South Africa 61 for 0 (Van Zyl 33*, Elgar 28*) & 248 trail Bangladesh 326 (Mahmudullah 67, Tamim 57, Steyn 3-78) by 17 runs
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2:07

Isam: Bangladesh doing well has made for intriguing viewing

Mohammad Isam reports from Chittagong where Bangladesh managed a rare first innings lead over South Africa but possible showers on the last day could only induce a draw in the first Test

Liton Das scored his first Test fifty and shared an 82-run stand with Shakib Al Hasan to help Bangladesh build their biggest lead, 78, against any team when batting second, but South Africa's openers, Dean Elgar and Stiaan van Zyl, all but wiped that away. They reached the close of a curtailed day unscathed and just 17 runs behind, with enough time, weather-permitting, to set a target.

South Africa may regard this as their best day so far. Despite the Shakib-Liton partnership, Bangladesh's last four wickets fell for 15 runs as Dale Steyn found his bite with the bouncer and finished one short of the 400-wicket mark. Then, the South African openers batted with more ease than their entire line-up did in the first innings and grew in confidence, especially against the spinners, to negate the advantage Bangladesh gained.

The hosts' day began energetically as Mushfiqur Rahim tried to make the most of the old ball. He took on Steyn and was successful until the fast bowler rapped him on the pads with a length ball, and asked for the review after Umpire Joe Wilson wasn't convinced it was out. Replays showed the ball was going on to hit middle stump and Steyn had made his first incision in the series.

South Africa took the new ball one over after it became available, and tasked Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel with picking up wickets. When neither could, Steyn was brought back, with Simon Harmer operating at the other end. Although Harmer found turn, he was at times too short and both Shakib and Liton were comfortable taking him on. They became even more comfortable after they secured the lead with Liton's pinpoint drive off Steyn before lunch, and South Africa then had another spinner, JP Duminy, operating after the break.

Shakib reached his highest Test score against South Africa and had a half-century in sight, so went for a glory shot off Harmer. But what he hoped would be a full-blooded pull turned into a top-edge to give Duminy a comfortable catch at short midwicket and leave Liton with the tail.

Mohammad Shahid offered strong support when he took 18 runs off Harmer's next over, all in boundaries. The first was a fortuitous outside edge; the next three meaty blows over mid-off, midwicket and straight down the ground. His fun only lasted ten more deliveries. After belting Vernon Philander through cow corner, Shahid tried to slog but van Zyl took a good catch at midwicket.

Liton was more cautious and displayed maturity and class. His cover drive off Morkel was the most elegant stroke across the two-and-a-half days of hard grind of either side. There was nothing quite as stylish to bring up his half-century - it came with a single to the leg side off the 101st delivery he faced.

Later, in the same over, his innings ended. Liton was caught in his crease by a sharp offbreak and inside edged the ball onto his pad. Quinton de Kock took the catch and broke the stumps at the same time and umpire Richard Kettleborough had to check for a clean catch, which replays showed it was.

South Africa could see the end when de Kock appealed for a caught behind off Taijul Islam off Morne Morkel but Umpire Wilson gave it not out and it stayed that way on review, so Steyn was brought back. And it was with a vengeance. He banged it in short, hit Mustafizur on the helmet as a warning and then had Taijul caught at gully and Mustafizur Rahman at point to end Bangladesh's innings, and give South Africa a chance to put pressure on Bangladesh for the first time.

Elgar and van Zyl took that opportunity. They negotiated a tricky 40 minute period before tea, which included facing a spinner, Taijul, first up and then, Mahmudullah and Shakib, with caution and then knuckled down in a shortened third session. Bad light ended play after 50 minutes but not before both Elgar and van Zyl showed their ability to handle spin better. Unlike the first innings, when South Africa's batsmen were often stuck in the crease, they moved their feet and looked for gaps in the field. They found the method worked but it will have to keep working if South Africa want a winning target.