Bangladesh v South Africa 2007-08 / News

Bangladesh v South Africa, 2nd Test, Chittagong, 4th day

South Africa wrap up series win

The Report by Dileep Premachandran

March 3, 2008

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South Africa 583 for 7 dec (McKenzie 226, Smith 232, Shahadat 3-107) beat Bangladesh 259 (Nafees 69, Ntini 4-35, Steyn 4-66) and 119 (Peterson 5-33, Steyn 3-35) by an innings and 205 runs
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How they were out


Robin Peterson's five-wicket haul wrapped up a win © AFP
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Given how Bangladesh were terrorised by the short ball in this Test, it was entirely appropriate that South Africa wrapped up the match and series with one. And unlike the five-wicket defeat in Mirpur, there was nothing remotely heroic about the innings-and-205-run capitulation in Chittagong, with a world record partnership between Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie illustrating the huge chasm that still separates Bangladesh from the best practitioners of cricket's most demanding form.

When Mashrafe Mortaza couldn't avoid fending one to the left of McKenzie at gully, it was the final act of a match that once again didn't go into the fourth afternoon. With Aftab Ahmed unable to bat after a sickening injury on Sunday, South Africa needed only four more wickets to set the seal on a very satisfactory outing.

An eighth-wicket partnership of 56 between Abdur Razzak, who remained defiant on 33, and Shahadat Hossain briefly halted the victory charge, but with Robin Peterson scalping an unexpected five-for, the result was never in doubt. Bangladesh managed a few half-century partnerships during the course of the Test, but the fact remained that their tally over two innings didn't even come close to matching Smith and McKenzie.

The batting frailty was all too evident at the start of the fourth day. Razzak's periscope approach to batting resulted in a comical four over the wicketkeeper off Dale Steyn, and South Africa didn't have very long to wait for the breakthrough. Peterson was aiming at the cracks from the outset, and Mushfiqur Rahim edged his first ball of the morning to Jacques Kallis at slip.

Enter Mohammad Rafique to tremendous applause in his final Test innings. Two balls later, exit Rafique - a biff back to the bowler that Peterson was never going to drop. Shahadat, with a few sorties down the ground, and Razzak with his patented carves over slips added runs in a hurry, but the South Africans were amused rather than annoyed, and when Shahadat holed out to long-off to give Peterson number five, the Last Post could begin.

South Africa now look to India, and a series that will really be a test of their mettle in subcontinent conditions. As for Bangladesh, they have three one-dayers to look forward to. The format suits their hit-and-miss batsmen, and they did hammer South Africa at the World Cup last year. Jamie Siddons just won't be expecting any miracles in Tests, especially not with an FTP that barely gives them matches to iron out the many kinks that continue to bedevil their play at their highest level.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

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Dileep Premachandran Associate editor Dileep Premachandran gave up the joys of studying thermodynamics and strength of materials with a view to following in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Instead, he wound up at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com. Sunil Gavaskar and Greg Chappell were his early cricketing heroes, though attempts to emulate their silken touch had hideous results. He considers himself obscenely fortunate to have watched live the two greatest comebacks in sporting history - India against invincible Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, and Liverpool's inc-RED-ible resurrection in the 2005 Champions' League final. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, who remains astonishingly tolerant of his sporting obsessions.
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