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Cricket: Adams in five-wicket Test return.

Paul Adams produced a magical spell on his return to Test cricket as South Africa took a grip on the first Test match against Bangladesh in Chittagong yesterday.

The unorthodox left-arm wrist spinner, who made his Test debut as an 18-year-old and has since flitted in and out of the team, ripped through the Bangladesh middle order before finishing off the tail to take five for 37 from 12.3 overs, his second-best return in his 37th Test.

Bangladesh, who won the toss and progressed well to 87 for one, crumbled to 173 all out before South Africa ended the first day on 84 for two.

Although the home side's Javed Omar laboured to 27 not out, off 95 balls, by lunch, Habibul Bashar was scoring more freely and had reached 41 by the end of the session against an attack which featured two debutants - Charl Willoughby and 33-yearold seamer Alan Dawson.

But soon after the interval Omar was snared lbw by Dawson after adding one more run.

Bashar completed his halfcentury and got to 60 before clubbing Dawson into the safe hands of Herschelle Gibbs at cover point.

Plucky 19-year-old Mashrafe Mortaza added 20, coming in at last man, but by then Adams had done his damage, Makhaya Ntini weighing in with two wickets.

South Africa's response was not wholly convincing. Captain Graeme Smith perished when on 15, wildly edging Tapash Baisya behind to Mohammad Salim who ran to hold a top-edge from Gibbs (17) off Mortaza before Rudolph (16 not out) and Boeta Dippenaar (17) took the tourists to stumps.

South Africa's coach Eric Simons reacted angrily yesterday over the manner in which a confidential fitness report was leaked to South African newspapers.

The report was compiled by the South African squad's fitness specialist, Andrew Gray, and submitted to the United Cricket Board (UCB).

Gray was reported to have found Herschelle Gibbs, Allan Donald, Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener particularly errant in their preparation for the World Cup in which South Africa were eliminated in the first round.

Simons said much of the report had been taken out of context. 'It was with anger and frustration that I learnt about the article . . . ,' he said. 'Clearly it was written by a journalist with no understanding or knowledge of the team or our World Cup campaign.

'Highly confidential reports have been leaked by a person or people who have little or no sense of moral integrity to a reporter who has acknowledged to the UCB that he knows very little about the game.

'Obviously, as a squad we are desperately disappointed at our performance and the outcome of our World Cup campaign. But the issues raised so sensationally in the article were dealt with months before the tournament.

'The story reached us just before our team meeting on Wednesday night and I can honestly say I have never experienced a more subdued and dejected meeting as the one that followed. And this, just 12 hours before a Test match.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Apr 25, 2003
Words:499
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