Is there one word to describe a day in which you achieve a career-best but fall short of another significant milestone, or when you've played your part in giving your team the advantage and then also done your bit in making it harder for them?

For Dean Elgar there is: "anticlimactic."

That's how the South Africa opener described the feelings of reaching 199 and then having an "amateur moment" when he half-left-half-pulled to midwicket, and the "blunders" of dropping two catches later on. "It was quite an up and down day for me personally. The mishaps are just part of the game and getting out for 199 is also part of the game," he said, but he still managed to see the bright side. "I look at the positives in things. I will still have another opportunity to get a Test double-hundred, which is fine with me."

This match may not present the chance for that, but it may provide several for Elgar to rectify his catching off Keshav Maharaj. Twice Elgar put Mushfiqur Rahim down, both were simple chances off the outside edge and though it did not cost South Africa much in this match - Maharaj had Mushfiqur caught at short leg for 44 - it is part of a larger issue. Elgar put down similar chances on South Africa's tour of England in the winter, also off Maharaj, which has led to questions over whether he is the best person to field at slip to the spinner.

Usually South Africa only insert one slip fielder when Maharaj is bowling and until quite recently that was Hashim Amla but "he doesn't want to stand there anymore", according to Elgar. So they've had to find someone else. Elgar is part of the cordon to the quicks and because Faf du Plessis, the regular second slip, wants to captain from the outfield when Maharaj is operating, Elgar is the natural choice. He expects he will make some mistakes but accepts that his recent performances have been below-par. "Blunders are going to happen. It doesn't make you a crap cricketer or a rubbish fielder," Elgar said. "But I know I've set myself standards and it's not good enough."

On the second afternoon of this match, Elgar explained the drops as a result of an inconsistent pitch where it was hard to judge where to stand at slip. "Originally we thought because the wicket is quite slow, I have to come closer," he said. "It's almost like the ball is increasing in pace off the wicket when the spinner is bowling and then off the seamer it's coming quite slowly. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the way Kesh bowls because he does put a lot of spin on the ball and the ball does sometimes generate pace off the wicket. I was standing too close. The second one, there was discussion between me and Quinny [de Kock] and we thought we maybe I should go closer. But the ball seems to generate pace off the wicket. It's not every ball, it's inconsistent. That's something we need to negate tomorrow."

More so because the surface is offering very little and Bangladesh have already proven fairly stubborn; Elgar expects wicket-taking opportunities to be few. "It's going to be hard work. The Bangladeshis aren't a pushover team anymore, their cricketers are highly skilled now. They made scoring quite tough at times and now they are making taking wickets quite tough. There is not a lot of assistance, so, as a bowling unit, we will have to be on it and the first hour could be big for us. If we can squeeze them then I'd like to think we have enough in the tank to roll them early tomorrow and potentially have another crack with the bat."

Maharaj will be key to South Africa's hopes. "Tomorrow is going to be a big one for him," Elgar said. "The wicket offers him [something for] what he does and he spins the ball. The odd one will turn and the odd will skid like we saw with the bat-pad catch - very much like the subcontinent style."

Hearing the conditions described as subcontinental will come as a surprise to those who associate South Africans surfaces with pace and bounce, none more so than Bangladesh. Both Sabbir Rahman and Taskin Ahmed admitted to expecting more grass but that was not the only thing that caught Bangladesh unawares. Du Plessis' tea-time declaration with South Africa four short of 500 and plenty of the time in the game did too.

At first it was thought to be a strategic move by du Plessis: Tamim Iqbal had been off the field for quite a while before the interval and so would not be able to open, and because du Plessis had done that before in Adelaide against Australia. But Elgar denied that: "I know he went off when I was still batting but I don't think we thought about him being off the field. The plan from lunch onwards was to declare at tea, we were going to try and take the game on a bit."

Instead its more about how much time South Africa will need and if it turns out they don't have enough, Elgar will likely see the whole event as an anti-climax even though he has become Test cricket's leading run-scorer this year in the process. "That does not mean anything to me," he said. "My ultimate goal is to score runs for the Proteas. The accolades that come with it are totally external to why I play the game. If I am scoring runs, the team will be in a good position. I play the game to score runs for the badge and the team. My personal pride I put it aside, and focus on what our Test side needs. We've had a few rough tours as a batting unit. It was up to me and some senior guys to take the batting unit by the throat and get it over the line."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent