Pollock rips through Pakistan

South Africa have secured their one-day series against Pakistan after Shaun Pollock led his side to a comprehensive nine wicket victory after taking a scintillating 5-21.

Needing to win the match to draw the series, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat and within the first over, Pollock had his first scalp; Mohammad Hafeez who edged the sixth delivery of the innings straight into the hands of the waiting Mark Boucher.

It wasn’t long before Pollock struck again. Imran Nazir, trying to get a move on, attempted to hit Pollock for six but the ball went right up into the air and the South African took an awkward catch off his own bowling.

Pakistan were once again forced to rely on their excellent middle order to rebuild the innings. Pollock had other plans however. He had Younis Khan out to a wonderful delivery, when Khan dragged the ball back onto the stumps for 19 runs. He had the in-form batsman of the world, Mohammad Yousuf, out leg before wicket for a mere five runs and he had the ever reliable, last line of defence, Inzamam-ul-Haq, gone for a duck.

Pollock finished his brilliant innings with 10 overs, 3 maidens, 22 runs and all 5 wickets at this stage leaving South Africa firmly in control of not only the match, but the series.

All that was left was for the rest of the South African bowlers to finish the job and they all chipped to decimate the tourists.

Kallis took two scalps together with Ntini, Hall and Langeveldt who all took one wicket, as South Africa reduced Pakistan to a pitiful 153 all out. The only batsman producing anything of significance was Shoaib Malik who remained unbeaten on 43 from 70 balls.

With only a small and seemingly easy score in the way of a series victory, South Africa got off to a shaky start with captain Graeme Smith out to the first legal delivery from Mohammad Asif. It was just the second ball of the innings, the first one being a wide, when Asif bowled a beautiful delivery across his off-stump, causing the skipper to nick it right to the keeper.

After that it was smooth sailing for the home side. AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis put on a superb partnership of over 150 runs to guide South Africa home. Level headed singles together with splendid fours and sixes ensured that Pakistan never stood even the slimmest of chances.

Kallis and de Villiers both scored 71 including 18 boundaries between them, as they took their side to a nine wicket win. The win also secured the one-day series 3-1 and caps of a successful campaign against Pakistan at home after they also won the Test series 2-1.

Pakistan will leave the country dejected and demoralised after they were hampered by dramas and plagued by injuries throughout the tour. They will have little time to regroup however, with their World Cup campaign less than a month away.

South Africa on the other hand will by ecstatic at their performances over the series. With key batsman finding form and the bowling duo of Ntini and Pollock looking deadlier than ever, they will be a force to be reckoned with, come the World Cup.

They will also take pleasure in knowing that as a result of the series win, should Australia lose their three match one-day series in New Zealand, starting Friday, they will overtake the current world champions in the LG ICC rakings for the first time.

Pakistan 153
Shoaib Malik 43*
Shaun Pollock 5-23, Jacques Kallis 2-19

South Africa 156-1
AB de Villiers 71, Jacques Kallis 71
Mohammad Asif 1-24

South Africa won by nine wickets
South Africa won the five match series 3-1

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