Amla ton seals series for South Africa
South Africa 358 for 4 (Amla 140, Smith 65, de Villiers 54*) beat Bangladesh 230 (Siddique 47, Tamim 41, Botha 3-27, Steyn 3-48) by 128 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
South Africa's batsmen enjoyed themselves in Benoni, none more so than Hashim Amla, who scored his maiden ODI century to set-up a crushing 128-run win against Bangladesh. The true difference in class was on display, as the home side racked up 358 for 4, and after a brief assault early in the chase Bangladesh concentrated purely on batting out time, with Dale Steyn and Johan Botha again the pick of the attack.
It was a much more complete batting performance from South Africa after the stop-start display in the opening match. Amla's 135-ball innings was the highlight, while Graeme Smith spent valuable time in the middle, in his first outing for more than two months, during an opening stand of 136. Jacques Kallis eased to 49 and AB de Villiers sparkled in the closing stages with a 23-ball half-century to ensure Bangladesh were heavily punished. The final over went for 22 as Albie Morkel took South Africa's tally of sixes to 13 and delaying the final Powerplay for the second match running brought 67 from the final five overs.
The visitors had no choice but to come out in an aggressive mode, but Bangladesh rarely begin in any other style. Still, Tamim Iqbal's forceful attack against the new ball caught South Africa by surprise as he took 20 off a poor first over from Johann Louw. A few overs later, Steyn was taken for three consecutive boundaries and may have been regretting his pre-match comments.
"You don't want to be peaking at 150 [kph] or whatever against them," he said. "You want to be using it against the top-playing nations." However, after Tamim's aggression Steyn's professional pride came to the surface as he pushed the speed gun. Fed up with being pummelled, he banged in a short ball which Iqbal top-edged to square leg. The wicket settled South Africa, who were barely tested for the rest of the innings except by the continued concerns over the form of most of their attack.
Botha, though, can be excused any censure, as he produced another tidy display, and is becoming an increasingly useful resource. His first ball drifted in nicely to beat Imrul Kayes, then he snapped up a sharp return catch to remove Mohammad Ashraful and later added Junaid Siddique lbw; Siddique's laborious 47 was the innings' top score.
However, there was no doubt over the most significant performance of the day. Amla's success is timely for the home side because the opening position has changed hands frequently over recent times, through a combination of form, fitness and suspension. Amla took Smith's place during the series in England after the captain succumbed to injury, but Herschelle Gibbs' discipline issues means he has kept his spot - it will be hard to wrestle it away from him now.
Bangladesh's fielding was sharp in the first ODI, but this time they missed an early chance to break the opening stand, when Amla was put down at deep square leg on 15 off Syed Rasel, and grassed two further opportunities. They proved costly errors for the visitors. Amla brought up his hundred off 112 balls and then began to expand his strokeplay. He took three sixes off Abdur Razzak - who was dispatched for 88 from his nine overs - in the space of seven balls before picking out deep midwicket as he tried to clear the boundary for a fifth time. His stand with Kallis was 100 in 15.5 overs and neither batsman was forced too far from their comfort zone.
Smith also produced some commanding boundaries, especially considering this was the first time he has played the second ODI against England at Trent Bridge. By then he was barely able to hold his bat, but the postponement of the Champions Trophy and a gentle early-season schedule for South Africa has enabled him to find some valuable recuperation time.
He passed his half century off 51 balls and with such comfortable progress that it came as a surprise when he offered a catch to Ashraful, although he'll be more than satisfied with his return. The series is also in the bag and a victory in the final game on Tuesday will maintain South Africa's No. 2 ODI ranking.
Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at Cricinfo