We look back on five memorable ODI performances by Dale Steyn.
5-50 v India, Nagpur, 2011 (World Cup)
Perhaps Steyn’s finest hour in terms of effect. He (and Morne Morkel) had struggled with the new ball in a crucial World Cup pool match, in which Sachin Tendulkar had overseen a first-wicket stand of 142 with Virender Sehwag and was reigning supreme at 267-1 in the 40th over. That’s when Steyn went into overdrive, although it was Morkel who got Tendulkar. Steyn struck twice in three balls to dismiss Gautam Gambhir (69) and Yusuf Pathan (0) and by the end of the batting powerplay they had lost four wickets for 30 runs. They were bowled out for 296 when 350 had been in their sights. South Africa won by three wickets with two balls remaining.
6-39 v Pakistan, Port Elizabeth, 2013
It was a triumph for Steyn, returning his best figures in ODIs, but it was not for the Proteas who lost by one run in match reduced to 45 overs by rain. Steyn had set off like a steam train, removing Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Nafeez (for the 15th time in 23 matches across all formats) with just 22 runs on the board. But when he took a break, Ahmed Shehzad and Sohaib Maqsood made hay and put on 124 for the third wicket. That provided the platform upon which the Pakistanis built rather shakily as Steyn cut them down. Junaid Khan (3-42) and Shahid Afridi (2-38) were too tight for the Proteas batsmen, spoiling Steyn’s day.
5-25 v Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, 2013
Steyn was man of the match for his brilliant return of 5-25, which stood like a beacon in a sea of mediocrity. There was very little support from his bowling team, although, to be fair, Morne Morkel restricted the Pakistan scoring to 4.4 off his 10 overs. Pakistan, chasing 266, got off to a good start, putting on 74 for the first wicket, and backed by strong showings from Sohaib Maqsood (56) and Misbah-ul-Hag (65). Steyn, though, claimed both those wickets and then demolished the middle order to engineer a 28-run win.
4-34 v Australia, Harare, 2014
Steyn’s masterclass in swing and control brought South Africa their first-ever tournament final against Australia. His four wickets led a surge through the Australian middle-order in which South Africa plucked five wickets for 29 runs. Steyn was fired up for this one, getting early movement, although it took a brilliant catch to dismiss Philip Hughes in the third over. He was at times unplayable when he came back for his second spell, getting prodigious reverse swing which accounted for Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell in two balls. He completed his four with Brad Haddin, at which point Australia were struggling at 137-7. South Africa won by six wickets.
3-17 v India, Durban, 2013
This was a match more noted for Quinton de Kock’s hundred, which made him only the third South African, after Amla and Herschelle Gibbs, to score back-to-back centuries in ODIs. Lonwabo Tsotsobe also stood out for his four wickets, but Steyn was quietly understated and extremely effective, conceding just 2.42 an over against the top-ranked ODI side. He strangled their hopes, but it must be said, they were pretty demoralised after the Proteas had offered them a target of 281.