South Africa has got a rich history of producing fast bowlers. After their comeback to international cricket in the year 1992. They saw the birth of a speedstar named Alan Donald,who was nicknamed ‘white lightening’ for the sheer pace he generated while bowling in the 22 yards. Donald’s legacy in Proteas cricket was carried forward by another speedstar namely Dale Steyn who turns 37 today.
As Steyn has already grown older and have very few months of international cricket left in him he has already passed on the baton of some genuine pace bowling to his countrymen Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and co. On his 37 th birthday we decided to pay our respect to the man popularly known as ‘Steyngun’ by looking back at some of the devasted spell of pace bowling that he delivered.
Incidentally Dale Steyn is the only fast bowler to have taken a five-wicket haul against all nine Test-playing nations. He finished with 439 wickets from 93 tests. He is also the highest wicket-taker for the Proteas in the longest format of cricket. Dale Steyn announced his retirement from Test cricket on August 5, 2019 in an attempt to prolong his injury torn career.
His strike-rate of 42.3 balls per wicket is the best among those with more than 200 Test wickets. He spent 263 weeks at top of the ICC Test Bowling Rankings which is still a record. Below is the five of Dale Steyn’s breathtaking bowling spells:
∆ 7/51 vs India, Nagpur, 2010 :-
Wickets in Indian sub continent is always spin friendly. On one such surface Steyn bowled a fiery spell of fast bowling as he ripped apart Indian batting line up. He dismissed Sachin Tendulkar with a brilliant out-swinger. His variations with his pace was too hot to handle for the Indian middle and lower middle order on a slow pitch of Nagpur.
∆ 5/87 & 5/67 vs Australia, Melbourne, 2008 :-
His devastating match-winning spell at MCG against Australia in 2008 is considered as his greatest performance. He picked up a total of 10 wickets in two innings and helped South Africa register their first series win in Australian soil.
Here is a brief look at some of Steyn’s fiery bowling :-
∆ 4/55 vs Australia,
Port Elizabeth, 2014 :-
Dale Steyn tore apart famous Australian batting line up in South Africa’s oldest cricket stadium . Likes of Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, and Brad Haddin had no clue about how to face and combat the fiery pace of Steyn.
∆ 5/23 vs India,
Ahmedabad, April 2008 :-
In that series first Test match ended as a draw. In the second Test an inspired opening spell from Dale Steyn had India reeling. He took the Wickets of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid . Later on Steyn took two more lower order wickets as India were all out for 76 which is incidentally India’s second-lowest Test total at home till date.
∆ 6/8 vs Pakistan,
The Wanderers, 2013 :-
South Africa scored 253 in the first innings vs a formidable pakistan attack. In reply Pakistan batsmen faced a red hot Dale Steyn from the Golf Course End at The Wanderers. That particular spell was so fiery that Pakistani batsmen had no clue whatsoever. Due to that spell Pakistan were bowled out for just 49 in 29 overs. His figures read 8.1-6-8-6. South Africa won the match by 211 runs.