Temba Bavuma had not even hit the ball but Liton Das was already waiting to receive it. That's what good wicketkeeping is.
Liton had moved to his left as Bavuma shaped up for the paddle-sweep, a risky shot, but on 71 and with an instruction to get things moving, it was a "caluclated risk" Bavuma decided to take. "I played a shot that I back a lot," he said.
Bavuma appeared to have applied a strong enough touch and the ball had come off the middle of the bat but as it began to make its way towards fine leg, Liton was in its way. He stuck out his left-hand and snatched it, immediately brought the hand to his body so that when he tumbled to the ground there was no risk of the ball popping out and then made sure he kept a firm grip on it. There was a lengthy replay to check if the catch was legitimate but both Bavuma and Liton always knew it was. Bavuma later described the catch as "something special."
Two overs later, Liton was in action again. His opposite number Quinton de Kock also had the directive to get things going so South Africa could declare with enough time to finish the game off and skipped out to try and launch Mominul Haque down the ground. De Kock's move was as premeditated as Bavuma's but he did not trust it half as much. He was not even close to the pitch of the ball, which turned down the leg side. Liton had moved to his right in anticipation, caught the ball and tumbled to his left to stump de Kock.
In less than ten minutes, Bangladesh had got rid of the last remaining recognised batsmen in the South Africa line-up and were into the lower-order. Under normal circumstances, that would be a great thing. At 398 runs behind, it wasn't really but Liton had given them something to hold on to and given himself something to be happy about.
"I always enjoy wicketkeeping," he said. "Sometimes good things happen and sometimes there are misses. When it goes my way, I feel happy. It is all part of the game."
His work will not go unnoticed, especially as Bangladesh are searching for an alternative to Mushfiqur Rahim behind the stumps. In New Zealand, they trialled Nurul Hasan but Liton may have jumped ahead in the queue.
Even the opposition have noticed his efforts and Bavuma praised the Bangladesh keeper for his work. "He had a really good day with the gloves. I don't think it's easy keeping on that kind of wicket where there is some variable bounce especially with the spin. He can hold his head high for what he did with the gloves."
South Africa's own catching, especially behind the stumps, has left a lot to be desired. Dean Elgar dropped Mushfiqur twice in the first innings, Hashim Amla had one fall short of him and Faf du Plessis, yes Faf du Plessis, also put one down. After an England tour where dropped catches also cost South Africa, Bavuma admitted there has been a focus on doing the basics better.
"It's something we've stressed quite heavily and it's something we're just going to have to keep emphasising," he said. "I don't think it will ever be perfect, but as long as we're aware of it and keep putting in the effort then we can't fault ourselves on that."
They need look no further than their opposition for inspiration. Bangladesh only created ten chances in two innings but they took nine of them. Bavuma was the only one they let off, dropped on 8 at backward point by Imrul Kayes. Liton was part of four of those nine dismissals and may be proving himself a keeper, in every sense.
After spending 146 overs in the field for South Africa's first innings, Liton had no problems padding up to open the batting when Tamin Iqbal couldn't because of time off the field. He lasted 29 balls and employed the same proactive approach Bangladesh have made their new signature. Though he was troubled by the short ball, he also took it on and he played some delightful flicks on the leg side before chasing a wide one from Morne Morkel and gifting a catch to slip.
As expected, Morkel, with his pace and bounce, was the bowler who troubled Liton most but the good news for the Bangladesh gloveman is that he may not have to worry about facing him again in this match. After sustaining a side strain, Morkel will undergo a scan on Monday morning and has been labeled "unlikely," to bowl further. Bangladesh still have to deal with Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Andile Phehlukwayo and Keshav Maharaj, who Liton has identified as the real "challenge" they will face in trying to save the game but he remained bullish about their chances.
"I don't think we are on the back foot," he said. "We were never out of the game. We didn't get wickets but we were always in the game. It is a tough situation but we will keep fighting on the fifth day." A little fight from him, could go a long way.