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|Big win - but pacemen still wayward !||245 weeks ago|
Big win - but pacemen still wayward!
One hates to be churlish after a convincing 128-run win, but South Africa's pace bowling was once again disappointing in the second MTN One-Day International against Bangladesh at Willowmoore Park on Sunday.
Bangladesh, chasing a massive 359, were bowled out for 230, but South Africa's pacemen could hardly be described as accurate. Dale Steyn, Johann Louw and Morne and Albie Morkel all conceded several boundaries and it was off-spinner Johan Botha who once again pinned the visiting batsmen down with three for 27 in his 10 overs.
Bangladesh's tactical approach was strange with opener Tamim Iqbal making a blazing start a la Pro20 style, Junaid Siddique doing the same in a couple of overs, but the rest of the top-order batsmen merely meandering along before a late burst from Mashrafe Mortaza.
Despite South Africa's wayward bowling - they conceded 23 wides - Bangladesh never really threatened to crack their code and the resounding victory ensures the home side have the series wrapped up ahead of Wednesday's final game in East London.
Tamim smashed 20 runs off the second over of the innings, bowled by Louw, and went on to score 41 off just 22 balls, but that was the only time South Africa were really under pressure.
Siddique charged down the wicket twice in the 11th over to belt Morne Morkel for boundaries, but you had to wonder why he waited another 16 overs before trying it again.
Tamin was eventually caught top-edging a cramped pull off Steyn, while Botha straightened a ball off the pitch to have Siddique lbw for 47, which came off 82 balls.
Botha joined the attack in the 17th over and from that moment South Africa enjoyed control as he bowled Imrul Kayes (14) with his first delivery.
And when Botha took a neat return catch from Mohammad Ashraful (5) in his second over, the match was as good as over with Bangladesh on 101 for three in the 20th over.
The off-spinner chained up the middle-order, keeping to a full length, and a frustrated Shakib al-Hasan (17) and Naeem Islam (16) would both go in Steyn's third over of his second spell.
Naeem had briefly sparkled by hitting Steyn for a huge six over midwicket but otherwise largely laid low.
Mortaza provided a brief flurry in the closing overs with 34 off 22 balls.
Morne Morkel was the most wild and woolly of the South African bowlers, going for 61 runs in his 10 overs and conceding 16 wides. Louw came back reasonably well after his first-over nightmare and conceded 25 runs in his last eight overs.
Steyn finished with three for 48 in his full quota of overs.
South Africa's batsmen earlier took regular and heavy toll on the Bangladesh bowling as they piled on 358 for four.
Several batsmen made compelling statements, none more so than opener Hashim Amla, who scored a magnificent 140 off just 135 balls. Amla's clean striking of the ball and ability to pick up boundaries playing conventional cricket at the start of the innings gave South Africa a perfect start and he also showed his big-hitting ability with four sixes.
Graeme Smith, too, can't complain about his return from a long-standing tennis elbow problem as he blazed 65 off 67 balls in an opening stand of 136 from 146 deliveries.
Given Amla and Smith's superb form, Bangladesh really couldn't afford the two catches they dropped, Mortaza stumbling and letting slip a catch off Amla on 15 at fine leg off Syed Rasel and captain Ashraful dropping a sitter off Smith on 53 off Shakib's first ball.
Jacques Kallis scored a carefree run-a-ball 49 and AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel made merry in the closing overs as Bangladesh's medium-pace and left-arm spin held no secrets.
Amla's colours were eventually lowered by Mortaza, the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers, as he sent a pull shot high, but not far enough, to deep midwicket.
De Villiers rocketed to a 23-ball half-century and Morkel went to 37 not out off 13 balls as South Africa scored 118 runs in the last 10 overs to go to their highest ever score against Bangladesh and the best by any team at Willowmoore Park.
Many Thanks Lovee,
The south african cricket team!
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