Impotent miserliness or profligate wicket-taking, which wins a one-day match?

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Makhaya Ntini celebrates a drinks breakWell obviously wicket-taking miserliness is what you’re aiming for. But there was a fire-and-ice, chalk-and-cheese, black-guy-and-ginger-guy contrast between South Africa’s opening bowlers in the first one-day international against Pakistan.

Shaun Pollock didn’t get a wicket but only went for three an over from his full allocation. Makhaya Ntini went at almost eight an over, 69 from nine, but took the first four wickets to fall.

Probably the pressure from Pollock’s end led to rash shots when Ntini was bowling and Ntini’s wickets led to more subdued batsmen when Pollock was bowling.

We’d go for Makhaya though, on the grounds that he’s ace and because Shaun’s duller than Jacques Kallis’s wits. Makhaya can be quick whereas Shaun long ago decided not to be. Makhaya’s fun and Shaun’s not.

You get the picture. We prefer Makhaya Ntini.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Quite an exciting run-chase at end of Pakistan’s innings, though, with what appeared to be two Shahid Afridis at the crease.

  2. The two of them working in combination sounds like the ideal scenario. One miserly and one attacking leaves the batsmen struggling to either score or survive.

    The problem will arise on good pitches when neither is effective.

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