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SA on song in Chittagong

Proteas firmly in command after batting masterclass

Smith: Double-centurion

Graeme Smith struck his fourth Test double-century as South Africa amassed 405-0 on the opening day of the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong.

The Proteas skipper, captaining the side for a record 54th time, reached 223 not out at stumps as he and opening partner Neil McKenzie pummeled a woeful Bangladesh attack.

McKenzie was in fine touch himself - finishing the day unbeaten on 169 as he justified his tour selection in place of the axed Herschelle Gibbs.

Following victory in Dhaka in the opening match of the series, Smith won the toss and it proved decisive as the Proteas skipper opted to take to the crease with McKenzie.

The left-hand/right-hand combination clinically set about laying the foundations for a mammoth total as the new ball, in fact any ball, rarely threatened to dismiss either opener.

After a relatively watchful start Smith whipped a couple of boundaries through midwicket before opening up and producing some fluent drives through the off-side.

The 27-year-old duly completed his 21st Test fifty just before lunch by sweetly dispatching Shakib Al Hasan through backward point for four.


Any belief the Tigers had of making early in-roads after lunch were quickly put to the sword as the opening duo continued their assault on the Bangladesh attack.

Smith reached two landmarks in the second session as he went past 5,000 Test match runs and also notched his 14th century in 127 balls including 15 fours.

McKenzie brought up the milestone himself soon after. The Johannesburg-born batsmen scored his third-ever Test hundred after tea - brought up with a towering six over mid-off as South Africa's opening pair refused to relent.

A further flurry of fours and sixes saw more records broken after tea.

Smith and McKenzie registered the highest ever South African first-wicket partnership, and now stand just nine runs away from making the highest ever first-wicket partnership of all-time.

Smith brought up his double-hundred with five-overs of the day remaining - emphatically clipping Mashrafe Mortaza through mid-wicket to become the leading double centurion in South African cricketing history.

The pair took the score past 400 in the final over of the day joining Jacques Rudolph and Boeta Dippenaar who also made a partnership of this magnitude on the same ground in 2003.