Dale Steyn statistically became South Africa’s greatest bowler on Wednesday when he climbed top of the country’s leading Test wicket-takers list.
On the first day of the series against Pakistan, Steyn, who has been plagued by injury for the last three years, had opener Fakhar Zaman (12) caught at second slip to move to 422 Test wickets, taking outright top spot on South Africa’s all-time list from Shaun Pollock.
It has taken Steyn 89 Tests to reach that mark, 19 fewer than his former team-mate, and his strike rate of a wicket every 42.1 balls is only bettered among current players by compatriot Kagiso Rabada (39.2).
Shoulder, foot and groin injuries have restricted Steyn to just seven Tests in the last three years.
“I must admit that when I was standing at the top of my mark (after taking the wicket) I almost pushed a tear. There was a lump in my throat because I didn’t think it would happen,” said Steyn.
“There have been a lot of Test matches and, hopefully, there is a lot more to come.”
Pollock was among the first to congratulate Steyn, having been on air commentating when Zaman’s wicket fell at Centurion Park, later sending a personal message.
“A heartfelt congratulations to Dale‚ he’s been a fantastic bowler for South Africa for so long. His performances both home and away have been remarkable in so many ways‚” Pollock said.
“The fact that he is the best Test fast bowler that South Africa has produced‚ doesn’t require my endorsement as his stats and record tell you that.
“I have enjoyed so many attributes of Dale’s bowling through his international career‚ the ability to swing the ball at high speed upfront‚ reverse swing the ball with devastating effect, bowl with great control and within himself as well as being able to crank it up with high speed hostile bowling on very flat surfaces at times – have all been his hallmarks.”
Pakistan battled back after Duanne Olivier’s career-best figures had put South Africa in the ascendancy on the opening day of the first Test with six for 37. The tourists were bundled out for 181 in 47 overs, but South Africa were restricted to 127 for five in response. Source: The Telegraph