Friday, November 11, 2011

Imran Tahir and the Best Test Debut Ever!

Cleaned Up! Tahir on test Debut
The test match going on at Newlands, Cape Town at the moment will be remembered for many things, but being Imran Tahir’s test debut for South Africa is unlikely to be one of them, unless South Africa lose 8 more wickets on day 3 and the former Hampshire spinner is required to score the winning runs.
Unlikely, but hell, crazier shit has happened today!
Australia resumed on day two with captain Michael Clarke a ton to the good and his side in a position to pass 250, the minimum Clarke had deemed as acceptable at stumps on day one.
Clarke took Australia to 285 all out and seemingly “in the match”.
Tahir bowled a handful of tidy enough overs but it was other debutant, Vernon Philander who took the plaudits taking three wickets whilst Dale Steyn’s ferocious fast bowling had the hyperbole-merchants going into overdrive with his figures of 4/55.
What came next was borderline farce. First South Africa capitulated for 96 all out before Australia went one “better”, in the lunacy stakes, by scoring a hundred-year worst of 47 all out, yes, ALL OUT, in their second innings.
18 wickets fell for just 68 runs in the afternoon session in what was a quite unbelievable day of test cricket.
And it was needed, even if you’re an Australia fan. After the negative headlines of the spot fixing trial and the poor attendances of last weeks India vs West Indies test match in Delhi, this scintillating battle has resonated all around the world, confirming what many of us have known for a long time – that at its best, nothing beats test cricket.
South Africa put on 81/1 in their second innings before stumps at the end of day two, needing 155 to win with 9 wickets still in hand and they’ll fancy their chances. It is quite unbelievable that, going into day 3, we are already talking about a 4th innings chase – it’s been a surreal, incredible game of test cricket.
But what of our man Tahir? Well, he might not have much more to do in this game, sadly for him. A dozen or so inoffensive overs, no wickets and two runs with the bat, but I think he might just remember his first game in test cricket rather fondly, if the Proteas seal the deal tomorrow.
Tom Huelin for DieHard Cricket Fans
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomhue1

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