Five star Pollock sets up rout of Pakistan
by AFP

Ground:New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Scorecard:South Africa v Pakistan
Player:Shoaib Malik, SM Pollock, AB de Villiers, JH Kallis
Event:Pakistan in South Africa 2006/07

DateLine: 14th February 2007


Shaun Pollock produced a masterly bowling performance as South Africa crushed Pakistan by nine wickets in the fifth one-day international at the Wanderers Stadium here on Wednesday to take the series.


Pollock took five for 23 as Pakistan were bowled out for 153.


AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis hit half-centuries as South Africa cruised to victory with 21.4 overs to spare. South Africa won the series 3-1, with one match rained off.


Pollock bowled unchanged with the new ball and took the first five wickets with a superb exhibition of accurate seam and swing bowling.


Pakistan hopes were raised briefly when South African captain Graeme Smith was caught behind off Mohammad Asif for nought.


Asif and Rao Iftikhar Anjum bowled well and forced De Villiers and Kallis onto the defensive as the pitch seemed to gain extra life under the floodlights.


But then Kallis hit Iftikhar for six, four and four off successive balls and followed up with two boundaries off the next two deliveries he faced, from Asif in the next over, as South Africa took control.


On a pitch with the most bounce seen in the series, Pakistan were in trouble from the first over when Pollock had Mohammad Hafeez caught behind.


Imran Nazir went on the attack to make 22 off 22 balls. He hit Pollock for a six over midwicket before an attempted repeat sent the ball high in the air for Pollock to take a return catch.


Pollock followed up with the wickets of Pakistan's three senior batsmen. He bowled Younis Khan, trapped Mohammad Yousuf leg before with a ball which swerved back into the batsman, and had Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq caught at second slip.


Kamran Akmal fell for 22 when he pulled powerfully against Charl Langeveldt and Ashwell Prince dived to his right in front of the square leg umpire to hold a reflex catch. At that stage Pakistan, who won the toss, were 83 for six.


The rest of the bowlers were not as impressive as Pollock but only Shoaib Malik, who made 43 not out off 70 balls, provided sustained resistance to the South African attack.


South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, who equalled the world record when he held six catches in the fourth match in Cape Town, followed up with five catches as South Africa secured a second successive win by a large margin.


Asif started the South African innings by bowling a wide but then had Smith caught behind off a good ball which left the left-hander.


After having to survive some good bowling, De Villiers and Kallis put on an unbeaten 155 for the second wicket off 175 balls.


The result meant South Africa reinforced their ranking as the second-best one-day side in the world behind Australia, with the gap closing following Australia's recent defeat by England in the triangular series in Australia.


It was the last competitive cricket for both teams ahead of next month's World Cup.

(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)


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