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South Africa openers make centuries to punish Bangladesh

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (AP) – South Africa openers Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar both made centuries to punish Bangladesh’s decision to bowl first in the second test on Friday.

Markram was 135 not out and Elgar fell for 113 to break their 243-run stand for the opening wicket. South Africa moved to 256-1 at tea on the opening day at Mangaung Oval in what was shaping up to be a repeat of the first test.

Then, Bangladesh misread the pitch, put South Africa in to bat, and the South Africans made 496-3 declared in their first innings on the way to a comfortable victory.

Elgar made a second century in two tests after his 199 in that big first-innings score in the first game. Markram, out for 97 on his debut in the first test, did complete a maiden test hundred this time in Bloemfontein.

He had hit 21 fours and was with Hashim Amla (1 not out) at the tea break. South Africa was moving along swiftly at over 4½ runs an over.

Elgar now has five centuries in 2017 and is the leading scorer in test cricket this year. He and Markram have put on two big opening partnerships in their first two tests playing together, 196 in the opening game and the double-century stand on Friday.

Elgar fell to a short-ball tactic that Bangladesh persevered with through most of the day, and ultimately had success with. Subashis Roy banged in a short one, Elgar went for a hook, and was caught at backward square leg by Mustafizur Rahman.

The touring bowlers reverted to the short stuff after getting little out of the pitch early on. They were also wayward, conceding 38 boundaries in the first two sessions.

Bangladesh made four changes to its lineup for the second and final match, dropping three bowlers and bringing in Subashis, Rubel Hossain and Taijul Islam. South Africa was without injured strike bowler Morne Morkel. Wayne Parnell replaced him.

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