Makhaya Ntini

The mock's on you

The con artist who went down and came up sans a piece of clothing

Firdose Moonda

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Neil McKenzie and Makhaya Ntini do a few warm-up exercises, Chittagong, February 28, 2008
Mind the skin show pal © AFP
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The year 2000 was supposed to mark the beginning of many new things. One of those was when South Africa and Australia played their first indoor cricket match at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne.

The occasion was intense for all sorts of reasons: it was the first time we were playing Australia in Australia after we beat them in a one-day series at home, so we had everything to prove. It was Polly's [Shaun Pollock] second time in charge against the Aussies as well, and of course he wanted to show he wasn't a one-hit captain.

We were being put to the sword by Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan, who both went on make hundreds.

Polly was bowling and Waugh hit a cover-drive. Neil McKenzie was at deep point and chased the ball.

He is one of those exceptional fielders who does the slide and mock-throw to make the batsman think he has the ball, even though he doesn't. I would say McKenzie could field just about anything.

That time, though, he didn't get it quite right. When he got up, his pants were just about around his ankles. The look on his face was priceless. Even though we got comprehensively clobbered, that incident made us laugh for a long time.

As told to Firdose Moonda, a freelance writer based in Johannesburg

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