Smith, McKenzie give SA solid start in B'desh Test
Graeme Smith was 73 not out at tea © AFP
South African opening batsmen Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie put on a century partnership as they got their team off to a solid start on the first day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Springbok Park Wednesday.
South Africa, sent in to bat, were 154 for one when rain brought an early tea.
It was the tenth successive Test in which Smith and McKenzie posted at least one 50-run opening partnership. The previous record of eight was held by Roy Fredericks and Gordon Greenidge of the West Indies.
Smith and McKenzie put on 102 before McKenzie sliced a drive against Shahadat Hossain to backward point.
South African captain Smith was unbeaten on 73 when rain, together with lightning nearby, caused the umpires to take the players off the field 23 minutes before the scheduled tea break.
Hashim Amla, who joined Smith after McKenzie's dismissal, batted fluently for 33 not out in an unbroken partnership of 52.
Smith and McKenzie were made to work hard for their runs by Bangladesh opening bowlers Mashrafe Mortaza and Mahbubul Alam, who both gained swing and seam movement off a pitch with some green patches.
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said his decision to send South Africa in was influenced by the amount of grass on the pitch which could help the bowlers during the first two hours.
He was proved correct but on a sunny, breezy day the batsmen played with increasing freedom as lunch approached and it seemed likely that Ashraful's decision could prove costly.
When McKenzie was on 12 he became the tenth South African to score 3000 Test runs.
Bangladesh handed a first Test cap to opening batsman Imrul Kayes, 21, while Mortaza was declared fit after struggling with a back injury.
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