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Maharaj, Harmer help South Africa take 1-0 lead with a 220-run thrashing of Bangladesh

Durban: Spinners Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer spun a ruthless web around Bangladesh as the visitors were bowled out for just 53 within the first hour of day five’s play, handing South Africa a 220-run win and a 1-0 lead in the two-match series at Kingsmead Stadium on Monday.

The main architect of Bangladesh’s demolition was left-arm spinner Maharaj, who finished with figures of 7/32 in 10 overs, his career-best figures. Resuming from 11/3, Bangladesh wobbled spectacularly for 53 in just 19 overs, their second-lowest total in Test cricket and also the lowest innings score at this venue. Najmul Hossain Shanto (26) and Taskin Ahmed (14) were the only two batters who reached double digits for Bangladesh in their second innings.

Giving him valuable support was off-spinner Harmer, who took 3/21 in nine overs and completed his comeback to Test cricket with seven wickets overall. Senior wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim was back in the pavilion in the very first over of the day after being trapped lbw by for a duck. Maharaj followed it up by dismissing Liton Das for 2, reducing Bangladesh to 16/5.

Shanto and Yasir Ali tried playing some aggressive shots to stop the slide. But Maharaj struck once again, bringing up his five-for by knocking off Ali’s off stump with an absolute beauty of a delivery. After getting smashed for a six down the ground by Shanto, Harmer bounced back with the scalp of Mehidy Hasan for a duck.

Shanto’s resistance finally ended when he was dismissed off a smart stumping by wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne as Harmer foxed him with flight, dip and turn.

Maharaj picked up a wicket each in his final two overs and completed his seven-for as Bangladesh folded meekly for 53. The two teams will next clash in Gqeberha (previously Port Elizabeth) in the second and final Test, starting April 7.

Brief scores: South Africa 367 & 204 beat Bangladesh 298 & 53 all out in 19 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto 26, Keshav Maharaj 7/32, Simon Harmer 3/21) by 220 runs

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