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September 12, 2004
South Africa 94 for 1 (Smith 42*, Kallis 40*) beat Bangladesh 93 (Nafis Iqbal 40, Langeveldt 3-17, Ntini 3-13, Boje 3-23) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball
Bangladesh's gamble to defy convention and bat first came unstuck as South Africa skittled them out for 93 and then knocked off the runs for the loss of one wicket with more than 32 overs to spare. It was an utterly one-sided spectacle for the thousand or so who had braved the cold at Edgbaston, but a desperately welcome victory for the South Africans. The game was over shortly after 2.30pm, and it would have been earlier were it not for a confident cameo of 40 from Nafis Iqbal in the morning.
Without a win in their last ten games, and with rain forecast for the afternoon, South Africa were in no mood to go easy on a young Bangladesh side. The pitch, the same one used over the last two days for the England-Zimbabwe game, helped the bowlers, and even though South Africa's catching was sometimes suspect, Bangladesh were totally outclassed.
Charl Langeveldt, entrusted to partner Shaun Pollock with the new ball, started the slide, ripping through the top order with three wickets in his first two overs. His first delivery of the day was cracked for four by Mohammad Ashraful, but once that was out of his system, he found line and length, and with the ball moving both ways, it was a man against boys.
With the last ball of his first over, Langeveldt had Ashraful caught by Jacques Kallis at second slip, sparring at one that left him immediately after he had been fortunate to escape being given leg-before to one that jagged back in (7 for 1). That pattern was reversed in Langeveldt's next over when two outswingers were followed by one that cut back, trapping Javed Omar plumb leg-before (15 for 2). Two balls later and the stand-in captain Rajin Saleh was undone by extra bounce and Martin van Jaarsveld, who had spilled a chance in the previous over from Pollock, clung on to a good chance at first slip (15 for 3).
At the other end Pollock took longer to settle, but he got his reward when the debutant Aftab Ahmed tried an ambitious hook and the thin edge was held down the leg side by Mark Boucher (20 for 4).
But then 19-year-old Nafis (or, confusingly, Nafees according to his shirt) cut loose, unleashing some sublime drives and showing that whatever their deficiencies now, there is young talent in Bangladesh to offer encouragement. Dropped on 1, he was not afraid to go after the bowling and he alone caused Graeme Smith a few moments of concern.
Nafis's youthful enthusiasm eventually proved his downfall. He cracked Nicky Boje for two fours in an over, and although Khaled Mahmud clearly urged him not to get carried away, Nafis went for a third, skying an attempted slogged drive to Herschelle Gibbs in the covers (63 for 5). It was an ugly end to an attractive innings.
That opened the floodgates, and the remainder of Bangladesh's innings subsided with barely a whimper. Makhaya Ntini, who bowled with venom, and Boje shared six wickets as the tail folded, but it was an unappetisingly one-sided battle.
South Africa's innings only suffered one hiccup when the out-of-form Gibbs lost his off stump to a peach from Tapash Baisya for 4 (15 for 1). Gibbs is in a wretched run of form in ODIs - since last year's World Cup he averages 21 in 31 matches, a figure which drops to a little over 17 if games against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are discounted. With the side struggling, Gibbs's position will soon be creeping up the agenda at selection meetings.
Thereafter, Smith and Jacques Kallis batted with few alarms: slowly at first, and then once the shine had been seen off they cracked the ball effortlessly to all parts. It was the fourth one-sided match out of four so far in this tournament, and it was not hard to understand why so few turned up.
Although he has made considerable progress in the few months he has been in charge, this inexperienced display would have left Dav Whatmore, Bangladesh's coach, in little doubt how much work remains.
Martin Williamson is managing editor of Wisden Cricinfo.
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