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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Five of the best: Dale Steyn’s spell from hell in Tests

Dale Steyn is the only fast bowler to have taken a five-wicket haul against nine Test-playing nations. Finishing with 439 wickets in 93 outings in the longest format of the game, he is also the highest wicket-taker for the Proteas in red-ball cricket.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: August 6, 2019 2:44:18 am
With 439 wickets, Dale Steyn finished his Test career as the highest wicket-taker for South Africa (Source: Twitter)

South African quick Dale Steyn announced his retirement from Test cricket on Monday in an attempt to prolong his injury-ravaged career. Steyn finished his illustrious Test career with 439 wickets in 93 outings to bow out as the highest wicket-taker for his country in red-ball cricket.

His strike-rate of 42.3 balls per wicket is the best among those with more than 200 Test wickets, while his 263 weeks spent atop the ICC Test Bowling Rankings is also unmatched by any other bowler. He is the only fast bowler to have taken a five-wicket haul against nine Test-playing nations.

The 36-year-old’s record in India is brilliant, having bagged 26 wickets in six Tests at an average of 21.36. His records and the fury with which he approached the game made him one of the all-time great bowlers in the history of the game. Here are five of Dale Steyn’s best bowling spells:

7/51 vs India, Nagpur, 2010

On a dry Indian surface, Steyn came out all guns blazing against the terrific batting order of India. It was in this match where he had famously dismissed Sachin Tendulkar with a brilliant out-swinger. His variations with the swing proved too much for the Indian middle and lower-order, as his constantly got the ball to reverse on a flat and slow pitch of Nagpur.

5/87 and 5/67, vs Australia, Melbourne, 2008

While his performance at Nagpur is arguably considered his greatest innings performance, his match-winning spell at MCG against Australia in 2008 is considered by many his greatest performance in an entire game. He bagged a total of 10 wickets over two innings and helped South Africa register their first series win Down Under.

4/55 vs Australia, Port Elizabeth, 2014

On a bright Sunday afternoon, Dale Steyn brought his A-game in South Africa’s oldest cricket stadium and tore through the Australian batting order from the Duck Pond End. Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, and Brad Haddin were memorably made to walk back to the pavilion because of the brilliance of Steyn. None of the Australian top-order batsmen had an answer to Steyn’ fury on this day.

Dale Steyn brought his A-game in South Africa’s oldest cricket stadium and tore through the Australian batting order. (File)

5/23 vs India, Ahmedabad, April 2008

India had scored a mammoth 627 in the first Test match of the series and the result was a predictable draw. In the second Test, the surface seemed like it will play similarly. However, an inspired opening spell from Dale Steyn where he snared Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid left India in huge trouble. Later on Steyn-Gun was back again to mop off the tail, leaving India all out for 76. It is India’s second-lowest Test total at home till date.

http://www.bcci.tv/videos/id/1299/2010-india-vs-sa-1st-test-nagpur-dale-steyn-751

6/8 vs Pakistan, The Wanderers, February 2013

Dale Steyn was lethal bowling from the Golf Course End at The Wanderers. (File)

After South Africa scored 253 in the first innings, Dale Steyn was lethal bowling from the Golf Course End at The Wanderers. Due to his ferocious bowling spell, Pakistan were bundled for just 49 in 29 overs. His accuracy and control were impeccable and the Pakistani batsmen simply had no answer on that afternoon. His figures were 8.1-6-8-6. It was a bodily blow that Pakistan failed to recover from as South Africa won by 211 runs.

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