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Pollock turns on the class
29 Dec 2006
By: Sean Bennett

South Africa are poised to claim the second Test of their home series against India after a fine innings from Shaun Pollock, followed by the seamers nabbing two early wickets in Pakistan's reply. By the time bad light brought the end to the day's play the tourists trailed by 315 with 8 wickets remaining.

The South African openers resumed at the start of play at 64-0, and continued to push on until, on the stroke of 100 and just shy of his own 50, AB de Villiers, who so often flatters to deceive, nicked a VRV Singh ball to second slip.

From there came a collapse, as the in form Sreesanth snagged the wicket of Hashim Amla, who lasted 4 balls for 0. Graeme Smith's 59 ended shortly after, bowled by sreesanth. Prince (0), Gibbs (9) and Boucher (8) all followed, meaning South Africa's first six wickets all fell in the space of 44 runs.

Stand up Shaun Pollock. Known primarily for his bowling, but with the ability to have been a genuine allrounder and 2 Test centuries under his belt, Pollock was the perfect man to have trudging to the crease at 140-5. Nine balls later he was joined by Andrew Hall - no mug with the bat himself. The pair put on 70 for the seventh wicket - Padding South Africa's lead into something defendable.

Hall (21) was eventually trapped lbw by Sreesanth, but Pollock continued on his merry way. His unbeaten innings of 63 was made in the good time of 99 balls and contained 10 fours. Seven of those came on the leg side where, as usual, Pollock punished any Indian bowler who dared stray straight. His support for the rest of the innings was provided by Morne Morkel, who backed up his 31 in the first innings of his debut with 27 in the second before chasing the part time off breaks of Virender Sehwag and popping the ball down long off's throat. South Africa declared on the fall of the wicket, setting the tourists a formidable 354 to win.

The reply could've started better for the tourists. Virender Sehwag (8) got out to Ntini, as did captain Rahul Dravid (5) - albeit to a decision which may be debatable. India took the offer to leave the field of play due to bad light at the first opportunity. They'll need the experienced middle order of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly to stand up tomorrow if they're not to lose.

South Africa 328
Ashwell Prince 121, Herschelle Gibbs 63, Mark Boucher 53
Sreesanth 4-109 Anil Kumble 3-62

India 240
Sachin Tendulkar 63, VVS Laxman 50*
Makhaya Ntini 3-41, Morne Morkel 3-86

South Africa 265-8 declared
Shaun Pollock 63*, Graeme Smith 59
Sreesanth 4-80, Anil Kumble 1-37

India 38-2
Wasim Jaffer 22*, Virender Sehwag 8
Makhaya Ntini 2-14

India require 316 more runs with 8 wickets remaning.

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