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Tigers still believe they can win their first Test against Proteas

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Bangladesh’s team director Khaled Mahmud believes that the team can still win the first Test despite losing three crucial wickets at stumps on Sunday.

Bangladesh's Mahmudul Hasan Joy (L) walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal by South Africa's Keshav Maharaj (not seen) during the fourth day of the first Test cricket match at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Sunday
Bangladesh’s Mahmudul Hasan Joy (L) walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal by South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj (not seen) during the fourth day of the first Test cricket match at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Sunday. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP

Bangladesh’s team director Khaled Mahmud believes that the team can still win the first Test despite losing three crucial wickets at stumps on Sunday.

Johannesburg — The last half an hour of Sunday’s play showed just what a tricky task Bangladesh faced in trying to see out the last day, with the tourists believing that only two results are possible on the final day of the first Test at Kingsmead.

“Either we win or we lose, I don’t think a draw is possible,” said Bangladesh’s team director Khaled Mahmud.

The tourists were in deep trouble on 11/3 at stumps on day four, with South Africa’s two spinners Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer, blowing away the Tigers’ top order.

Maharaj dismissed Mahmudul Hasan Joy, the centurion from the first innings with a beautiful ‘slider’ that went through the opener’s defence and then trapped the captain Mominul Haque lbw for 2.

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Bangladesh still need another 263 runs, but with scoring runs difficult on a wearing pitch, the Proteas are favourites to take the lead on Monday in the two match series.

“If we bat well and bat long enough then we have a good chance to win this Test,” Mahmud added. “I’ve been very happy with the attitude the boys showed in the field, they bowled very well, they came back very strongly to keep the lead to 273. At one time it looked like (South Africa) were batting very comfortably but all the bowlers did their jobs very well and we fielded brilliantly.”

South Africa’s batting consultant Justin Sammons said the pitch made scoring difficult, with spinners getting plenty of turn while the Bangladesh fast bowlers had the ball reverse swinging. “The ball is gripping and it is gradually turning more,” said Sammons.

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“From a seam point of view they hit good lengths and in Durbs it’s hard to up the scoring rate when they are hitting those lengths because hitting up the ground is tough because of the pace.”

The pitch however has been much better than surfaces used in the India series earlier this season which was far too favourable for the seam bowlers.

The Kingsmead pitch has provided assistance for all the bowlers but it has also rewarded good batting as Joy and Temba Bavuma’s innings have shown.

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