Gibbs leads the rout

Close South Africa 301 for 8 (Gibbs 153) beat Bangladesh 133 (Kallis 4-33, Ntini 3-20) by 168 runs

A record-equalling third consecutive one-day international century from Herschelle Gibbs was the highlight as South Africa crushed Bangladesh in predictable style at Potchefstroom.

Gibbs breezed to a career-best 153 off only 131 balls as South Africa reached 301 for 8. In reply Bangladesh laboured to 133 - although that represented a decent recovery from 43 for 6 - with Makhaya Ntini slicing through the top order to end with 3 for 20 and Jacques Kallis cleaning up the tail to take 4 for 33. As expected, there wasn't even the hint of a contest.

The dismissal of Al Sahariar, Bangladesh's No. 3, summed up the gaping chasm between the sides. Ntini dropped one in short, and Sahariar turned his back on the ball while leaving his bat hanging vertically. It skewed off the side of the bat, and Kallis, running back from slip, took a stunning one-handed catch at the full extent of his dive.

That left Bangladesh 10 for 2 in the sixth over, and things didn't get any better. Tushar Imran carved Ntini straight to backward point, and Javed Omar was run out by a brilliant piece of work from Justin Ontong.

At that point Bangladesh were 12 for 4 and looking at serious humiliation, even by their standards. But Alok Kapali hit three fours in a brisk 25, Khaled Mahmud flogged 24 off 18 balls, and their captain Khaled Mashud (34 not out) and Tapash Baisya (24) took them to something approaching respectability with a meticulous partnership of 60, a Bangladesh record for the eighth wicket, before Kallis finished things off with three wickets in an over.

South Africa's innings was dominated from the start by Gibbs. Given the paucity of the opposition, his was an inevitable century, but peas aren't always shelled this gracefully. He added 63 for the first wicket with Graeme Smith (28), 107 in 17 overs for the third with Kallis (47), and 81 for the fourth with Boeta Dippenaar (41). In a match where nobody else reached 50, Gibbs's innings was totally decisive - although in the final analysis, he could have made 0 and South Africa would still have won. Exhaustion forced him to retire hurt against India in the Champions Trophy; potential boredom was his only nemesis this time.

His third consecutive century matched a feat previously achieved by the Pakistan pair of Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar. The fact that two of the three hundreds were against Kenya and Bangladesh might dilute the feat a touch, but Gibbs will not care for that.

The middle order fell away after Gibbs flicked one down deep square-leg's throat, with only 19 runs coming off the last four overs for the loss of four wickets. It was a spluttering finish - but South Africa's fast start was more than enough for them to win this match.