Proteas

Ngidi: Getting Virat was my favourite moment

2018-01-17 20:14
Lungi Ngidi (Gallo)

Centurion - The newest darling of South African cricket, 21-year-old Lungi Ngidi, has become just the sixth Protea since Lance Klusener in 1994 to take a fifer on Test debut. 

Playing in front of his home crowd in South Africa’s 135-run win over India in the second Test at Centurion, Ngidi was phenomenal. 

He finished with match figures of 7/90, but it was his 6/39 in the second innings that really announced his arrival onto the Test stage and made him the star performer of the contest. 

India's batsmen had no answer to his pace an accuracy, and if Ngidi can bowl like this on a wicket that has done little to assist the seamers in a traditional sense, then there is no telling what he will be like on what is expected to be a green Wanderers wicket next week. 

Ngidi's celebration when he had Mohammed Shami caught by Morne Morkel told its own story. 

He pumped the air, bashed away at the Proteas emblem on his shirt and was simply beaming. He had five wickets on Test debut and had capped off a year-long period that had seen him go from career-threatening injury to man-of-the-match against India. 

But, that euphoria aside, it was a Ngidi's second wicket of the innings that gave him the most satisfaction. 

Virat Kohli's 153 in the first innings had kept his side very much in the game, and as long as he was at the wicket India would have backed themselves to chase down anything. 

Instead, Ngidi knocked the Indian skipper over when he had him trapped leg-before for 5 on day four. It was a moment that gave South Africa the boost they needed to take control of this Test match. 

"The moment for me I think was the captain’s wicket," Ngidi said when asked which wicket was his favourite.

"That was a very special moment and I felt that I had worked hard and sort of figured out a gameplan of bowling towards him, so finally getting that really did mean a lot to me."

All through the Test, Ngidi was on cloud nine. 

He may have played less than 10 first-class matches, but he is already becoming a Centurion hero and that much was made evident by the applause he got between overs every time he took his position at fine leg.

"To be honest, it’s actually difficult to describe," he said.

"It’s not something I’m used to, so every time it really does hit me.

"You get goosebumps and get nervous all over again. It really is an honour to have people appreciate the work that you’re doing out there, so it’s hard to describe but it really is a blessing."

The win means that the Proteas have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series as the third Test heads to Johannesburg on January 24.

Read more on:    proteas  |  lungi ngidi  |  centurion  |  cricket
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