Sports Briefs

South African captain Graeme Smith blasted 85 off 79 balls to take his team to a seven-wicket win on the fourth day of the second Test against the West Indies at Newlands yesterday.Smith’s innings enabled South Africa to square the series with one match to play. “It was a hard-fought Test match. Being 1-0 down made it really tough but the boys stood up again and showed a lot of heart,” he said. Victory with a day to spare seemed unlikely after a heroic effort by West Indian skipper Chris Gayle extended his team’s innings until tea and left South Africa needing 185 to win. But Smith and A.B, de Villiers got the innings off to a flying start with an opening stand of 57 in nine overs and the tempo was maintained as Hashim Amla helped Smith add 83 in 17 overs for the second wicket.

Kiwis romp home: New Zealand crushed Bangladesh by nine wickets to win the first Test shortly before tea on the third day at Dunedin’s University Oval yesterday. Set 35 to win after Bangladesh’s batting collapsed, New Zealand reached the target in 8.1 overs for the loss of one wicket, opener Craig Cumming for four, who was trapped lbw by Mashrafe Mortaza. First innings century- maker Matthew Bell finished unbeaten on 20 while Peter Fulton, who smashed Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful for six to seal the win, was 15 not out. Bangladesh had resumed its second innings on 148 without loss, but succumbed to a spectacular collapse losing all 10 wickets to be dismissed for 254. The second and final Test starts in Wellington on Saturday.

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