South Africa cruise into second round

Updated on Mar 21, 2007 02:56 AM IST
Smith's 91 and Hall's three wickets were the highlights of South Africa's seven-wicket win over Scotland.
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AP | ByRob Murray, Basseterre, St Kitts

Graeme Smith's 91 and Andrew Hall's three wickets were the highlights of South Africa's seven-wicket win over Scotland in a World Cup Group A match on Tuesday.

Smith hit 13 boundaries from 65 balls as South Africa, helped by AB de Villiers' 62, overtook Scotland's total of 186-8 with more than 26 overs still to be bowled at Warner Park.

Hall had earlier taken 3-50 and Charl Langeveldt 2-48, their figures inflated by a late flurry of shots as Dougie Brown (45), John Blain (23) and Paul Hoffman (18) took Scotland to its best World Cup score.

Smith and de Villiers, who hit nine fours and two sixes in 45 balls, shared a 134-run opening stand to set up South Africa's comfortable victory, four days before the group's defining clash with Australia.

Smith won the toss and opted to field, with Makhaya Ntini's return for fast bowler Andre Nel the only change to the team that beat the Netherlands by 221 runs on Friday.

Both teams and match officials, who all wore black arm-bands, lined up on either side of the pitch to observe a minutes' silence as a mark of respect for Bob Woolmer. The Pakistan coach died Sunday in hospital after being found unconscious in his hotel room. Watts and Haq were watchful early on to take Scotland to 16-0 by the eighth over, but Haq hit Pollock for two fours and Haq cracked a six off Ntini as 15 was added in the next two overs. Hall replaced Ntini in the 12th over and struck on his second ball with Scotland on 35, having Haq caught behind for 13. Smith brought on Langeveldt to replace Pollock and his second change also proved a master-stroke _ Watts (24) nicking his first ball to Smith at slip to leave Scotland on 43-2.

Hall collected his second wicket 20 runs later when Gavin Hamilton (4) was caught driving to cover by de Villiers. Langeveldt did likewise by bowling McCallum (1) with a yorker and Scotland was 71-4 in the 25th over.

Five overs later, Colin Smith, who scored 51 against Australia to become the second Scotsman to score a World Cup half-century, played a shot to point and de Villiers' direct hit beat Ryan Watson (31) home.

Smith was bowled by a Pollock off-cutter for 15 with Scotland on 113-6 in the 39th over.

But Brown put on 50 with Blain inside nine overs after Ryan Watson (31) had earlier set a platform.

Blain was finally out in the 48th, caught by Justin Kemp at extra-cover off Hall's bowling.

South Africa's pursuit started briskly and didn't let up. The two openers were never troubled, until de Villiers was caught on the long-off fence by Brown off Glenn Rogers in the 16th over with victory in sight.

Ashwell Prince was promoted up the order to gain some batting practice, before a heavy rainstorm stopped play at 147-1 for 25 minutes.

The break didn't help Prince, who was caught by McCallum at short-cover for 21 from Haq's offspin with South Africa on 162. Smith was caught by Rogers at midwicket off Haq's bowling as he fell nine runs short of his maiden World Cup century _ with South Africa requiring 9 to win.

Kemp (12 not out), who was also shifted up the order, finished the match with a massive straight six.

Scotland plays its final game against the Netherlands on Thursday.

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