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Pitch upsets Woolmer
27 Jan 2007
By: Alex Crampton

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has spoken out against the pitch at Cape Town, saying it is "harmful to the interests of the sport."

"It's either extremely bad batting, wonderful bowling or something slightly wrong with the pitch," Woolmer said of the surface, which has produced 32 wickets in two days of cricket.

"The odd ball is unplayable and then you get out trying to score runs off a ball that is pretty mediocre. In Test cricket you shouldn't get these games. In my time as South African coach I never saw a pitch here behave like this. I wouldn't say it's a minefield, but it certainly is not one of the best pitches produced at Newlands over the past 10 or 15 years."

The pitch has seamed and swung, while offering turn for spinners. The match is almost certain to conclude tomorrow, and Woolmer also appreciates the financial concerns that come from such short Test matches: "Although I'm an advocate of results in Test cricket I know the financial implications are pretty high when there are two-and-a-half days of no cricket."

The batsmen who have succeeded on the pitch have done so by counter attacking, Mohammad Yousuf, Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher all have scored at a very high rate in the match. South Africa are positioned strongly after day two, they are 36-2 in pursuit of 161.

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