Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock is regarded as one of the greatest medium pace bowlers of all time. In his glorious international career, which spanned from 1995 to 2008, Pollock produced a lot of match-defining performances with the willow that steered South Africa to victory. Apart from being a genuine pace bowler, Pollock was also one of the best all-rounders of his time. On many occasions, the 48-year-old caused a carnage on the field both with the ball and willow to stun the opposition.
With the former Proteas captain turning 48, let’s revisit some of his best bowling spells:
7 for 87 vs Australia, Adelaide Oval 1998
Shaun Pollock produced his career-best figure of 7 for 87 against Australia in January 1998 in the last Test of the three-match series. This was the first and the last time that the speedster took a seven-wicket haul in the international circuit. The match saw Australia following the total of 517 in the second innings.
During the second innings, Pollock breathed fire with the ball as he ran through the host’s batting line-up. The speedster finished with the figures of 41-11-87-7. The exploits by the veteran helped the Proteas in ending the game in a tie.
6 for 35 vs West Indies, Buffalo Park, 1999
Pollock registered his first five-wicket haul in the 50-over format during the West Indies tour of South Africa in 1999. Playing the second One Day International, Pollock gave away 35 runs in his ten overs while picking as many as six wickets. During the game, the speedster conceded runs at an economy rate of 3.5. Though Pollock was at his fluent best in the game, his efforts went in vain as the visitors won the match by 43 runs.
5 for 23 vs Pakistan, Johannesburg, 2007
The Proteas skipper’s another five-wicket haul in the ODI format came against Pakistan in 2007. Playing the final One Day International of the five-match series, Pakistan were stopped at a mere score of 153, courtesy Pollock. He was the wrecker-in-chief for the hosts as he bowled an incredible spell.
In his ten overs, the pacer conceded 23 runs while picking five wickets at an economy rate of 2.3. The exploits by the skipper helped his team in registering a massive win by nine wickets.
3 for 28 vs New Zealand, Johannesburg 2007
The only T20 International between South Africa and New Zealand saw Pollock producing his finest performance of the shortest format of the game. The first innings of the match saw New Zealand getting succumbed to a horrific collapse of their batting line-up.
The visitors could post only 129 runs in their 20 overs as Pollock picked the crucial wickets of Brendon McCullum, Jamie How and Daniel Vettori. The pacer’s spell of 4-0-28-3 helped Proteas in winning the match by three wickets.
6 for 30 vs Sri Lanka, Newlands, 2001
Shaun Pollock holds the record of bowling the best spell by a South Africa captain. The 48-year-old achieved this milestone in January 2001 when the Proteas were up against Sri Lanka at the Newlands in Cape Town. During the first innings, Pollock showed some incredible piece of bowling as he scaled as many as six wickets. Pollock bowled 13.4 overs and gave away just 30 runs.