Shaun Pollock led Warwickshire to a comfortable victory yesterday in a one-sided Norwich Union League match that served to illustrate the dismal state of Nottinghamshire's cricket. This was a seventh defeat in 10 games for the Trent Bridge side.
Pollock, the South African national captain who is in his second season with Warwickshire after enjoying success at Edgbaston in 1996, effectively ensured that Nottinghamshire would be hard pressed to arrest their slide by crashing 70 off 76 balls. Later he took three wickets for 12 runs in seven overs with the ball as the home side crashed to 151 all out, losing by 85 runs in the 42nd of their allotted 45 overs.
Coming in at the fall of the first wicket after Nick Knight had miscued Greg Smith to wide mid-off, Pollock quickly joined Michael Powell in finding gaps in the Nottinghamshire field before threatening the safety of spectators in the towering Radcliffe Road stand with a couple of huge straight blows, the second of which, off Nadeem Malik, landed in the upper tier of seats, some four storeys up.
That one took him to 51 off 55 balls out of 125 for 2, a moment which so excited the public address announcer he attributed the feat at first to Shaun's uncle, Graeme Pollock. By the time he pulled to short mid-wicket off Nicky Boje, the South African left-arm spinner whose accurate probing was one of few redeeming features in the home side's performance.
With 98 on the board before Powell failed to make a sharp single called by Pollock in the 22nd over, Warwickshire, having been asked to bat first, had built a momentum which stuttered briefly when Ian Bell skewed Boje low to short cover but was maintained after Pollock's departure by Dominic Ostler and Trevor Penney, who added 49 in just six overs, Ostler mimicking Pollock in one savage over against Usman Afzaal that yielded 18, including two more towering straight sixes into the Radcliffe Road stand.
Nottinghamshire lost Guy Welton, leg before to Pollock, and Boje, caught behind, with neither scoring a run. Never able to accelerate, the first 15 overs saw them scoring at only two runs per over, by which time Darren Bicknell had edged Pollock to the keeper and Paul Johnson trapped in front by Ashley Giles. The outcome thereafter was never in doubt, despite Afzaal scoring a half-century for the second week running.
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