GQEBERHA, South Africa (Reuters) – Hosts South Africa will look to impose another trial by spin on seething tourists Bangladesh in the second and final test starting at St George’s Park in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth, on Thursday.
The home side completed a dominant 220-run victory in the first test on Monday, bowling Bangladesh out for a paltry 53 in a second innings which lasted only 19 overs.
The visitors’ management were unhappy with some of the decisions from local umpires Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock in Durban and promised to lodge a formal complaint with the International Cricket Council.
Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque gave a blunt assessment of his side’s horror second innings, when all 10 wickets fell to spinners Keshav Maharaj (7-32) and Simon Harmer (3-21).
“I think it was a big crime on our part to give wickets to spinners on foreign soil,” he said.
“You simply cannot give wickets to spinners when you are on tour. You have to score runs against spinners. It is nothing but a total batting failure. I think we just couldn’t handle the pressure.”
The pitch is expected to be low and slow at St George’s Park and unlikely to produce the same bounce as Kingsmead, which will be more to the liking of the visitors.
“We played well in four out of five days,” Mominul added. “There are enough positives to suggest to me that we can bounce back easily in the next game.”
South Africa are without six regulars, with five playing in the Indian Premier League, including their entire first choice seam attack.
Those absences forced them, in a way, to play two spinners and captain Dean Elgar does not foresee too many changes for the second test, especially with such a quick turnaround.
“It shows a lot of character with regards to adapting and being put in conditions we are not familiar with,” Elgar said. “It also shows a lot of strength within our group that we have the resources to adapt.
“We play quite a lot of cricket in the sub-continent. It was great to expose our bowling attack to having two spinners operating in tandem. There’s so many positives out of that.”
(The story has been corrected to change the day match starts)
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Peter Rutherford)