SA v Ban

Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by Suraj Choudhari

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Kagiso Rabada shows leadership qualities

32.4 overs. Yes, that is exactly the amount of overs Bangladesh managed to confront the South African bowlers in the fourth innings of the inaugural Test at Potchefstroom. From 49 for 3 at one stage, Bangladesh were bowled out for 90. They lost seven wickets for just 41 runs inside 20 overs. This is also their lowest innings total outside the subcontinent.

Bangladesh lost the game by a whopping margin of 333 runs and failed to put up any fight in the second innings. South African bowlers were outstanding, especially Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj, who stepped up in the absence of Morne Morkel and got the job done.

How often do we see a team scripting history after their leader of the pack suffers a mistimed injury on the field? Well, it is often said that pressure brings the best game out, but one also needs to pull their socks up and perform. South African bowlers certainly made up for Morkel’s absence by striking at a regular basis and carried the momentum provided by the lanky pacer.

Morkel did well in the first innings, scalping two wickets for 51 in 19 overs. He is undoubtedly South Africa’s strike bowler in the current attack. He looked devastating in the second innings as well and had already picked a couple of wickets from 32 deliveries he had bowled. To be precise, he picked both the wickets in his very first over and set the tone for South Africa’s victory.

In the 11th over, Morkel had to leave the ground due to some injury, which was later discovered as side strain. The pressure was now on other bowlers to deliver. South Africa were 45 for 2 when Morkel left the ground for some medical attention. Maharaj picks a wicket just the stroke of stumps as Day 4 ended in South Africa’s favour and an emphatic win looked on the cards on the final day.

Morkel was unavailable on the final day of the Test, Bangladesh had a mountain to climb, but any result was possible. There were chances of rain after lunch and Bangladesh stood a good chance to drag the result till the very end. They are known to create massive upsets and with Morkel being ruled out, they could have certainly pulled off one. But Kagiso Rabada squashed all hopes for Bangladesh’s victory by producing a fine spell on fifth day morning.

Rabada to Mushfiqur Rahim

 

Rahim showed enough resistance and looked cautious out in the middle. He had played 46 deliveries for his 16 till Day 4, but had to start all over on the final day. Rabada surprised Rahim with some awkward bounce off good length. The batsman tried to punch it off the back foot, but ended up getting a thick outside edge, which flew towards Hashim Amla at first slip. Amla took a fantastic catch to end Rahim’s run on 16. Rabada got his first scalp and this was just the start.

Rabada to Mahmudullah

Mahmudullah played a brilliant hand in the first innings and looked in good touch while Liton Das, at the other end, showed signs of brilliance. If Bangladesh were looking for any kind of turnaround, it had to be this partnership. Both the batsmen are well capable of playing out good bowling attacks, but Rabada had different ideas.

Rabada bowled a good length delivery outside off stump. Mahmudullah got stuck at the crease and played it onto the stumps. This was the second time in two innings, when Mahmudullah dragged the ball onto the stumps. Rabada was pumped while Bangladesh were under extreme pressure as half the side was back in the pavilion.

Rabada to Liton Das

Liton Das didn’t offer any shot to an in-swinging delivery and was trapped leg before. The on field umpire ruled it out, but Das decided to review this one. The replays suggested that the ball would have gone on to hit the leg stump and Rabada had his third wicket inside four overs.

Rabada provided the much needed start on the ultimate day and exposed Bangladesh’s lower middle-order. Keshav Maharaj did the rest and South Africa romped home with a scintillating victory. Rabada is just 22 at the moment and has developed into a force to be reckoned in international cricket. With age being on his side, one can only expect him to get better.

Rabada is tipped to be the next leader of the pack and this outing is only one reason why he is considered to be so. The fact that Rabada stepped up and delivered when his team needed, speaks about his character and capability. With Morkel being out for next few weeks, it would be interesting to see who South Africa roll in, but once again, Rabada will have a huge role to play.

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About the Author

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Suraj Choudhari is a freelance sports journalist. He is an avid follower of the game and played the sport at club level. With a radical understanding about the subtle nuances and intricacies of cricket, he tries to express it through paper and pen.



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