Cricket: Cronje banks on Donald's control

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SHOAIB AKHTAR and Allan Donald, two of the world's quickest bowlers, offer the prospect of a fascinating contest within the battle of the heavyweights when Pakistan and South Africa meet in the World Cup Super Six match at Trent Bridge today.

A speed gun will measure the bowler's pace to thrill the capacity crowd, but in the context of a limited-overs match it is a duel in which control may hold the key.

The South African captain, Hansie Cronje, said: "I think Allan is a little bit wiser than to go out there and try just for pace, but I think both those bowlers will be up around the 90 mph mark. I suppose Shoaib may be a fraction quicker, but I think consistency is what is important in this game."

Donald is one of the five right-arm pace bowlers on whom South Africa's attack was almost exclusively based in the group stage and it is likely they will keep faith with that strategy against Pakistan on a Trent Bridge pitch that the senior groundsman, Steve Birks, says will offer seam movement.

The Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram, was only partially involved in yesterday's net practice. He was suffering from a cold and did not appear for fielding disciplines, but he said he would be fit to play.

After carrying only two points forward from the group games, South Africa have to win two of their three Super Six games to have a realistic chance of reaching the semi-finals and Pakistan will pose the toughest test.

"They're very much a form side," Cronje said. "But we have a good record against them and hopefully we can maintain that."