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Dippenaar, Rudolph bat through the day

Chittagong: Jacques Rudolph completed an unbeaten century on his debut as South Africa took complete control of the first Test against Bangladesh on Friday, reaching 364 for two at the close of the second day.

Rudolph (170 batting) and Boeta Dippenaar (131 batting) helped South Africa take a first innings lead of 191 in reply to Bangladesh’s 173 all out.

The pair shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 323, the first players to bat through an entire day of a Test match since India’s Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman against Australia in Calcutta in 2001.

The two South Africans made steady progress in hot and humid conditions on a pitch which offered variable and unpredictable bounce. Only when both players had reached three figures did the runs begin to flow freely.

Rudolph’s hundred was a vindication of the talent which gained him selection for South Africa in the third Test against Australia in Sydney last year.

However he was then controversially omitted in favour of a non-white player after the intervention of UCBSA president Percy Sonn.

The 21-year-old left-hander also played in South Africa’s ‘unofficial’ Test again India at Centurion in 2001, a match which was stripped of its status following India’s refusal to play under the authority of match referee Mike Denness.

He played with great confidence, producing some strong drives through the covers off the front foot as a succession of outclassed Bangladeshi bowlers attempted to manufacture a breakthrough.

Rudolph’s unbeaten hundred, only the second by a South African on Test debut and just the 14th time a batsman has past 150 in his first Test, was compiled off 324 balls with 21 fours and a six.

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