Rampant Rabada leads SA to victory

09 October 2017 - 06:48 By Telford Vice
CHIEF DESTROYER Kagiso Rabada  celebrates his 10th wicket - his 100th Test career wicket - after the dismissal of Mahmudullah of Bangladesh,  as the Proteas wrapped up a massive win over the visitors at Mangaung Oval  in Bloemfontein yesterday Picture: Gallo Images
CHIEF DESTROYER Kagiso Rabada celebrates his 10th wicket - his 100th Test career wicket - after the dismissal of Mahmudullah of Bangladesh, as the Proteas wrapped up a massive win over the visitors at Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein yesterday Picture: Gallo Images

All things being equal, South Africa and Bangladesh would have been busy with the second Test until around 5pm tomorrow.

But nothing about this match was equal, and instead hostilities ended less than an hour before the players were to have tea yesterday.

With Kagiso Rabada ablaze for his match haul of 10/63, SA won by an innings and 254 runs to wrap a 2-0 series win inside three days.

Following on 426 runs behind after they replied to the Proteas' declaration of 573/4 with 147, Bangladesh were dismissed for 172.

That marked the third time Rabada has taken 10 wickets in only 22 Tests, making him the world's leading Test wicket-taker this year and the 16th bowler to claim 100 wickets for SA. At 22, he is also the youngest. Were SA that good? Were Bangladesh that poor? Both.

Less equivocal is that Rabada has resolved whatever has bothered him since January 4 - the day he took 6/55 against Sri Lanka at Newlands, his previous five-wicket haul in the 14 innings in which he bowled before Bloem.

To see Bangladesh's tailenders retreat gracelessly towards short leg even as Rabada advanced gracefully towards the bowling crease was to see a predator terrify prey.

But we know this kid can bowl. What of the rest of a pace attack that had to make do without the injured Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel?

"It is important to see how we can make those guys get better for the time when they need to step up into the team," Faf du Plessis said. "Hopefully [Steyn, Philander, Rabada and Morkel] will be fit to play most of the games, but these guys will be looked at for the future so it's important for them to see that there is some work to do, but they have the quality."

These guys are Duanne Olivier, Wayne Parnell and Andile Phehlukwayo. The best of them was Olivier, who took four wickets and bowled with the aggression that put Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim in hospital.

"That's what you want to see from young bowlers," Du Plessis said.

"You want to see improvement, that they can learn quickly at the highest level. The way [Olivier] bowled was a fantastic effort. To bowl 10 overs on the trot of short-ball work takes incredible effort.

"You can't compare any of our bowlers to 'KG' [Rabada], but what we needed from the attack today was to be ruthless and aggressive and try and make it uncomfortable for Bangladesh, and he led from that aspect."

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