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Harmer shines all round for South Africa

South African offspinner Simon Harmer has taken all four wickets in his first Test appearance for seven years as Bangladesh reached 4-98 by the close of a gloomy second day of the first Test at Kingsmead.

The tourists are still 269 runs behind South Africa’s first innings total of 367 in which Temba Bavuma fell seven runs short of a century.

But the depleted home side, without their entire first-choice pace attack, still took control of the game with spin on Friday.

Much is now resting on Bangladesh opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy, who’ll resume on 44 on the third morning with nightwatchman Taskin Ahmed.

Bangladesh were undone by some controlled slow bowling from Harmer (4-42) and Keshav Maharaj (0-24), who strangled the run rate as they conceded only 66 runs in 39 overs between them.

It was a big day for the 33-year-old Harmer, who had also earlier made his highest Test score of 38 not out as the South African tailenders added valuable runs.

The pick of his wickets was that of Najmul Hossain Shanto (38) as the ball pitched on middle stump and turned to hit the top of off.

Keegan Petersen also took an excellent diving catch at short leg to dismiss visiting captain Mominul Haque for a duck.

Harmer had played the last of his five Tests in 2015 before embarking on a career in English county cricket, but he has been recalled with a number of South Africa’s bowlers missing at the Indian Premier League.

The home side resumed their first innings on 4-233, anchored by middle-order batsman Bavuma, who scored 93 in a workmanlike innings as he missed out on what would have been a second Test ton in his 50th appearance.

Bavuma has averaged almost 50 in Tests in the last 18 months and been a mainstay of the middle-order, but three figures continues to elude him, with his only Test ton in eight years coming against England in Cape Town in 2016.

On this occasion, he was bowled trying to cut spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz (3-94), being undone by the sharp turn.

South Africa’s tail wagged as they put on 122 for the final four wickets, helped by four fours and a six from Harmer, while Bangladesh seamer Khaled Ahmed (4-92) was the most impressive of the visitors’ bowlers.

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