POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa (Reuters) - Dean Elgar scored his ninth test 50 while debutant Aiden Markram was edging to a half century as South Africa reached 99 without loss on the first morning of the first test against Bangladesh at Senwes Park on Thursday.
Elgar was 56 not out and the 22-year-old Markram on 43 at lunch in the best opening partnership for South Africa in their last 17 innings. Bangladesh had won the toss and surprisingly decided to bowl in conditions that looked perfect for batting, quickly finding little being offered by the track.
Five bowlers were used before lunch with only Taskin Ahmed coming close to a wicket when Markram offered a difficult chance to Mustafizur Rahman at backward point but the ball fell just short. The debutant was on 28 at the time.
South Africa also included Andile Phehlukwayo, who they hope will develop into an established all-rounder, for his first cap while Bangladesh were without top performer Shakib Al Hasan, who asked to miss the tour because of exhaustion.
The match — a first test in 15 years in Potchefstroom since South Africa beat Bangladesh by an innings and 160 runs — is also a first for new South Africa coach Ottis Gibson, who was previously part of England’s bowling staff.
The second of the two-test series is in Bloemfontein from Oct. 6-10.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Christian Radnedge