Smith, McKenzie provide SA bright start

Published: Friday, February 29, 2008, 13:03 [IST]
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Chittagong: Skipper Graeme Smith hit a half-century as South Africa were off to a steady start in the second and final Test against Bangladesh at the M A Aziz Stadium here on Friday.

The visitors were cruising at 92-0 at lunch with the left-handed opener unbeaten on 53 with seven fours and Neil McKenzie on 36.

Smith hit some enthralling cover drives in his 70-ball knock for his 21st Test fifty, including two in an over by paceman Shahadat Hossain, after electing to bat on a flat wicket at the Chittagong Divisional stadium.

McKenzie also appeared to be growing in confidence after a disappointing show in the opener at Dhaka, which the visitors won by five wickets to go 1-0 up in the series.

McKenzie, playing in the unfamiliar position of an opener in Tests after Herschelle Gibbs was dropped, had hit five fours during his 98-ball stay at the wicket.

Smith was leading the side in a national record 54th Test, surpassing the mark of late Hansie Cronje after having made his debut as Test captain in this port city in 2003.

Bangladesh, who must win this game if they are to square the series, brought in left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak to assist veteran Mohammad Rafique in his final international appearance.

Rafique is just two shy of becoming the first Bangladesh bowler to take 100 Test wickets.

South Africa also made one change, bringing in left-arm spinner Robin Peterson for off-spinner Johan Botha.

Brief Score (at lunch, D-1):

South Africa 92/0 (Graeme Smith 53 n o, McKenzie 36 n o) Vs Bangladesh.


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