Pollock decimates Pakistan top order
Shaun Pollock sashayed a path through Pakistan’s top order with a fifth five-wicket haul, as the tourists limped to a painfully inadequate 153 all out in the final One-day International (ODI) here at the Wanderers on Wednesday.
Having lost much of their analytical equipment between Cape Town and Johannesburg, Pakistan misplaced their bearings completely too in their final competitive match before the World Cup opener on March 13.
With Pollock in this kind of form, it’s unlikely any laptop would’ve helped, not even perhaps the super computer, Deep Blue.
His form and place were questioned before the start of this South African summer, but he has now taken 19 ODI wickets in nine matches against a succession of subcontinental batsmen clueless against him. This was the third-best performance of an outstanding career.
For the third time in the last four matches, he struck in the very first over of the innings, after Inzamam-ul-Haq won another toss and chose to bat. Mohammad Hafeez, on his return, went the way of Kamran Akmal and Imran Nazir earlier in the series and thereafter no batsman sussed out a way of repelling him.
Imran tried chancing it, swinging at anything white and round. He succeeded briefly, but it was only ever a matter of time before Pollock worked him out.
Younis Khan played the waiting game, clipping a couple of pleasant boundaries and biding his time. That didn’t work either, as Pollock lulled him into driving and inside edging onto his stumps in the 13th over.
In his next two overs, he finished off Pakistan’s middle order; neither Mohammad Yousuf nor Inzamam had any time to work out any kind of strategy. Pollock got Yousuf leg-before again, falling over, and the captain fell, a nothing shot to a something ball as Pollock bowled through his allotted overs.
None of it was a surprise wherein lies his greatness: the ball lands around an off-stump line, the length varies fractionally and there’s usually early movement but you’ll be damned if you can play it.
His genius destroyed Pakistan and it towered over his compatriots, as the rest of the attack, on what appeared an unassuming surface, had a poor day. Despite the clatter of wickets, Pakistan were still going at roughly four an over by the halfway mark. Where Pollock went for just over two an over, the rest went for nearly five an over at that stage.
Thankfully for Andrew Hall, Charl Langeveldt, Jacques Kallis and Justin Kemp, Pollock had already done the hard part.
By the time Pollock was bowled out, half Pakistan’s side were out; it took the other bowlers over 20 overs to take the lower order out. It was only a matter of time before wickets were given up but it was difficult to decide what was poorer in the dismissals of Akmal, Abdul Razzaq and Rao Iftikhar Anjum - the deliveries or the shots.
Shoaib Malik continued to bat in that patient, intelligent way which suggests that at number seven he is utterly wasted, but his cause was never anything remotely more than a lost one.
By the time Makhaya Ntini dismissed Mohammad Asif, Pakistan still had over nine overs to bat out, saving Graeme Smith some money in the form of a probable fine for a slow over rate. Not that that would’ve been any consolation.
Pakistan won toss
Mohammad Hafeez c Boucher b Pollock 0
Imran Nazir c & b Pollock 22
Younis Khan b Pollock 19
†Kamran Akmal c Prince b Langeveldt 20
Mohammad Yousuf lbw b Pollock 5
*Inzamam-ul-Haq c Kallis b Pollock 0
Shoaib Malik not out 43
Abdul Razzaq c Boucher b Hall 12
Naved-ul-Hasan c Boucher b Kallis 8
Mohammad Asif c Boucher b Ntini 5
Rao Iftikhar c Boucher b Kallis 4
Extras (lb6, w7, nb2) 15
Total (all out, 40.5 overs) 153
Fall: 1-0, 2-30, 3-53, 4-67, 5-71, 6-83, 7-114, 8-129, 9-135
Bowling: Pollock 10-3-21-5; Ntini 7.5-0-31-1 (1w); Hall 6-1-25-1 (2w); Langeveldt 7-0-33-1 (2nb, 1w); Kallis 6-1-19-2; Kemp 4-0-18-0 (3w)
*G C Smith, A B de Villiers, H H Gibbs, J H Kallis, A G Prince, J M Kemp, †M V Boucher, S M Pollock, A J Hall, M Ntini, C K Langeveldt
Series: South Africa lead 5-match series 2-1
Umpires: R E Koertzen and R B Tiffin (Zimbabwe). TV umpire: K H Hurter. Match referee: B C Broad (England)
Previous matches: February 4 1st ODI Centurion, South Africa won by 164 runs. February 7 2nd ODI Durban (d/n), Pakistan won by 141 runs. February 9 3rd ODI Port Elizabeth (d/n), no result. February 11 4th ODI Cape Town, South Africa won by 10 wickets
Source:The NewsMore on:Pakistan, Pakistan in South Africa 2007, Shaun Pollock, South Africa
Written by Team CricketViewer on February 15th, 2007 with 33 Viewsno comments.
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