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Imran Tahir rips through New Zealand to earn T20 win





  • Spinner Imran Tahir is the world's top-ranked bowler in limited overs cricket
  • The South African returned figures of 5-24 against New Zealand on Friday
  • New Zealand crumbled to 107 all-out when chasing the Proteas' target of 185 

By Greg Stutchbury, Reuters

Published: 08:01 EST, 17 February 2017 | Updated: 08:02 EST, 17 February 2017

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir underlined why he is the world's top-ranked bowler in limited overs cricket as he bamboozled New Zealand's batsmen to help South Africa to a 78-run victory in their only Twenty20 match at Eden Park on Friday.

Tahir, who was on a hat-trick in his second over, had his figures ruined by successive sixes from Colin de Grandhomme but still finished with 5-24 in 3.5 overs, with the New Zealanders unable to pick his googly.

The 37-year-old did reap the benefits of a superb bowling performance by the rest of the team with Chris Morris, who was also denied a hat-trick, having figures of 2-10 in his opening three-over spell.

Imran Tahir ripped through the New Zealand top order to claim a win for South Africa Imran Tahir ripped through the New Zealand top order to claim a win for South Africa

Imran Tahir ripped through the New Zealand top order to claim a win for South Africa

Andile Phehlukwayo took three wickets, including the important wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, as the hosts crumbled to 107 in 14.5 overs while chasing South Africa's 185-6.

The loss was New Zealand's first at home this summer.

Both sides had said beforehand they felt just having one Twenty20 clash before the five-match one-day series did not have much meaning and more games should have been scheduled.

The South African top order, however, underlined how dangerous they would be in the one-day series with nearly all making telling contributions.

While Quinton de Kock fell for a duck in the third over, Hashim Amla (62), captain Faf du Plessis (36), AB de Villiers (26) and JP Duminy (29) all scored quickly.

Hashim Amla top scored with 62, setting New Zealand 186 to win before Tahir's crucial spell Hashim Amla top scored with 62, setting New Zealand 186 to win before Tahir's crucial spell
Tahir picked up figures of 5-24 in 3.5 overs on his way to bowling the Black Caps out for 107 Tahir picked up figures of 5-24 in 3.5 overs on his way to bowling the Black Caps out for 107

Hashim Amla top scored with 62, setting New Zealand 186 to win before Tahir's crucial spell

Tahir's spell earned the Proteas the win in the first Twenty20 against Kane Williamson's side Tahir's spell earned the Proteas the win in the first Twenty20 against Kane Williamson's side

Tahir's spell earned the Proteas the win in the first Twenty20 against Kane Williamson's side

IMRAN TAHIR...THE IT20 STATISTICS 

Matches: 31 

Balls: 695

Runs conceded: 740 

Wickets: 54 

Best figures: 5/24 

Average: 13.70 

Economy: 6.38 

Strike rate: 12.8

Amla's innings was particularly impressive as he played just pure cricket shots to hit nine boundaries and a six in his 43-ball innings.

The opener also combined with du Plessis in an 87-run partnership from 8.3 overs and the visitors looked well set to score in excess of 200 if the pair could stay at the crease.

De Grandhomme, however, dismissed both du Plessis and de Villiers to leave their side on 145-4 in the 16th over ensuring the all-rounders needed to push the innings on.

Opening bowler Trent Boult finished with an impressive 2-8 from four overs.

The first one-day international is at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday.

 


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Larry Whyte
Larry Whyte

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