Super Six Stage: Pakistan v South Africa|
Trent Bridge - 5 June 1999
CricInfo report by Keith Lane
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It's Klusener again as South Africa win a thriller
Cold weather and rain may have greeted the South Africans at practice on Friday afternoon, but it was nothing compared to the cold shoulder they might have expected from their normally loyal supporters if they had lost here. A match described as the battle of the Titans at the start of the World Cup ended with a classic finale as the Proteas escaped with a 3 wicket win and an over to spare.
Wasim Akram won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that turned out to be slightly slow in pace, and yet offered some nice bounce through to the keepers. For the sixth match in a row South Africa used the same XI, with Shaun Pollock and Jacques Kallis taking the new ball. Pakistan opened their innings with Saaed Anwar and Wajahatullah Wasti. As has been the norm the new ball showed early movement, both through the air and off the pitch.
It was Anwar who opened the Pakistan score off Pollock’s first over with a little flick off his hips to deep backward square leg and Wasti who on drove the first boundary off Kallis's second over.
The first scare for Pakistan came in the sixth over when Anwar, on 10, cut Kallis to Rhodes who, by his standards, put down a relatively simple catch. After eight overs Pollock made way for Alan Donald who had Wasti driving and edging past second slip for four first ball up. Pollock's rest was brief. He took over from Kallis the very next over. Donald, bowling at a constant 86 mph, and Pollock kept a very tight line, restricting the Pakistan batsmen to pushing and nudging for ones and twos, most of these coming from behind the wicket. Pollock after six overs was replaced by Steve Elworthy.
With the run rate at just on 3 runs per over Anwar drove at Elworthy's second delivery only to edge one going away from him to the gloves of Mark Boucher. The young Abdur Razzaq was next man in but tight bowling, particularly from Elworthy, continued to put pressure on the batsmen with the 50 only coming up in the 17 th over.
Donald got his just reward in the 19 th over when Wasti on 17, not using his feet, followed one outside the off edging a faint touch to Boucher for the second wicket to fall on 58. This brought Ijaz Ahmed to the wicket who opened his scoring with a delicate flick off his toes for a four to the deep mid wicket fence.
Kallis replaced Donald but was guilty of bowling on both sides of the wicket and giving away wides down the leg side. At the other end Elworthy, who has been the biggest surprise in the South African team, had Ijaz continually playing and missing outside the off. Getting some nice lift from just short of a length it appeared as if he was getting the better of Ahmed.
Razzaq sensed the urgent need for runs and plundered two one bounce fours, one to mid wicket and one to long off, off the bowling of Lance Klusener. Trying it once to often to the economic Elworthy had him hoisting a pull to Gary Kirsten at deep mid-wicket to be caught for 30 off 60 balls and Pakistan stuck on 102/3 in the 30 th over.
Elworthy finished his 10 over spell with the highly impressive figures of 10-2-23-2 only to go to fine leg and see Ahmed send a slower ball from Klusener over the wide long on fence for the maximum. The Pakistan fans delight was short lived as Ahmed drove the next ball to a diving Cullinan at cover to be sent back to the changing rooms for 23 off 36 balls.
As Inzimam-ul-Haq was still at the wicket there was always a chance of a run out, and once more he did not disappoint. Taking a quick single to Rhodes was always going to be dangerous, but he went anyway and was out to a direct hit. Inzimam-ul-Haq had been run out for the 30 th time in a One Day International, this time for 4 off 15 balls and he left Pakistan struggling at 118/5 in the 35th over.
Youhana and the new man at the wicket, Moin Khan, resorted to pushing the ball into the gaps. Youhana injured his leg taking a quick single called for a runner and Ijaz Ahmed obliged. Taking a quick single to a ball played back towards Klusener, Ahmed was Caught short by the bowler’s direct hit from close range. Azhar Mahmood Came to the crease with South Africa looking in command and restricting Pakistan to under the 200.
At the start of the 47 th over Pakistan were 172/6 with Donald running in to bowl to Khan. At the end of the over Pakistan had moved to 189/6 with Khan smashing "White Lightning" for two fours and a six, reaching his 50 in 48 balls. Then it was Pollock's turn to give away 13 runs, another four and a six to Khan, and bring up Pakistan's 200 in the 48 th over.
Khan's electrifying innings came to an end in the next over, with the score on 206, run out by Cronje from cover for 63 off 56 balls including six fours and two sixes.
So South Africa came to the wicket needing 221 to win with Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs given the task of seeing off Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar. Kirsten struck first with a four pulled off Akram, but Gibbs facing his third ball from Akhtar guided a catch to Ijaz Ahmed without troubling the scorers and South Africa were 7/1. Hansie Cronje, a surprise at number three, came out to join Kirsten.
Akhtar firing at a consistent 93 mph struck again in the sixth over with Cronje on four guiding a shorter ball outside the off down the throat of Saqlain Mushtaq at third man. In the eight over Kirsten took a nasty lifter from Akhtar on the glove, and needed some assistance from the South African dressing room. The next ball he cut, top edged and Inzimam-ul-Haq at first slip, standing nearly on the inner ring, let the ball slip through his hands to race to the third man boundary.
Kirsten was the next South African to leave the arena when padding up to a ball from Akram and adjudged lbw by umpire Darrell Hair. Darryl Cullinan and Jacques Kallis now had the unenviable task of rebuilding the South African innings and giving their supporters something to cheer about. The Pakistan supporters on the other hand could be heard vocally supporting every ball bowled.
Cullinan's patience eventually ran out when slashing a drive straight at Saaed Anwar who after juggling held on to the catch at cover to give Mahmood his first wicket of the innings. There was further trouble for South Africa in the 20 th over when Jonty Rhodes, before scoring, walked in front of a ball from Mahmood to be trapped right in front. The top order of South Africa had once again failed and a major task awaited the middle order to recover from 58/5.
Saqlain Mushtaq came on the 24 th over and Shaun Pollock and Kallis were content to take singles where they were offered, as Moin Khan and Youhana had done for Pakistan. Mahmood eventually engineered the break through, enticing Pollock on 30 to stretch for a ball moving away from him and edging a regulation catch to Inzimam-ul-Haq at first slip. Pollock had helped to pull the South Africans back into the match with a confidence building partnership of 77.
Enter Lance Klusener, yet to get out in this World Cup, which seemed to inspire Kallis into driving Mahmood and then Akhtar forcefully through the covers for two classic boundaries. An outside edge off Akhtar brought him another four and the 150 for South Africa in the 38th over.
With Klusener at the wicket Akram first brought back Mushtaq and then himself, only to see Klusener pull him for a one bounce four to wide mid-wicket. In the same over, the 40th, Kallis reached his 50 in 89 balls.
Mushtaq then saw a short ball from him sailing over the square leg boundary and at last the South African supporters had something to cheer about.
With the light failing at the start of the 44 th over, the ball was changed under a bit of a protest from the Pakistan bowlers. Mushtaq and Ahktar still had three overs to bowl while Akram had one.
Kallis then had his first rush of blood to the head and paid with his wicket, top edging an attempted pull to Khan off the bowling of Mushtaq, out for a patient 54 off 99 balls. Mark Boucher, batting back in his normal position at nine, now had the task of staying with Klusener.
Klusener was not going to wait for Boucher, and pulled Akhtar for a lucky top edge four to fine leg, then a huge six to square leg and managed to get a pad to one down the leg side for four leg byes. Mushtaq was next to feel the weight of "Beauty" with a fearsome pull for four to square leg and South Africa found themselves at 203/7 at the end of the 47th over.
Akram played his last trump card in the 48th over bringing himself back for his last over. He too had to see Klusener sending the ball way over backward square leg for the maximum. Boucher sent Mushtaq's first ball of the 49th over for six over deep mid-wicket, and somehow South Africa had once again escaped from a losing position. Klusener should have been out on the last ball of the 49 th over lofting a top edge to Anwar at extra cover, only to see Anwar mess it up completely, and Klusener completed two runs for two valuable points and the victory South Africa need so badly.