Bangladesh A v South Africans, New Road, 2nd day July 26, 2008

Nel and Ntini find their groove

Cricinfo staff

South Africans 429 for 3 (Duminy 166, Smith 87, Kallis 70* Amla 55) and 145 for 1 (Kallis 55*, de Villiers 79*) lead Bangladesh A 121 (Ntini 4-32, Nel 3-25) by 453 runs

Andre Nel and Makhaya Ntini combined to outclass Bangladesh A on the second day at New Road, their seven wickets shooting out their fellow tourists for 121 in 40 overs. For Nel, especially, it was a timely performance after Dale Steyn injury made him the likely replacement for the third Test at Edgbaston.

He warmed up with an impressive burst, capturing 3 for 25 for 12 overs, while Ntini's pace was also too much; within nine overs he grabbed 4 for 32. Monde Zondeki, another pace bowler available as back-up, also took a wicket, while Paul Harris took the opportunity to also get some overs under his belt and snared two victims before the innings withered away.

Nel admitted afterwards that he was still a little bit short of where he wanted to be for his Test return, but said he felt that another bowl in Bangladesh's second innings would see him there. "I need to hit the crease with a bit more aggression but overall I was pleased with my performance."

The South Africans extended their first innings to maximum 100 overs before Nel struck in his first over to remove Tamim Iqbal and from the on it was a procession. He also grabbed the Test pair of Shakib Al Hasan and Musfiqur Rahim as Bangladesh slumped to 74 for 8. Three figures was looking out of reach until Mosharraf Hossain hit 25 off 57 balls.

Ntini's haul confirmed his improving form following a slow start to the tour. He went wicketless at Lord's, but was much more of a threat at Headingley when he began England's second-innings demise with the early wickets of Andrew Strauss and Michael Vaughan.

There was a minor injury scare when Jacques Kallis was taken to hospital for a precautionary X-ray, after damaging the fourth finger of his left hand while attempting an overhead catch in the slips. But the damage was no more than a strained ligament and he both fielded and batted without difficulty on his return. It was the second injury fright Kallis had suffered on the tour, following the blow to the elbow he took from Andy Caddick at Taunton in the opening game of the trip.

Graeme Smith decided not to enforce the follow-on and allowed his batsmen another chance to sharpen up ahead of the third Test. JP Duminy, who hit 166 on the first day, came down to earth with bump as he was trapped by Rubel Hossain for 1. However, Kallis bagged his second half-century of the game and AB de Villiers scored comfortably as the lead was extended to 453. Nel and company will have another chance to stretch their legs on the final day.