Pollock leads South African recovery

Published: Saturday, December 1, 2007, 0:32 [IST]
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Shaun Pollock made a battling half-century as South Africa recovered from a poor start in the second one-day international against New Zealand at St George's Park Friday.

South Africa's total of 209 for nine did not seem achievable after they collapsed to 66 for five but Pollock (52) and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher (48) put on 89 for the sixth wicket to put the home side back in the game.

Tailender Andre Nel, who scored nine runs off the last three balls as South Africa squeezed a two-wicket win in the first match in Durban, gave the innings late impetus when he hit a six and two fours off the 49th over, bowled by Kyle Mills.

Then he edged a four and slogged a six off the last two balls of the innings from Mark Gillespie to finish with 30 not out off 13 balls.

Mills, who took five for 25 in Durban, followed up with three for 43, while fellow new ball bowler Gillespie took three for 55.

Mills started the top-order collapse by dismissing both opening batsmen, Herschelle Gibbs and captain Graeme Smith without scoring after Smith won the toss and decided to bat.

Both were caught in the slips on a slow pitch which had some early seam movement.

New Zealand produced their best bowling and fielding performance of a disappointing tour before Pollock and Boucher rebuilt the innings, starting their stand slowly but increasing the scoring rate after they played themselves in.

But the Black Caps conceded 50 runs off the last five overs as South Africa gave themselves a chance of clinching the three-match series on a ground where batting second under floodlights has often proved difficult.

Both teams were strengthened by the inclusion of key players who had recovered from injury, with Gibbs back for South Africa after a knee injury and all-rounder Jacob Oram in for New Zealand after recovering from a hamstring strain. While Gibbs failed, Oram bowled well to take one for 31 off ten overs.

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