South Africa vs Bangladesh 2nd Test Preview and Prediction: Will Bangladesh Hit Back?

Mehidy Hasan Miraz in action for Bangladesh vs South Africa.
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South Africa, having been challenged for the first four days, ultimately recorded a very comfortable win over Bangladesh in the first match in Durban. But Bangladesh have been in fine form in recent months and will surely be determined to hit back in this second and decisive Test. Who will come out on top? Read on for our full South Africa vs Bangladesh second Test preview and prediction:

South Africa vs Bangladesh 2nd Test Preview and Prediction

Series So Far

Bangladesh will be rueing their poor start and dreadful finish in the first Test. With South Africa winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Bangladeshi seamers were unable to find the right line and length in the first session and South Africa’s opening combination of Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee cashed in, putting on 113 for the first wicket. Bangladesh reined them in thereafter, but the damage was done and the visitors were chasing the game for the rest of the match.

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Mahmudul Hasan Joy’s superb century gave Bangladesh a fighting chance heading into the second half of the match, despite conceding a 69 run lead to South Africa. They then looked to be right in the game when they engineered two collapses to bowl South Africa out for 204, even if a target of 274 to win looked daunting. In the end, however, they got nowhere close to that figure, skittled by a combination of Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj, for just 53.

Expected Teams

It would be a surprise to see South Africa make any changes. Elgar, who scored crucial 50s in both innings in the first Test, will open the batting alongside Erwee, who could probably use another score to go with the hundred he made against New Zealand to secure his place for the foreseeable future. Keegan Petersen had a quiet Test by his recent standards, but is probably the most naturally gifted of the available South African batters. Ryan Rickelton, meanwhile, made a solid if unspectacular debut.

Temba Bavuma will have been frustrated to miss out on a hundred, but is a vital cog in the Proteas team. Kyle Verreyne has stepped into the void left by Quentin de Kock admirably. Wiaan Mulder will likely get one more chance, but has struggled at this level. With the Port Elizabeth surface having favoured spin, Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer will have a vital role to play. Lizaad Williams and Duanne Olivier will play as the frontline seamers.

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Bangladesh will also most likely go with the same XI. Hasan Joy will doubtless have been frustrated not to be able to truly influence the result after his superb knock in the first innings. Shadman Islam had a poor match by his standards, scoring just nine runs in the match and all of them in the first innings. Najmul Hossain Shanto resisted valiantly in the both innings, playing a lone hand in the second, but was unable to avert a collapse.

Captain Monimul Haque failed in both innings and is experiencing a rare lean patch in Tests. Mushfiqur Rahim will bat at five with keeper-batsman Litton Das in at six. Yasir Ali and Mehidy Hasan Miraz provide Bangladesh with very useful lower-order batting, though neither were able to prevent Bangladesh’s fourth innings from sliding into   in Durban. After an impressive showing, seamers Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain and Khaled Ahmed should all keep their places.

Key Man

Maharaj was at his very best in the first Test match in Durban and South Africa will be hoping for more of the same from the off-spinner. He was ably assisted by Harmer, but it was Maharaj who was the chief architect of Bangladesh’s second innings collapse, ultimately finishing with figures of 7-32 in just ten overs. With the pitch in Port Elizabeth likely to favour the spinners once again, if Maharaj can bowl so accurately once again it will go along way to helping South Africa securing the series win.

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Speaking of spinners, Mehidy will surely have a key role to play for Bangladesh, albeit not just with the ball. It proved tricky for the lower-order batters – South African and Bangladeshi alike – to score runs though Taskin was the second highest scorer in Bangladesh’s second innings. With Mehidy, at least in theory, providing a threat with the ball and some solidity to the Bangladesh lower order, a good performance from the all-rounder will likely be crucial.

Prediction

Bangladesh were largely competitive in the first match before completing losing their way in the fourth innings. That was a surprise, particularly as it was the South African spinners who did so much damage, and clearly a real disappointment to the Bangladesh leadership. Expect a more determined and disciplined approach from the visitors. But the South Africans are still surely the favourites heading into the match. Expect them to demonstrate why.

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