East London: Gary Kirsten became the first man to score centuries against all nine Test-playing nations when he reached three figures against Bangladesh on the opening day of the first Test Friday.
The South African left-hander was unbeaten on 113 at the close as his team, also boosted by Graeme Smith’s 200, reached 369 for two. Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field.
Kirsten has been at the crease for more than four hours, facing 174 balls and hitting 10 fours.
Steve Waugh is the only other player to have made centuries against eight countries. Bangladesh, who gained Test status in 2000, have yet to play against Australia. Sachin Tendulkar, who has also scored hundreds against eight countries, was dismissed for 18 in his only innings against Bangladesh.
Smith and Kirsten put on 272 for the second wicket before Smith slogged a ball from off spinner Sanwar Hossain to Manjural Islam at mid-on five overs before the close.
It was Smith’s maiden Test century. He batted for six and a half hours, scored his runs off 287 deliveries and struck 25 boundaries.The only other success for Bangladesh on the day came 30 minutes before lunch, when Herschelle Gibbs drove at a delivery from Tapas Baishya to be caught in the covers by Tushar Imran for 41.
The five hours between the two dismissals belonged entirely to South Africa as Smith and Kirsten scored runs freely against Bangladesh’s modest attack.