Hosts pull off last-ball tie
BCB XI 243 for 7 (Riyad 37, Harris 2-30) tied with South Africans 243 for 8 (Smith 70, Morkel 57, Mosharraf Hossain 3-19)
A Bangladesh Cricket Board XI pulled off a thrilling tie against a South African side in a one-day warm-up game in Chittagong. The BCB XI bowlers successfully backed up a total of 243 for 7 by claiming two wickets in the final over of the South African innings. The visitors needed five to win, but managed only four.
Young pace bowler Rubel Hossain was the star of the show, bowling Johan Botha (34) off the penultimate delivery before Albie Morkel (57) was run out with the scores tied.
Albie's half-century, from 53 deliveries and with two fours and three sixes, took the tourists ever so close. Given a chance to step up after Shaun Pollock's retirement, and with fellow allrounder Vernon Philander ruled out of the forthcoming ODI series, Albie's effort would have given South Africa some confidence despite the result.
Graeme Smith's 82-ball 70, with nine fours and a six, had laid the platform but the BCB XI bowlers rallied well to come back into the game. Mosharraf Hossain, the slow left-arm spinner, took 3 for 19 off his eight overs to apply the skids on the South Africans. Smith, AB de Villiers and Alviro Petersen were his victims. Rubel then held his nerve in a tense final over.
The BCB XI innings had been one of fits and starts, boosted by an eighth-wicket stand of 44 from 29 balls between Mahmudullah and Farhad Reza. Mahmudullah hit two fours and a six off fast bowler Dale Steyn in his breezy 37 while Reza hit two fours in a 15-ball 20.
Steyn, the Player-of-the-Series in the 2-0 Test whitewash, took 1 for 38 off six overs. Left-arm spinner Paul Harris, getting his first opportunity of the tour, was the pick of the South African bowlers, with figures of 2 for 30 off eight overs.
The tie gives the hosts a slight psychological boost ahead of the ODI series, which starts in Chittagong on March 9. The second and third matches will be played in Dhaka on March 12 and 14.