Africa stalwart Quinton de Kock.

However, the 32-year-old made just four before being bowled by Kumar as he failed to leave a lasting impression in a rare opportunity at the top of the order.

David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen starred as South Africa chased a remarkable 212 to end India's 12-game T20I winning run.

Ishan Kishan (76) combined with Shreyas Iyer (36) in a destructive 80-run partnership as India posted 211-4 – the highest score in T20Is at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

That total was boosted by a late flurry of runs from Rishabh Pant (29 off 16 balls) and Hardik Pandya's 12-ball 31 for a much-changed India, without Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah or Virat Kohli.

South Africa soon lost captain Temba Bavuma (10) in the chase, caught behind off Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-43), before Dwaine Pretorius and Quinton de Kock offered brief resistance.

Harshal Patel (1-43) then removed Pretorius (29), and De Kock (22) followed to Axar Patel (1-40), with South Africa 81-3 after 8.4 overs, before Miller and Van der Dussen joined in an incredible 131-run partnership.

Miller blasted 64 off 31 and Van der Dussen – dropped on 29 by Iyer – mustered 75 off 46 deliveries to complete the sixth-highest run chase in T20I history and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

India run ends

India seemed set to move clear of Afghanistan and Romania (both 12) for the longest winning streak in the format's history and end South Africa's own four-game winning run.

But the late heroics of Miller and Van der Dussen ensured South Africa collected their 12th win in 13 T20Is, while India have won just one of their past five at home to the Proteas in 20-over cricket.

Maharaj misery in winning cause

Maharaj picked up the all-important wicket of Kishan, but the left-armer struggled against India, albeit in a winning cause.

He went for 43 from his three overs, at an economy of 14.33, but could have been helped by De Kock had the wicket-keeper not missed a stumping of Iyer on 25.

Rishabh Pant will captain India for the first time against South Africa after KL Rahul was ruled out of the five-match Twenty20 International series.

Rahul was due to lead India in the absence of the rested Rohit Sharma, but the batter has sustained a groin injury.

That has opened the door for Pant to step up, with Hardik Pandya named vice-captain after leading Gujarat Titans to the Indian Premier League title in his first tournament as captain.

Delhi Capitals skipper Pant is relishing the opportunity to lead his country in a series that starts at Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday.

The wicketkeeper-batter said: "It's a great feeling, especially getting an opportunity like this in your hometown.

"There is nothing bigger than this. It didn't come under very good circumstances but I will try to make most of it and give my 100 per cent."

Pant came under fire for costly mistakes he made during a must-win IPL encounter with Mumbai Indians last month, but says he will learn from such experiences.

"I think it [captaining in the IPL] will help me a lot because when you keep doing the same thing over a period of time, you tend to improve," the 24-year-old said.

"I am someone who keeps on learning from my mistakes and that's something which is going to help me in the coming days as well."

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has also been ruled out of the series after taking a blow on his right hand in the nets on Tuesday, while Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested along with Rohit.

India will become the first men's team to win 13 T20I matches in a row if they take a 1-0 lead over the Proteas.

The tourists are also in excellent form, having been victorious in 11 of their past 12 games in the shortest format - their only loss during that time coming against Australia in the T20 World Cup last October.

 

Malik to be unleashed, Karthik returns

Umran Malik has been rewarded for a hugely impressive IPL by being called up for India duty for the first time.

The 22-year-old paceman was the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 22 for Sunrisers Hyderabad and is a hugely exciting prospect. 

Dinesh Karthik has not played for his country since 2019, but the 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batter is back in the fold with the World Cup on the horizon.

Nortje back, Van der Dussen closing on landmark

South Africa have brought a strong squad to India and are boosted by the return to fitness of Anrich Nortje.

Nortje had been sidelined by a hip injury, but played in the IPL and is set to fire in a hostile South Africa attack.

The Proteas also have a dangerous batting line-up and Rassie van der Dussen needs only 67 runs to reach the 1,000 landmark in T20Is. If he scores those runs in his next innings, he would be the joint-fastest to reach that figure along with Faf du Plessis (32 innings).

Cheteshwar Pujara has been rewarded with a return to the India squad for the rearranged fifth Test against England in July after a fine spell in the County Championship.

India, led by Virat Kohli, were 2-1 up in the five-match Test series in England before the tourists were unable to field a team due to coronavirus-related concerns in September.

The one-off Test starts at Edgbaston on July 1, following a four-day warm-up game against Leicestershire on June 24, and India have named their 17-man red-ball squad.

Pujara was dropped for the home Test series against Sri Lanka but has been reinstated after managing 720 runs in eight innings for Sussex – including four centuries – in County Championship Division Two.

Ravindra Jadeja is also part of the touring party despite pulling out of the ongoing Indian Premier League due to a rib injury, while Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill retained their spots.

Rohit Sharma will lead the Test side after Kohli, who remains in the squad, stepped down as captain following the 2-1 series defeat to South Africa earlier this year.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will lead the bowling attack, which includes Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and the uncapped Prasidh Krishna.

Ajinkya Rahane was not available for selection after sustaining a hamstring injury, while openers Mayank Agarwal and Priyank Panchal were the other two left out from the Sri Lanka series.

Meanwhile, Rohit, Kohli and Bumrah were all rested for the home five-match T20I series against South Africa, which starts on June 9.

KL Rahul will skipper the white-ball side in Sharma's absence, with fast bowler Umran Malik handed a maiden call-up after impressing in the IPL with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The experienced Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik return to the international limited-overs squad, while spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal make their comebacks after taking the IPL by storm.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda and Shreyas Iyer all retain their spots, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar heading a bowling attack that includes Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh.

India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain) Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

India’s T20I squad: KL Rahul (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain)(wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

South Africa batter Zubayr Hamza has been banned from all cricket-related activities for nine months by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for doping.

Hamza in March agreed a voluntary suspension after testing positive for banned substance Furosemide – which is not a performance-enhancing drug – in an out-of-competition sample on January 17.

The 26-year-old admitted the violation and, after establishing no significant fault or negligence on his part, the world governing body banned him until December 22.

Hamza's performances between January 17 and March 22 this year have been disqualified.

During that time, he scored 25 runs in the first innings and six in the second of the Proteas' innings-and-276 run defeat to New Zealand in the first Test in Christchurch.

He also made three appearances for Western Province, with a highest score of 30.

Alex Marshall, ICC general manager – integrity unit said: "The ICC is committed to keeping cricket clean and has a zero-tolerance approach to doping.

"It is also a timely reminder to all international cricketers that they remain responsible for anything they put into their bodies, to know exactly what medication they are taking so as to ensure it does not contain a prohibited substance and does not result in an anti-doping rule violation."

South Africa have named a strong 16-man squad for their upcoming five-match T20I series against India, but former captain Faf du Plessis has been overlooked.

Paceman Anrich Nortje is back in the fold for the first time since last year's 2020 World Cup after proving his fitness in the Indian Premier League following a hip and back problem, while Tristan Stubbs has received a maiden call-up.

All of the South African players who opted out of the Test series against Bangladesh in March and April in favour of playing in the IPL have been called back up for the tour, which takes place next month.

That includes Kagiso Rabada, who has taken 22 wickets in the IPL this season - the third-best total in the competition.

However, in-form batter Du Plessis, who is the seventh-highest run scorer in the IPL with 399 at an average of 33.25, misses out again.

Du Plessis, who captains Royal Challengers Bangalore, has not played white-ball cricket for the Proteas since December 2020. He retired from the longest format last year.

Head coach Mark Boucher remains in place after Cricket South Africa "formally and unreservedly" withdrew the charges of gross misconduct against him.

South Africa's selection convener Victor Mpitsang said: "This is the Proteas like we have not seen them in a long time. The injection of the IPL players means that we will have a team that's ready to fire on all cylinders immediately and has vast experience of the conditions that we will be playing in.

"The country can also join us in a collective sigh of relief at the return of Anrich Nortje, who has been working hard to recover from a frustrating injury. The National Selection Panel and I are really excited to watch our full-strength Proteas take on the world's number one T20 team."

South Africa's squad in full: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen.

Eben Etzebeth is open to the idea of South Africa playing in the Six Nations in future, saying he would "love" to participate in the competition.

The Springboks are committed to playing in The Rugby Championship with Argentina, Australia and New Zealand until 2025, but it has been rumoured that the organisers of the Six Nations are considering inviting them to join beyond that.

South African club sides now take part in the United Rugby Championship, also involving teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

While Etzebeth plays for Toulon in France, he has signed on to play for the Cell C Sharks from the 2022-23 season.

Speaking to the Rugby Roots programme, the lock said: "I think the Six Nations would be good for us.

"Obviously, it just makes sense with us playing in the URC at the moment against the same competition."

The 30-year-old – who has 97 caps for South Africa – would still like to be able to play against the other Southern Hemisphere sides, and hopes a balance can be found.

"Maybe we could have a full June series against New Zealand, play in the Six Nations and then have an end-of-year tour in Australia or Argentina," he added.

"I would love to join the Six Nations, but I would also love to still play those other teams as well. Maybe they (World Rugby) can get a good balance.

"At the end of the day, for me, it's just about playing for South Africa."

Former South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith has been cleared of racism allegations against him by two independent arbitrators.

Smith was accused of racial bias against black leadership at Cricket South Africa (CSA), discrimination against Proteas wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile and unfair racial treatment surrounding the appointment of Mark Boucher over Enoch Nkwe in 2019.

The former Proteas skipper was under review by Dumisa Ntsebeza SC after CSA's Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) process, with Ntsebeza unable to conclude on "definite findings" in December 2021.

The initial report criticised Smith and former captain AB de Villiers for selection decisions, which it said were prejudicial towards black players, allegations the pair both denied.

That led to further formal processes, with two independent arbitrators Ngwako Maenetje SC and Michael Bishop reviewing the case, before Smith was cleared of the allegations of racism.

Smith, who held the CSA director role between 2019 and 2022 before his contract ended in March this year, has also been reimbursed his costs by CSA on the advice of the arbitration.

Lawson Naidoo, chairman of the CSA Board, said after the decision: "The manner in which these issues have been dealt with and resolved by the arbitration proceedings confirms CSA's commitment to deal with the SJN issues in a manner that treats them with utmost seriousness but also ensures fairness, due process and finality.

"Now that finality on these processes has been reached, it is appropriate to recognise the extraordinary contribution that Graeme has made to South African cricket, first as the longest-serving Test captain in cricket history and then as director of cricket from 2019 to 2022.

"His role as director has been critical in rebuilding the Proteas men's team in particular and has laid a solid foundation for his successor.

"We fully appreciate that after his time as director, Graeme wants new challenges in the commercial and cricket worlds.

"He has a long career ahead of him and we very much hope that he will still work in the cricket world in appropriate capacities going forward."

CSA apologised for the unwarranted public disclosures of Smith's personal information, including his remuneration, during the SJN process, as they thanked the 41-year-old for his efforts in charge.

Pholetsi Moseki, who is CSA's chief executive, added: "On behalf of the executives, staff and players at CSA, I would like to thank Graeme for all that he did as the director of cricket.

"He put up his hand at a particularly tumultuous period for CSA and he has often gone beyond his contracted duties to assist CSA during his term."

Dean Elgar says South Africa are in a "very special place" after they hammered Bangladesh at St George's Park to seal a 2-0 Test series whitewash.

The Proteas ripped through the tourists once again early on day four in Port Elizabeth, bowling them out for only 80 to win by a mammoth 332 runs.

Keshav Maharaj took 7-32 in the second innings of the first Test as the Tigers folded to a shambolic 53 all out at Kingsmead and the spinner was also their chief tormentor on Monday.

The left-armer took 7-40 after making 80 with the bat, richly deserving both the man of the match and player of the series awards as he reached the 150 Test wickets landmark.

South Africa are second behind Australia in the World Test Championship table, having beaten India 2-1 and drawn 1-1 with New Zealand before hammering Bangladesh.

With a Test series in England on the horizon, Proteas captain Elgar believes his side are making great strides.

He said: "Everything comes with a challenge. I like challenges, which is why I am still playing Test cricket at nearly 35.

"I still feel I've got a lot of good years left and maybe even my best years left in me. If was younger, I might not have enjoyed it as much. This is still a massive privilege.

"I've enjoyed it so far. The last year has been testing off the field, but I've got an amazing core of players around me that understand me as a character, as a player and a person and the nature of cricket I want to play going forward. Slowly, everyone has bought into it. We are in a very special place."

The opening batter added: "We've had an extremely successful summer, not just as a Test side but as a cricketing nation.

"I think we are on the right path, doing things in the correct way. I am extremely proud of the Test summer we've had and the depth we've shown with regards to our selection pool. I am extremely proud of the group of players that we fielded."

Keshav Maharaj claimed another seven-wicket haul as he ripped through Bangladesh to propel South Africa to a 332-run victory and 2-0 Test series win at St George's Park.

Left-arm spinner Maharaj bamboozled the Tigers to dismiss them for just 53 in the opener, picking up 7-32, and he repeated the trick in Port Elizabeth with figures of 7-40 in the second innings.

Simon Harmer (3-34) again provided capable support as the Proteas utilised just the two spinners to secure the series in 23.3 overs and move to second in the World Test Championship table.

The spin pair left Bangladesh reeling at 27-3 overnight and picked up where they left off on Monday but not before there was an international cricketing first. 

Khaya Zondo, who made his Test debut, and Glenton Stuurman replaced Sarel Erwee and Wiaan Mulder as COVID-19 substitutes – a first instance of the protocol being used in international cricket.

Once play started with the substitute duo on the field, Maharaj soon had both Mominul Haque (five) and Mushfiqur Rahim (one) caught.

Yasir Ali fell to a similar Harmer trap as he holed out to deep midwicket for nought, before Kyle Verreyne stumped top scorer Litton Das (27) to complete Maharaj's five-for.

Verreyne and Maharaj combined again to remove Mehidy Hasan Miraz for 20, caught behind on review, and the left-armer pinned Khaled Ahmed in front without scoring shortly after.

Harmer then trapped Taijul Islam for a duck three balls later to wrap up victory within an hour on the morning session of day four.

Magical Maharaj

Maharaj raced to a quickfire 84 in the first innings to go along with his two dismissals, but again the 32-year-old came alive in the second innings as he reached 150 dismissals in Test cricket.

He toyed with the Bangladesh batters' minds, uncertain whether the ball would spin or go straight on, as he collected another seven-wicket haul to take him to a series-leading 16 wickets overall.

Fierce Proteas tame Tigers

Bangladesh may not have collapsed for just 53 this time, but it was hardly better as the Tigers looked stunned by Maharaj and Harmer and they have now not beaten the Proteas in 14 red-ball attempts.

Meanwhile, South Africa have won five of their last six Tests, including their last three in a row for the first time since a three-game span between December 2018 to January 2019.

Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer starred with the ball as a dominant South Africa edged closer to a series victory over Bangladesh in Port Elizabeth.

Bangladesh resumed at 139-5 on the third day of the second Test, but an efficient Proteas attack picked up where they left off on day two with the ball, dismissing the tourists for just 78 further runs.

The hosts declared at 176-6 in their second innings after Sarel Erwee (41) and Kyle Verreynne (39 not out) helped them to a 412-run lead, before removing Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, and Najmul Hossain Shanto in quick fashion to put themselves on the brink of a 2-0 triumph.

Bangladesh managed to hold off the Proteas attack for much of the morning, reaching 192 without any further losses through the efforts of Yasir Ali (46) and Mushfiqur Rahim (51), but Maharaj's dismissal of Ali was the catalyst for a fine display of bowling from the hosts.

One day after producing the best batting performance of his Test career to drag South Africa to 453 in their first innings, Maharaj removed Mehidy Hasan Miraz (11), while Harmer dismissed Mushfiqur, Taijul Islam (five), and Ebadot Hossain, the last of the trio for nought. 

The hosts went in search of quick runs when they picked up the bat, reaching 60 before captain Dean Elgar was dismissed by Taijul for 26.

Erwee, Verreynne and Bavuma (30) then posted decent returns to set the tourists a mammoth target, before Elgar declared in hope of a rapid victory.

Bangladesh's second attempt with the bat began in even worse fashion than their first, with Hasan Joy caught by Wiaan Mulder from Maharaj's first ball.

Maharaj and Harmer claimed another wicket apiece before the day was through, with the former sending Hossain Shanto for just seven runs and Harmer dismissing Iqbal for 13. 

The hosts now appear certain to clinch the series on day four, with the below-par tourists needing 386 to level the series.

Maharaj superb once more

Having recorded just his fourth Test half-century to put South Africa in a commanding position on day two, the 32-year-old spinner starred in more typical fashion on day three.

He set the home attack on their way by adding two more first-innings wickets, before claiming two dismissals for just 17 runs as the visitors saw their top order decimated later in the day.

Harmer gets in on the act

Harmer was also outstanding with the ball, claiming the other three wickets at the end of Bangladesh's first innings before wrapping up a fine day's work by dismissing Tamim. 

Keshav Maharaj produced his best performance with the bat of his Test career before South Africa's pace attack put the Proteas in firm command of the series finale with Bangladesh.

Hoping to secure a 2-0 victory in the two-match series, South Africa resumed on 278-5, but an excellent all-round performance from the hosts in Port Elizabeth ensured they ended day two in a dominant position.

Maharaj's efficient 84 helped South Africa reach 453 all out, then Wiaan Mulder did the bulk of the damage with the ball as Bangladesh slumped to 139-5 in reply, trailing by 314 runs.

The tourists' hopes of avoiding the follow-on would appear to rest with Mushfiqur Rahim, who survived until stumps on 30 not out.

There were only 22 runs added to South Africa's overnight total before Kyle Verreynne was bowled by Khaled Ahmed.

But any hopes of Bangladesh quickly working through the South Africa tail were soon subverted by Maharaj, who hit nine fours and three sixes in a superb innings, his half-century coming in 50 balls.

Taijul Islam removed him either side of claiming the dismissals of Mulder (33) and Simon Harmer (29) to finish with figures of 6-135.

Having made a solid contribution with the bat, Mulder trapped Tamim Iqbal and Najmul Hossain Shanto lbw two overs apart, that duo having compiled a partnership of 79 to move Bangladesh to 82-1.

Captain Mominul Haque (six) fell in the same fashion to Mulder, and Duanne Olivier, who earlier dismissed Mahmudal Hasan Joy for a duck, knocked over Litton Das' middle stump to leave Bangladesh five down and in a dismal mess.

Maharaj magic

A half-century for Maharaj was his fourth in Test cricket and his first since December 2020. A mistimed and perhaps overaggressive attempt at a sweep to leg side saw Taijul deny him his first Test hundred.

Mulder shows all-round ability

After scoring valuable runs in a seventh-wicket stand of 80 with Maharaj, all-rounder Mulder tilted the contest decidedly in South Africa's favour with the ball. He ended the day with figures of 3-15, eyeing his first Test five-for.

Dean Elgar, Keegan Petersen and Temba Bavuma hit half-centuries as South Africa reached stumps on 278-5 on day one of the second Test against Bangladesh.

The Proteas are chasing victory at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth to seal a 2-0 series victory after they claimed a resounding win in the first match, Keshav Maharaj claiming 7-32 to skittle the touring Tigers for 53.

Captain Elgar's 70 helped to build the platform on Friday, as Petersen's 64 and Bavuma's 67 provided further impetus, with Taijul Islam (3-77) the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers.

The hosts opted to bat after winning the toss and started in positive fashion, with openers Sarel Erwee and Elgar sharing 52 inside 12 overs before the former was caught behind off Khaled Ahmed (2-59) for 24.

Elgar continued in imperious form to reach his third consecutive half-century as the Proteas skipper mounted an 81-run partnership with Petersen, before edging left-arm spinner Taijul behind.

Petersen cruised to a third fifty in as many Tests, but he was soon dismissed lbw on review by Taijul.

South Africa's dominance wilted in the final session with Bavuma and Ryan Rickelton (42) falling in quick succession to slip catches off Khaled and Taijul respectively.

The unbeaten Kyle Verreynne and Wiaan Mulder defied the Bangladesh attack before the close, and the home side will look to capitalise to build a healthy advantage on Saturday.

Bavuma's century wait continues but Proteas dominate

South Africa have won four of their past five Tests, including each of their last two. Elgar and Petersen have been keen drivers of that recent Proteas success and again contributed here.

But Bavuma, with batting conditions easing later in the day, will have been frustrated to miss out on a second Test century, with his lone ton coming all the way back in January 2016 against England.

Ebadot toils as Taijul excels

Ebadot Hossain typified Bangladesh's bowling problems as he went wicketless, conceding 75 from his 16 overs at a hefty economy of 4.68. Taijul, by contrast, went for just 2.4 an over for his three-wicket haul.

The Tigers will need Ebadot and Co to support Taijul if they are to claw their way back and beat the Proteas for the first time in 14 attempts in the longest format.

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