Pollock's plan to upstage Pakistan

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The Independent Online

Fresh from their success over Australia in Melbourne, the South Africans were going in search of more one-day glory today in the Singapore Challenge 2000 triangular tournament.

Fresh from their success over Australia in Melbourne, the South Africans were going in search of more one-day glory today in the Singapore Challenge 2000 triangular tournament.

Shaun Pollock's team were taking on Pakistan at the Kallang ground with the aim of avenging the loss they suffered in the Sharjah Cup, remembered mainly because it was last assignment in charge of the team of the disgraced captain, Hansie Cronje.

The fact they are a bit under-strength at the moment does not worry the team management much. They flew thesecond-choice wicketkeeper Nic Pothas in from Barbados, where he was doing duty for the South African A team, as a replacement for the injured Mark Boucher. But the void created by Jonty Rhodes' absence will be hard to fill. Andrew Hall has tremendous potential with the bat and is quite a handy bowler at the death, but he does not measure up to the lofty standards set by Rhodes in the field. "We will all have to strive 10 per cent harder to make up for Jonty's absence," Pollock said.

South Africa still have plenty of depth in their line-up, and Pollock admitted that his main problem was to find the right combination for the game. With Gary Kirsten, Neil McKenzie, Jacques Kallis, Andrew Hall and Daryll Cullinan, the South African top-order has a settled look to it. The dilemma concerns the bowlers and although Pollock, Kallis, Lance Klusener and Nicky Boje are likely to form the bulk of the attack, they will have to choose two more from Makhaya Nitini, Nantie Hayward, Paul Adams and Roger Telemachus.

Pakistan are unlikely to tinker with the side that defeated New Zealand. Azhar Mahmood, who sprained his left ankle during practice yesterday, is fit and the only quandary is whether the captain, Waqar Younis, and the coach, Javed Miandad, opt for the leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed. With Kabir Khan bowling so well the other day, and the off-spinner Arshad Khan picking up three wickets, it will be a difficult decision.

* Cricket lovers in Adelaide, Australia, are disgusted about a move to name a Sex Shop after Sir Donald Bradman. The owners of the Ultimate Risk want to call it Erotica on Bradman because of a decision to rename the street on which it stands Sir Donald Bradman Drive.

Owners of the shop describe the move as a prudent business decision, but it is likely to upset the intensely private Bradman, who is trying to block plans by a businesswoman on the same street to name her restaurant Bradman's Cafe on the Drive. "It is blatant commercial opportunism," said a former Australian cricket official, Barry Gibbs.

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