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The Electronic Telegraph Warm-up match: Kent v South Africa
Neville Scott at Canterbury - 9 May 1999

Kent bullied by Boucher

South Africa (320-6) bt Kent (150) by 170 runs

It is one thing to see off 12 new-ball overs from as formidable a pair as Shaun Pollock and Jacques Kallis only to find Allan Donald coming on as first change. South African pace is like that.

It is quite another to find a No 9 batsman, with a one-day international average of just 11.65, sent in at No 3 as pinch-hitter and proceed to hammer 129 from 114 balls. Thus Mark Boucher yesterday, with comfortably his best score for his country.

Though he plays in that position for provincial side Border and made a maiden Test century against West Indies last January, Boucher's experimental one-day batting role was really only explored on South Africa's recent New Zealand tour.

It is by no means certain to continue even now. Demonstrating the chilling depth and flexibility of their line-up (Hansie Cronje came in to receive just one final ball in a score of 320), South Africa were simply keeping all their options open.

On a very good batting pitch, which suddenly offered movement and bounce when their fast men bounded in later, South Africa's innings, at no stage slow, exploded in a 104-run fifth-wicket stand.

Lance Klusener outscored even Boucher with 58 from 39 balls. Klusener, who is fluent in Zulu, was particularly hard on Old Etonian Matthew Fleming, who assuredly isn't, letting his withering bat do the talking as Fleming's last two overs went for 29 of the 81 plundered from the final eight.

But nobody was spared. Andy Symonds was flattered by having both batsmen taken in the deep at the death after earlier bowling Kallis (46) reverse sweeping. Symonds, dropped off Klusener when six, was the only Kent batsman remotely to feature as the reply went from 106 for three to 125 for nine in seven overs.

Relieved to be rid of pace, men fell pulling and swiping at Cronje's medium swing, three of them taken at midwicket or mid-on in five balls. Winning with 15 overs to spare, South Africa immediately settled down to some nets.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk