Bangladesh v South Africa, 1st Test, Mirpur, 4th day
Rahim century and lower order battling saves Bangladesh
February 25, 2008
614/8 dec (Smith 159, Prince 110, Rafique 3/93) & 113/2 (Gibbs 51, Amla 50*) lead Bangladesh
510 (Rahim 134, Ashraful 93, Smith 3/58) by 227 runs
Wicketkeeper batsmen Mushfiqur Rahim hit a fine maiden century to put Bangladesh on the brink of safety. His brilliant 134 from 235 deliveries included 18 boundary fours and a single six. He gained lower order help from Mashrafe Mortaza and Mohammad Rafique as Bangladesh reached 500+ for the first time in their history as a test side.
Bangladesh started the day on 314/5, still 300 runs behind South Africa's 1st innings total. Rahim and Rafique continued their overnight stand of 83 to add another 82 runs before Bangladesh lost their first wicket of the day. Rafique made 63 from a steady 163 balls, before he was trapped lbw by Morne Mørkel. Rafique had made use of South Africa dropping him twice in the morning session, as their total of drop catches rose to 3.
Mortaza joined Rahim at the crease, and he soon found his stride. Rahim brought up 3 figures with a fine cover drive in 171 deliveries, celebrating in exuberant fashion by jumping in the air bat and helmet held aloft. Mortaza and Rahim put on 50 together before Rahim fell stumped by Boucher off the bowling of Botha, after 279 minutes at the crease.
Mortaza hit 41, with Reza backing him up with a good 26. Smith picked up his 3rd wicket with Mortaza lbw, Steyn got Reza caught at slip, and Mørkel bowled Hossain for 16 to bowl Bangladesh out for 510.
South Africa had time to make 113/2 in 26 overs. Both wickets falling to sloppy running. The two openers Gibbs and Smith both fell to run outs, Smith making just 2 before he was run out. Gibbs hit 51 from 56, including 6 fours as he notched up the pace a bit. Amla put on 77 with Gibbs, and made an unbeaten fifty of his own, finishing with 50* from 76.
South Africa lead by 227 runs, but on this flat wicket, most think it will be a draw. Graeme Smith will be looking for a 300 or so lead before declaring with enough time to bowl Bangladesh out.