Bloemfontein: Makhaya Ntini grabbed four for 24 as South Africa launched its World Cup comeback with a 10-wicket win against Bangladesh at Goodyear Park on Saturday. Paceman Ntini did the bulk of the damage as Bangladesh was bowled out for a meagre 108 - a target South Africa overhauled in just 12 overs. Gary Kirsten was 52 not out off 32 balls including nine fours and a six while fellow opener Herschelle Gibbs finished 49 not out off 40 balls with eight fours and a six.
Delighted South Africa captain Shaun Pollock said, "The game went according to plan, except I wanted the batters to get it over in 11 overs and they took 12. "The crowd got its entertainment and the early finish was just what we wanted. The guys did a great job." Meanwhile Bangladesh skipper Khaled Mashud admitted his side had got its tactics wrong after Pollock won the toss. "Going after the South African bowlers in the first 15 overs was a mistake.
It was too small a total for a side like that." Earlier Pollock removed both Bangladesh openers in his first four overs and Andrew Hall justified his selection ahead of veteran Allan Donald with two for 15 in six overs. But South Africa, which has won two of its four tournament matches, must now defeat Canada and Group B leaders Sri Lanka to stay in contention for the Super Sixes. Mashud was Bangladesh's top scorer with 29 and Khaled Mahmud made 23, but eight batsmen failed to reach double figures in an innings that lasted just 35.1 overs.
Donald's exclusion on his home ground disappointed some 5,000 fans who turned up in the hope of bidding a fond farewell to the fast bowler who is due to retire from international cricket after the World Cup. Hall had Mohammad Ashraful and Sanwar Hossain both edging catches, while young Monde Zondeki removed Alok Kapali. Mashud's defiant knock steered Bangladesh past its lowest One-day total of 76. But that was scant consolation for the Test minnow's third defeat in four World Cup matches, its only points so far coming from a washout against the West Indies.