Steyn eyes Newlands landmark

2012-12-06 12:03

Cape Town – Dale Steyn, still the world’s No 1-ranked Test bowler, fittingly ought to reach his 300-wicket milestone at the home ground of his domestic franchise the Cape Cobras here over New Year.

Newlands stages the first domestic Test match of the summer from January 2-6, the opener of two contests with New Zealand, and the Phalaborwa Express, assuming he is fit for it, needs the relative formality of one scalp to reach 300 in his 61st five-day appearance for the Proteas.

The word “formality” is used because Steyn has only ever once before gone wicketless in a Test match – and that was probably only because he very unusually succumbed to injury after bowling just 10 overs against India at the Wanderers in December 2006.

The tourists humbled their more fancied hosts by 123 runs in that first Test, although the Proteas did roar back to claim the series 2-1.

If Steyn does achieve the feat in traditionally the most iconic and best-attended Test match of the local season, he will draw level with the illustrious names of Richard Hadlee (New Zealand) and Malcolm Marshall (West Indies) as third fastest to 300.

The record is still held by Australian pace legend Dennis Lillee, who got there in 56 Tests, with Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan next best (58).

Meanwhile Steyn has drawn special praise from Mark Nicholas, the English host of Channel 9’s cricket coverage in Australia, who also spent time among the SuperSport commentators during South Africa’s 1-0 series triumph Down Under recently.

Writing a series summary on the Cricinfo website, the former Hampshire captain said Aussie skipper Michael Clarke would have known as the teams entered the decisive Perth Test that “key members of the opposition had air left in their lungs ... first among them was Steyn”.

Nicholas enthused: “(Steyn is) a bowler of such excellence that when the force is with him events will invariably turn the way of his team.

“As at The Oval last July, Steyn chose the second morning of a crucial Test to cast his spell.

“Sprinting to the wicket with unparalleled zeal, releasing the ball from a perfect wrist position and following through with the skip and commitment of a Springbok outwitting its hunter, the world’s finest fast bowler accounted for David Warner before the first ad break, nightwatchman Nathan Lyon before the cappuccinos and Clarke before drinks.

“Few bowlers can do this – change the rhythm of a match so quickly and conclusively.

“One who could was looking on and purring approval: the best of Steyn is not far from Dennis Lillee, who was perhaps the best of them all.”

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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  • reinie.brandt - 2012-12-06 12:10

    Damn proud to have this man in our team!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      raymond.dick.12 - 2012-12-06 13:16

      And an absolute gentleman!! He is a REAL South African

  • reinie.brandt - 2012-12-06 12:11

    Damn proud to have this man in our team!!!!!

      CapeChappy - 2012-12-06 16:06

      So proud it deserved to be said twice :)

  • zambezi.river - 2012-12-06 12:42

    Quota players like Rudolf and Elgar might be given another chance........................................hope not!

      Staalburger - 2012-12-06 14:24

      So Elgar had only one test to show his ability? If your modus aperandi is applied throughout, we would never had a Kallis. Give everyone a fair chance. Even Kallis has a pair. Rudolph had his chances, but Elgar did not.

  • dragonfire47 - 2012-12-06 13:18

    Watch the kiwi remover take another 10

  • richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-12-06 13:20

    As good as Dale is, it's just unfair when a bowler has four arms. I mean, look at the pic.

      ockie.barnard.9 - 2012-12-06 13:51

      Yep. You can also see the anger on his face with a team mate grabbing him from behind!

  • SirFGrumpy - 2012-12-06 13:36

    Well said that man.

  • tertius.aswegen - 2012-12-06 15:15

    Rudolf a quota player...? Lol. Elgar deserves another shot or two.

  • michael.diederiks - 2012-12-06 16:28

    Kallis ought to hit 13000 test runs in this test too!!

  • selina.tsele - 2012-12-06 19:12

    For a younger like myself who only witness AD play in his twilight yrs I'd like to knw who is beta between the two. Donald of say 1995(assuming those were his best yrs) and the current styn. Hoping for opinions rather than thumbs down...

      robin.bradley.9803 - 2012-12-07 08:12

      Donald a Legend....!! But I think that Steyn will be a much better

  • david.singleton.7505 - 2012-12-11 13:12

    From a proud but humble Aussie... It was a great series, played ultra competively, with not an inch asked for nor given but all conducted in a superb spirit. Standing ovations by the crowds in Adelaide and Proteas sendoff to Ponting testamount to this. The best team undoubtedly won. Look forward to the next series with you guys, should be a ripper!! (That means very good ;-)

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