White-ball cricket may be a batsman’s game but, on the odd occasion, a bowler bursts on to the scene with a really good display. Here, we focus on the six best bowling performances by South Africa bowlers on ODI debut.
6. Dave Rundle – 4-42 vs Australia in Brisbane, 9 January 1994
- South Africa made the bold decision to play two spinners in their World Series match against Australia at the Gabba, with Rundle debuting in an attack that also included Pat Symcox. Rundle was the sixth bowler Hansie Cronje turned to after winning the toss and putting Australia in to bat. When Rundle entered the attack, Australia were purring with Dean Jones well set and Damien Martyn getting going. Rundle deceived Martyn with flight to have him caught at cover, a wicket that would spark a mini collapse from Australia. He got Allan Border to hole out to long-off before holding a brilliant return catch to send Ian Healy packing for a first-baller. Rundle denied Jones a ton, but South Africa fell short in their chase, losing by 48 runs.
5. Imran Tahir – 4-41 vs West Indies in Delhi, 24 February 2011
- There was little doubt about Tahir’s quality by the time he qualified to play for South Africa, and he was backed to have an impact on the 2011 World Cup despite making his debut. After early strikes by Johan Botha, Tahir came on and tore through the West Indies middle order. He finished his spell with his fourth wicket that left the West Indies at 213-8. The tail would be wrapped up, and the Proteas chased down the target with ease.
4. Shaun Pollock – 4-34 vs England in Cape Town, 9 January 1996
- Pollock became one of South Africa’s all-time greats in both Test and ODI cricket, but he made a real splash on debut. Pollock started his day with an unbeaten run-a-ball 66 after coming to the crease with South Africa at 107-6. He then partnered with fellow miser Craig Matthews to keep things tight at the start of England’s innings. He kept the squeeze on as England unravelled and was rewarded with four wickets to end with – what was at the time – the second-best bowling performance for South Africa on ODI debut.
3. Vernon Philander – 4-12 vs Ireland in Belfast, 24 June 2007
- Philander debuted in a rain-hit ODI against Ireland in Belfast in 2007, but the weather and revised over limits couldn’t stop him from enjoying an excellent day. His first wicket effectively killed off Ireland’s challenge despite the abbreviated nature of the match, as he got William Porterfield to nick off, leaving the hosts on 47-3. Philander thrived in the conditions and bowled with the tremendous accuracy that would make him a Test stalwart.
2. Allan Donald – 5-29 vs India in Kolkata, 10 November 1991
- Charged with defending just 177 runs, Donald made the contest enjoyable with a phenomenal new-ball spell. Donald had India at 20-3 before Sachin Tendulkar righted the effort with a half-century. Donald got his man in the end, and a five-wicket haul, but the Proteas lost the match. He went on to take nine wickets in that three-match series and become one of South Africa’s all-time great fast bowlers.
1. Kagiso Rabada – 6-16 vs Bangladesh in Dhaka, 10 July 2015
- Already labelled a great find, Rabada made a big statement on his ODI debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka. Rabada claimed his first wicket with an absolute jaffer that cleaned up Tamim Iqbal before he delivered a knockout blow. The wicket of Iqbal was the first of a hat-trick on ODI debut for the young quick. He went on to claim six, which gave him the best-ever figures by a bowler on debut in the format.
Photo: Gallo Images