Monday, 20 April 2020 marks exactly 19 years since former Proteas seamer Shaun Pollock completed a fourth and final Test-innings five-wicket haul against the West Indies.
Pollock took 16 innings five-fors in the longest format of the international game, a quarter of which came against the West Indies. Four was his highest Test five-for tally against any country as he bagged three each against England and Pakistan – and six more against five other countries.
Pollock took three of the four five-fors against the West Indies in 1998. The final one came three years later, on 20 April 2001. It included the key dismissals of the great Brian Lara and Carl Hooper, but South Africa lost that fifth and final Test at Sabina Park in Kingston, regardless.
The series was among Pollock’s first as captain, after succeeding the disgraced Hansie Cronje. South Africa won the 2001 series against the West Indies 2-1, despite a 130-run defeat in that series decider.
Almost 17% (70) of Pollock’s 421 Test wickets came against the men from the Caribbean. He only took more against England – 91.
The last of Pollock’s 108 Tests came against the West Indies, too, this time at Kingsmead in Durban in 2008. He had since lost the captaincy to successor Graeme Smith. Pollock’s last Test, some 13 years after the first, yielded five more wickets – and kept an outstanding 22.95 aggregate against the West Indies under a marvelous career average of 23.11.
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