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Pollock slams team after warm-up loss

Johannesburg: While the World Cup is embroiled in politics, riot threats and terrorist fears elsewhere, South Africa’s bid to win the title on home turf has started to look a little shaky.

Beaten by a provincial team in a warm-up game, Shaun Pollock and his players badly need a boost before they take on the West Indies in Sunday’s opening match.

According to South African coach Eric Simons, Pollock, who top scored with 26 and then yielded only nine runs off his six overs, slammed his teammates over the performance.

“Shaun read them the riot act, which was good,” Simons said. “It wasn’t so much the coaches being upset as the players themselves. Shaun was quite harsh on them but I think they all agreed it was necessary.

“It was a very disappointing performance and a big dent to their pride. They knew the province side had come here to do well and they were embarrassed by their (own) performance. Form is a funny thing. I could see straight away when we started the nets last Monday, that they weren’t the same team that had finished off Pakistan.”

In the same Newlands Stadium a month ago, Pollock and his team demolished Pakistan by an innings and 142 runs to complete a 2-0 series victory.

After their loss to Western Province, the South Africans face another provincial team, Boland, Tuesday with Simons and Pollock hoping for a big improvement before they take on Brian Lara and the other West Indian stars on Sunday. (AP)

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