With Morne Morkel returning to the Proteas Test side against New Zealand on Wednesday, we uncover his top five performances.
Morkel restricts New Zealand in final Test:
Having drawn the first Test and winning the second, SA needed a draw or a win in the third to claim a series victory in 2012. The Proteas declared on 474-9 in their first innings only to bowl out the Kiwis for 275. SA then added 189 and declared, setting a target of 389 runs going into the final day. Morkel ripped through New Zealand making it hard for them to score quickly, picking up 6-23 runs, his best ever figures in an innings, as New Zealand only managed to reach 200-6 (80.4 overs). SA drew the match and claimed the series 1-0.
Morkel helps SA take the lead against India (2010):
Morkel led the charge against India in the first Test, grabbing 5-20 to help bundle India out for 136. The Proteas capitalised on this by scoring 620 in their innings, and Morkel backed up his form in the first innings to grab two more scalps to end with figures of 7-114 as India were bowled out for 459, 25 runs shy of making the Proteas bat again. The Proteas ended up drawing the series 1-1 after losing the next Test and drawing the last.
Proteas share the spoils with England (2010):
In the third Test of the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy clash at Newlands, Morkel helped save his side’s series. SA posted 291 in their first innings thanks to an anchoring 108 from Jacques Kallis. Morkel and Dale Steyn put on an epic display of new-ball bowling, reducing England to 73-4 in just under 25 overs. Morkel started things off in the opening over when he dismissed Andrew Strauss on the last ball. He also took the important scalp of Alastair Cook on 65. The paceman ended the innings with a five-for (5-75) as England were bowled out for 273. The sides drew the match and South Africa won the final Test to share the trophy. Morkel ended as the leading South African wicket-taker in the series with 19, two behind Graeme Swann.
Morkel vs Straus, England 2008:
Strauss recently named Morkel in his World XI in January and it was largely due to his performance against England in 2008. Not only did Morkel help the Proteas claim a 2-1 series win by ending as the leading wicket taker with 15 sticks, the Proteas speedster dismissed the England left-hander three times throughout the series. After drawing the first Test, South Africa won the second with Morkel ending the match with 7-113, his best performance on the tour. He took another four in their third Test win and SA drew the last match, as they lifted the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy.
SA beat Australia Down Under, 2012:
The Proteas’ second consecutive series win in Australia was highlighted by a brilliant bowling performance from Morkel. He took 14 wickets in total to finish at the top of the bowling charts, and his performance in the second Test in Adelaide saw him take 5-146 in the first innings and 3-50 in the second innings as SA squeezed out their second draw of the tour. His BBM of 8-196 remains his best match figures, as SA claimed a victory in the final Test to complete a 1-0 series win.
Photo: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images