Stumps South Africa 428 for 3 (Markram 143, Elgar 113, Amla 89*, Subhashis 2-85) v Bangladesh
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Fourth umpire Adrian Holdstock held up the ball for the camera soon after he had handed over the second new ball to the on-field umpires in the 86th over. As he rolled the ball around in his hand, it was hard to make out the seam, which had become very dark. It certainly looked like a ball that got a fair beating, as South Africa ended the first day on 428 for three.
Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram plundered the Bangladesh bowlers to score hundreds. Markram's 143 was his maiden century, having missed out in Potchefstroom when he tried to help Elgar reach his century. This time there were no regrets from either opening batsmen.
Elgar and Markram also became only the third opening pair to put together a 200-plus partnership after being put into bat. They had gotten rid of early-season nerves in Potchefstroom, so all they had to wait was for a bad ball every over. For most part of the first two sessions, the Bangladesh bowlers obliged and the home side scored at 4.75 on the day, striking 58 boundaries.
Mustafizur Rahman, the sole survivor in a revamped bowling attack, was slightly better than the others, although Subashis Roy took two wickets. Rubel Hossain took one wicket but he conceded runs at more than five an over for 18 overs. Taijul Islam, who replaced Mehidy Hasan as the sole specialist spinner, gave away 98 runs in his 19 overs.
South Africa's 428 for 3 is now also the second most runs scored against Bangladesh on the first day of a Test match, and the third time any team has scored more than 400 runs on the first day against them.
Only for a short period on either side of the tea interval, the Bangladesh seamers looked threatening. Their short-ball barrage produced the wickets of Elgar and Markram. Temba Bavuma also fell during that short burst, caught behind off Subashis.
But Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis got back control with a 140-run fourth wicket partnership, ending the day on 89 and 62 respectively. Their settling-in period didn't last for too long as they took advantage of an older ball that wasn't doing anything other than hitting the boundary boards.
The day had started pleasingly for du Plessis. Mushfiqur's decision to field first was once again instantaneously ridiculed by what du Plessis had to say about the pitch - that there was nothing wrong in it to bat first, so he wouldn't mind doing so.
The Bangladesh bowlers too didn't support their captain in the first session, giving away 126 runs without picking a wicket. Mushfiqur, also, was quite impatient as he used up four bowlers in the first six over - after Subashis Roy had bowled one bad over - trying to switch Mustafizur Rahman's end.
Spin was brought just after the hour-mark, but to no avail. In the 10th over, Elgar was troubled twice by Mustafizur, but the South Africa openers remained unscathed for the rest of the session.
Both reached fifties in the morning session, with Elgar speeding away to 72. He was the first to reach the three-figure mark too, completing his fifth century of the year and tenth overall. He hit ten boundaries between cover and mid-off.
But Markram was shadowing Elgar's score, going after Bangladesh's bowling at the start of the second session. He was extremely productive in the zone between mid-on and midwicket, and used his wrists to adjust for length and speed, as he hit nine boundaries through there. He reached his hundred three overs after Elgar's, a well-deserved ton for the newcomer who then brought up 200 runs for the opening stand.
To slow down South Africa, Mustafizur started to bounce Elgar in one of his spells. It nearly yielded him the wicket but wicketkeeper Liton Das dropped a tough chance that was going over his head. Subashis picked up the wicket soon after however, with Elgar top-edging a pull to Mustafizur, the man who had initiated the move in the first place.
It gave Bangladesh something to celebrate as South Africa remained in complete control of the second session too, adding 130 runs in 27 overs during the period.
Shortly after the lunch break, Markram fell to a Rubel Hossain yorker that was mixed in between regular short deliveries. Bavuma fell for seven but that was the last time Bangladesh had a reason to smile in yet another forgettable day in their South Africa tour.