SA crush Bangladesh to sweep series

South Africa inflicted a humiliating innings and 205 runs defeat on Bangladesh on the fourth day of the second and final Test in Chittagong on Monday.

The hosts, who started the day needing 270 runs to avoid an innings defeat with four wickets in hand, collapsed after just about an hour to hand South Africa a 2-0 series whitewash.

The visitors had won the opener in Dhaka by five wickets.

Left-arm spinner Robin Peterson picked up a career-best five-wicket haul, including three in the morning, as Bangladesh folded for 119 in 39.5 overs.

Morne Morkel picked the last wicket when Neil McKenzie took a spectacular flying catch in gully to send back Mashrafe Mortaza and spark victory celebrations.

Bangladesh batsman Aftab Ahmed, who had injured his cheekbone on Sunday, did not come out to bat, compounding the miseries for the hosts who struggled right through the hopelessly one-sided contest at the Chittagong Divisional stadium.

Peterson (5-33) triggered the collapse in the second over of the morning when he had Mushfiqur Rahim (four) caught at first slip and one ball later caught Mohammad Rafique off his own bowling.

A late flourish by Shahadat Hossain, who hit four fours in his 24-run knock, and Abdur Razzaq (32 not out) only delayed the inenvitable.

Hossain was caught by Ashwell Prince off Peterson when he tried to loft one over long-off.

South African captain Graeme Smith said their performance in the series would hold the team in good stead when they tour India next for three Tests.

”It has been fantastic. The guys will take a lot of confidence before going to India. It’s nice mentally to get into the right frame of mind when playing in the subcontinent.

”This tour has been beneficial so far with all the boys standing up to the challenge.”

Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful said it was disappointing to lose in such a fashion while giving credit to the superb all-round performance of the visitors.

”Their bowlers bowled a very good line after their batters had nearly sealed our fate, all credit to them. We are still in the learning curve and will try to improve in the days to come,” he said.

Ashraful also paid tribute to left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique, who was playing his final Test and picked his 100th wicket in the match, saying: ”He has been a legend for our country. We all look up to him for inspiration.”

Tearaway speedster Dale Steyn was declared player of the series for taking 14 wickets in the two Tests.

The comprehensive South African win here was set up by a world record 415-run opening stand between Smith (232) and Neil McKenzie (226) that helped them post an imposing 583-7 in their first innings.

Bangladesh were bundled out for 259 in reply in their first essay, with Makhaya Ntini and Steyn picking four wickets each.

The two teams will now play a three-match one-day series with the first beginning here on March 9 and the remaining two to be held in Dhaka on March 12 and 14. – AFP



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