The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rafique restricts SA

Dhaka: Mohammad Rafique came up with Bangladesh’s best-ever bowling figures on a day in which mother nature too had been kind to the hosts in the second Test versus South Africa here Friday.

The 32-year-old left-arm spinner finished with six for 77 to raise the spirits of Bangladesh on a gloomy day, for once, not because of a dismal performance by the home side.

Overcast conditions and sharp showers early on disrupted play on the second day at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, but Rafique made the most of his opportunities in the one session salvaged.

South Africa, overnight 264 for six, folded for 330 after rain had washed out the morning session. Rain again came pouring down as Bangladesh had just started their reply and were four without loss in three overs.

Javed Omar (3) and Mehrab Hossain (0) were the not out batsmen.

Rafique earlier dismissed Allan Dawson, caught behind, and then bowled tailender Paul Adams to ensure the South African innings was not prolonged even though debutant Robin Peterson struck a brisk 61 with eight fours.

“I was not aiming for anything going into the match but after my four wickets yesterday, a five-wicket haul was definitely on my mind this morning,” said Rafique, playing in only his third Test.

It was only the third time a Bangladesh bowler had taken five or more wickets in a Test innings, the others being off-spinner Naimur Rahman and left-arm paceman Manjural Islam.

Rahman took six for 132 against India in Bangladesh’s first Test here in November 2000, while Islam finished with six for 81 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in April 2001, the previous best by a Bangladesh bowler.

Rafique was supported well by leg-spinner Mohammad Ashraful and seamer Mashrafi Bin Mortaza, who took the other two South African wickets to fall after the first session was washed out.

Shaun Pollock (41) fell at the overnight score, going for a pull shot to Murtaza and it was left to Peterson to ensure South Africa crossed the 300-run mark.

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