South Africa cruise to victory

Dileep Premachandran

April 27, 2003

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Bangladesh, unused to reaching the fourth day of a Test match, collapsed within an hour to 237 all out, granting South Africa a victory by an innings and 60 runs. Paul Adams picked up his second five-wicket haul of the match, scalping four of the five batsmen to fall today. He finished with match figures of 10 for 106.

Graeme Smith made the unusual decision, in the morning, of asking Charl Willoughby to begin proceedings with Paul Adams, instead of Makhaya Ntini or Shaun Pollock. Willougby was wayward and innocuous, and Mohammad Ashraful, in a cameo innings full of his trademark defiance, cashed in briefly.

Twice, in the 8th over of the day, Willoughby dropped short; twice Ashraful pulled him for four. Willoughby then overcompensated with a fuller delivery on Ashraful's pads, and was flicked away for two - some smart fielding prevented a third boundary in a row.

As if to show that he still hadn't displayed his full armoury of bad balls, Willoughby then bowled a hit-me ball outside off, and Ashraful hit it straight to Smith at cover (213 for 6). Ashraful was out for 28, and Bangladesh's resistance was all but over.

Akram Khan (16) flayed around for while before slogging a long hop from Adams to Boeta Dippenaar at long leg (224 for 7). Mashrafe Mortaza, promoted to No. 9 after some lusty strokeplay in the first innings, was out for a duck, edging Adams to Pollock at first slip (224 for 8).

A desperate Khaled Mahmud was then stumped by Mark Boucher off Adams for 1 (224 for 9). And Enamul Haque (11), after swinging a couple of full tosses from Adams for four, hit one straight back to the bowler. One more innings defeat for Bangladesh, as history repeated itself for the umpteenth time.

Habibul Bashar and Javed Omar had shown a lot of resilience with their second-wicket partnerships of 83 and 131 in this match, but their team-mates were stuck in the same old rut. They were caught in a loop. What would they need to break out of it? A new coach would help. Dav Whatmore was on his way.

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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.
Tour Results
Bangladesh v South Africa at Dhaka - May 1-4, 2003
South Africa won by an innings and 18 runs
Bangladesh v South Africa at Chittagong - Apr 24-27, 2003
South Africa won by an innings and 60 runs
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 21, 2003
No result
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 20, 2003
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 18, 2003
South Africa won by 5 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)
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