2008-01-03 00:00

ON the surface, the result of the first Test match against Bangladesh was a little disappointing. After all, Bangladesh is one of the weaker teams in international cricket and the margin of victory in that Test of only five wickets suggests that the match could easily have gone either way. In fact, had Kallis not come to the party with one of his best spells of bowling in Test cricket, the chances are that his team would have presented Bangladesh with its first Test win against one of the stronger teams in international cricket.

After two days of the first Test, Bangladesh were one good partnership from putting themselves in a winning position. The ball was old, South Africa had no spinner who could exploit the conditions and the pace bowlers who had performed well in the first innings looked spent after being asked so soon to do it all again. The best teams, like Tiger Woods, find a way, and in this case it was South Africa’s great all-rounder, unwearied by a brief first innings, who came to the rescue.

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