This week marks 14 years since former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya Ntini took 10 wickets in a Test match for the last time.
Ntini completed figures of 10-145, which comprised a five-for in each innings, on the fifth and final day of the Test series opener against New Zealand in Centurion in April 2006.
He had collected 10-178 against Australia in Johannesburg a mere two weeks prior, during a particularly impressive stretch of form.
Ntini’s first 10-for in Test cricket had come against England at Lord’s in 2003. He waited two years for another, before collecting a career-best 13-132 against the West Indies in Port of Spain in 2005.
April 2006’s performance against the New Zealanders, though, was arguably the most masterful of the lot. He bowled with great pace and accuracy on a conducive Centurion pitch. The painful blow copped by batsman Hamish Marshall, who read a rising delivery all wrong, epitomised Ntini’s aggression that week.
Ntini removed Marshall twice in that match. He accounted for the dismissal of opposition captain Stephen Fleming and ended the threat posed by near-centurion Daniel Vettori. These were just some of the highlights in his 10.
The veteran right-armer opened the bowling with pace ace Dale Steyn, who was relatively new to Test cricket at the time. They shared all 10 wickets in the fourth innings.
‘Makhaya made it look so easy. I really enjoyed bowling with him. We were able to work in tandem. We knew that the new ball was going to play a role, and it worked for us,’ said Steyn.
The Test was all-rounder Jacques Kallis’ 100th – and a fitting result, too.
Photo: Gallo Images