Cricket: Inzamam has to beware the hare

WORLD CRICKET'S hare meets the game's premier tortoise when South Africa's Jonty Rhodes comes face to face with Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq in the Super Six crunch match between the tournament heavyweights at Trent Bridge today.

Rhodes is the best fielder in the world, while Inzamam is one of the most lethargic runners between the wickets in the tournament. His calling is so bad that fans sometimes sarcastically cheer him for it.

On the face of it, it should be a no contest. The two met in the 1992 World Cup and, predictably, Rhodes ran his opponent out. Inzamam, however, can make up for his lack of speed with his ability. In between the run- outs, he cracks enough boundaries to keep his captain happy. "He is a great batsman and in great form," Wasim Akram said. "We can't ask more from him - except he should continue batting like this for the rest of the World Cup."

Pakistan have lost more players to run-outs - nine in five matches - than any side at the World Cup. There were three during their last match, a shock defeat to Bangladesh. South Africa, in contrast, have lost just three during the whole tournament.

Rhodes will be relishing the chance of a few darts at the stumps at Trent Bridge, and the odds are he will run at least one batsman out. But it is unlikely to be Inzamam. The tortoise, in all likelihood, will be safely sheltering in his hutch.

South Africa (from): G Kirsten, H H Gibbs, M V Boucher (wkt), J H Kallis, D J Cullinan, W J Cronje (capt), J N Rhodes, S M Pollock, L Klusener, S Elworthy, A A Donald, N Boje.

Pakistan (from): Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Ijaz Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Salim Malik, Moin Khan (wkt), Wasim Akram (capt), Azhar Mahmood, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis.

Umpires: D B Hair (Aus) and D R Shepherd (Eng).

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