South Africa vs Pakistan review-ICC Champions Trophy

Pakistan’s ouster makes them the third Asian team to be knocked out of the Champions Trophy. Only hosts and 2002 winners India remain, and they could also be knocked out come Sunday, when they will face world champions Australia.

The pitch did not appear to show us much apart from a tinge of grass in the beginning. Graeme Smith won the toss and chose to bat, a deviation from the usual decisions of fielding first that we have come to expect from captains. It was a calculated move from the South African skipper. There was no Robin Peterson and he had chosen to go with an all pace attack, thereby reducing greatly the dew factor. In the first over itself though, the pitch unleashed the demons within, with Gul sending Smith and Gibbs back. It wasn’t long before the Proteas slid to 27/3 and 42/5, and Smith started to rethink whether his decision was right. However the lack of depth in the Pakistani bowling showed and Mark Boucher and Justin Kemp slowly but surely resurrected the South African innings. Boucher top scored with 69, and Kemp hit an uncharacteristically slow 64, which was worth its weight in gold. Younis Khan made some tactical errors, like not bowling Gul fully. He waited for wickets to fall, rather than making them fall, and the Proteas ended up with a very respectable 213/8.

Ntini, Pollock and co. attacked the Pakistani batsmen like hungry wolves chasing lambs. Only Yasser Arafat managed to contribute something worth while and Pakistan folded up for 89, their lowest ever score against the South Africans. That wasn’t surprising , given the nature of the pitch, which gave one the impression of playing in the WACA rather than in India’s dust bowls.

The Proteas make their way into the semis. I do see a couple of chinks in their armoury , which the likes of say Australia would be well placed to exploit. Their backup bowlers have always had it easy since Ntini and Pollock do the hard work upfront. If you negotiate Ntini and Pollock for say something like 60/1 for the first 15, then a score of greater than 250 is easily on the cards.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Posted by Areeb on Sunday, 29th October, 2006 | Posts Views : Filed under: Sports Pakistan Cricket Team marked another milestone in Cricket history after it lost from South Africa on Friday, 27th October, 2006. They are finally out from the ICC Champions Trophy 2006. […]

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