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Top order steers South Africa 'A' to a win over Bangladesh

Bangladesh in their first real test of the tour, and under trying batting conditions, was comfortably beaten by South Africa `A' in a limited overs match at the Soweto Oval today.

Confirming the decision to field first the early South Africa batsmen struggled to make real headway. Andrew Hall (21) and Loots Bosman(18) were never in total control as they tried to come to terms with a pitch that gave a lot of lift but did not allow the ball to come onto the bat.

A hard working 102 run partnership between Ashwell Prince and Martin van Jaarsveld (50) setup the foundation for the latter part of the South African innings.

Neil Mckenzie, showing that he is close to his form of old, adapted to the conditions quickly. Driving through the covers at will, and pulling easily through mid wicket he raced to his 50 in 40 balls. This seemed to inspire Prince and together they put on a quick 87 run partnership before Prince was caught at deep square leg for his highest one-day score of 87. His innings should give him another tick in the selectors book.

Mckenzie, nearing the end of the innings, was caught on the deep cover point boundary, splicing a lofted drive. His 77 off 55 balls and 66 minutes one of the better innings seen at Soweto for a while.

For Bangladesh, the opening bowler, Tapash Baisya, was by far the most impressive taking 4/49 in his 10 overs. Off spinner Alok Kapali, initially restricting the runs, should also have a successful tour while Khaled Mahmud may find the going difficult bowling in South Africa.

Set to make 280 for the win the Bangladesh batsmen were never at ease against the pace attack of the South Africans. Playing away from the body and not getting into line soon had them in trouble.

David Terbrugge with his away swingers and the extra lift always had the batsmen in trouble. Al Sahariar tried to pull a short ball and was caught for one. Habibul Bashar became Terbrugge's second victim when he sparred outside the off and was caught at third slip without scoring.

Hanna Sarkar and Tushar Imran looked a lot more comfortable once the fast bowlers were replaced putting on 48 before Imran was adjudged caught behind after flicking to the on side for 26. The batsman was unhappy with the decision and showed the umpire his arm while walking off. Television replays showed that he might have gloved it to the keeper.

A similar dismissal was that of Hanna Sarkar who waited long enough for the keeper to tell him he had held the catch. The television replay showed the catch being taken low on the leg side. A good innings had come to an end for 37 including four boundaries.

Alok Kapali batting with Sanwar Hossain put on a 61 run partnership for the fifth wicket before Terbrugge came back into the attack. Kapali caught for 38, and Khaled Mashud lasting three balls caught at slip without scoring.

A patient controlled innings from Sanwar Hossain came to an end in the 45th over when trying to sweep Robin Peterson he miss-timed and top edged for Thami Tsolekile, behind the wickets, to take his fifth catch of the innings.

A late flurry from Khaled Mahmud saw Bangladesh reaching 207/8 in the 50 overs. Mahmud was particular severe on Andre Nel who with some theatrical bowling actions did not do his international aspirations any good. They surely did nothing to intimidate Khaled Mahmud whom at the end of the day ended on 49 not out, including six boundaries and one six sending Nel well over the long leg rope.

Monde Zondeki, for his first major outing, can be very happy with his performance. Bowling very short and very quick in his first three overs, going for 21 runs, he adjusted well and ended up with 3/38 in his 10 over spell.