Proteas overtake Aussies

Dhaka, March 14:

South Africa rode on an unbeaten half-century by Graeme Smith to thrash Bangladesh by seven wickets and become the top-ranked one-day side here on Friday.

Smith hit three fours and three sixes in his 94-ball 68 as the visitors overhauled the target of 143 with nearly 16 overs to spare for a 3-0 whitewash. South Africa, who were level with Australia on points at the top of the one-day rankings before the series, completed the feat with a clinical display.

Smith, 27, also surpassed 5,000 ODI runs after reaching the same mark during the South Africans’ 2-0 win in the preceding two-Test series. The Proteas’ captain, who reached his 36th half-century with a four off left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, brought off the winning runs with a huge six over long on.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, slumped to their 14th one-day international defeat in a row, with their last win coming against South Africa in a World Cup super eight match last year.

South Africa were off to a cautious run chase, scoring their first 50 off 101 balls before Smith joined AB de Villiers (40) to put on a 79-run stand for the third wicket and steer the team to victory.

Earlier man-of-the-match Albie Morkel picked a career-best 4-29 while off-spinner Johan Botha chipped in with 3-34 as the hosts were bowled out in 42.5 overs on a placid wicket at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

None of the Bangladeshi batsmen showed the patience or temperament to stand up to a second-string South African bowling attack, throwing away their wickets recklessly.