Dale Steyn breaks yet another record in South Africa's nail-biting win vs England
Dale Steyn surpassed Imran Tahir to become South Africa's leading wicket-taker in the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) on Wednesday.
The fast bowler reached the landmark in South Africa's one-run victory over England at Buffalo Park, East London. Prior to the match, Steyn was the joint-leading wicket-taker along with Tahir (61). England's Jos Buttler became Steyn's milestone scalp (62) as the pacer ended the match with figures of 1 for 33 in his quota of four overs.
There is quite a difference between second-placed Tahir and the next bowler on the list of leading wicket-takers for South Africa in the shortest format. Morne Morkel, who comes third, has 46 wickets ahead of Wayne Parnell (41) and Johan Botha (37).
South Africa, who are 1-0 up in the three-match T20I series, were put to bat after England skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss. Temba Bavuma opened the innings along with skipper Quinton de Kock. The two put up 48 runs before the latter was dismissed in the fifth over, leaving the hosts at 48 for 1.
One-down batsman Rassie van der Dussen struck a decent stand with Bavuma as the pair brought back South Africa's innings on the track on track. Bavuma top-scored with 43 runs from 27 balls and the home side went on to post 177 for 8 in 20 overs.
England, on the other hand, did not have the best of the starts as they lost wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler in the third over. He scored a 10-ball 15 before he left England at 19 for 1. The duo of Andile Phehlukwayo and Beuran Hendricks made four crucial dismissals between each other and there began England's downfall. Even though Jason Roy and Morgan contributed with a half-century each, that was not good enough as the eventual Player of the Match Lungi Ngidi claimed three wickets later in the match to ensure the result went South Africa's way.
After the match, Steyn admitted that he still has the fire and urge to play international cricket and is looking to secure a place in the side for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
"I love playing cricket. I wake up every day and I can't see myself doing anything else right now. I am just putting my hand up and saying I'm available, pick me, don't pick me and then we'll see how it goes to the World Cup," said Steyn, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career.
The determined pacer took a hard call last year to prolong his international career. Steyn announced retirement from Test cricket in August 2019 with a hope that the workload will be less and that would mean fewer injuries. However, the injuries have not stopped as the last time he represented South Africa was back in March 2019.
It is being speculated that the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to begin in October in Australia, will be Steyn's final assignment for South Africa.
"This T20 World Cup would be a nice one to go to and then finish off and reassess after the end of this year and then I will kind of figure out what I want to do," added Steyn in a post-match interview on Wednesday.