South Africa edge ahead after Steyn’s 400th

Sports Page — Dale Steyn became the 13th bowler to take 400 Test wickets but South Africa’s part-time spinners enjoyed most of the success on an absorbing day of grind on both sides. South Africa’s bowlers showed more intent and aggression than in the first Test but were made to toil on a slow, dry surface that had been run ragged as early as day one.

There were signs of substantial turn, which will suit Bangladesh later on, and it placed added importance on the hosts making the most of what will likely be the best batting conditions of the game. Mushfiqur Rahim’s 65, which included a 94-run fourth-wicket stand with Mahmudullah formed the core of the Bangladesh challenge, which started off strongly but fell away later on.

Mushfiqur’s dismissal prompted a collapse of 4 for 31 in the third session to hand South Africa the advantage.

The predicted rain did not arrive but clouds lurked around the Shere Bangla stadium for most of the morning session. The moisture they held did not provide any swing for Steyn but he was still South Africa’s best bowler, much-improved from the first Test.

He should have had a wicket in the third over of the day when Tamim Iqbal flayed at a full delivery but the resultant edge was out of reach of debutant wicketkeeper Dane Vilas and Dean Elgar could not hold on as the ball dipped on him. Steyn did not have to wait too long for his milestone, though. Tamim could not resist the tempting length and was loose again in Steyn’s next over when he chased a wide ball and edged to first slip, where Hashim Amla collected at chest height.

That wicket made Steyn the joint-fastest seamer to 400 Test wickets, equaling Richard Hadlee’s 80 appearances, and the second fastest to the landmark overall. He is the second South African bowler in the 400-plus Test wickets club after Shaun Pollock, who finished with 421 wickets. After the early success, Steyn seemed set to add a few more to his tally but, until he generated reverse-swing later in the day, Bangladesh defied him.

Summarized scores: Bangladesh 246 for 8 (Mushfiqur 65, Steyn 3-30, Duminy 3-27) v South Africa

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