Woolmer hits out at Newlands pitch as Pakistan face defeat
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter

Player:RA Woolmer, GC Smith, Danish Kaneria, HH Dippenaar, PL Harris

DateLine: 1st February 2007


Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has a home in Cape Town but he said he had never seen a Newlands pitch like that on which 32 wickets fell on the first two days of the third and final Test. South Africa were 36 for two at the close Saturday after being set to make 161 to win for a series-clinching triumph, with captain Graeme Smith unbeaten on 33. With the series set to be decided early Sunday, Woolmer acknowledged: "South Africa are favourites but we would be stupid to come here tomorrow thinking we had lost the game. We'll certainly be trying." Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria will be the key to Pakistan's fortunes. He took both wickets for two runs, having Boeta Dippenaar caught behind for three before trapping nightwatchman Paul Harris leg before in the last over. Woolmer said: "With 32 wickets in two days, it's either extremely bad batting, wonderful bowling or something slightly wrong with the pitch."


It wasn't bad enough to be reported to the International Cricket Council, he said, because it wasn't dangerous but it wasn't good for Test cricket for matches to be decided in three days. "The odd ball is unplayable and then you get out trying to score runs off a ball that is pretty mediocre. You don't often get these games. Specifically in Test cricket you shouldn't get these games because in Test cricket you should be more disciplined in the way you bat," added Woolmer. "Although I'm an advocate of results in Test cricket I know the financial implications are pretty high when there are two-and-a-half days of no cricket." Woolmer said that despite the difficulties of the pitch, Pakistan had batted poorly in their second innings.


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