Second Test Match

South Africa v Bangladesh

At Potchefstroom, October 25, 26, 27, 2002. South Africa won by an innings and 160 runs. Toss: Bangladesh. Test debut: Rafiqul Islam.

As at East London a week earlier, Bangladesh won the toss - and were steamrollered. A desperately one-sided contest came to a merciful close on the third afternoon with South Africa completing a comprehensive and entirely predictable 2-0 rout.

To give the Bangladeshis their due, though, they punched above their weight for an entire session. After deciding to bat on a flat track at North West Stadium - like Buffalo Park making its Test debut - they went to lunch on the first day on 124 for one. The rollicking start was provided by openers Al Sahariar and Hannan Sarkar, who struck a Test-best 65, and continued by perhaps their only batsman of genuine class, Habibul Bashar. It was stirring stuff and, as boundaries blazed from Bangladeshi bats, South Africa's bowling and fielding dropped well below their usual standards.

Lunch changed everything. The South Africans, whose attention had wandered in the morning, emerged refocused. Pollock, back as captain after missing the First Test with an injured knee, led the resurgence, but wickets were shared around as they skittled Bangladesh for 215. Kirsten, again at No. 3 to allow Smith to continue his opening partnership with Gibbs, provided the backbone of the reply, with his 16th Test century. Gibbs, however, laid the foundations in flamboyant style. He revelled in picking off a Bangladesh attack who, despite showing vastly greater application and discipline than at East London, fared little better. Kallis became the third South African centurion before the third-morning declaration, five down and 267 ahead.

Pollock set his bowlers the target of finishing the game off that day, and they obliged, in less than 31 overs. It was thanks largely to Kallis, who careered through the bottom order with five wickets in 12 balls. His figures were impressive in themselves, but what turned the eye was his ability to conjure sharp lift from a pitch that appeared to have breathed its last on day one. The Bangladeshis were flummoxed, and all five of Kallis's victims were caught, either by the keeper or at mid-wicket from mistimed pull shots.

Asked afterwards about Bangladesh's progress, the South African coach, Eric Simons, tried to find crumbs of comfort for them amid the carnage: "They themselves keep on saying this is all part of a learning process for them, and I've certainly felt that they've learned," he said. "But they're struggling a bit at the moment."

Man of the Match: J. H. Kallis. Attendance: 2,879.
Man of the Series: J. H. Kallis.

Close of play: First day, South Africa 61-1 (Gibbs 36); Second day, South Africa 414-2 (Kirsten 154, Kallis 107).

© John Wisden & Co