South African fast bowler Dale Steyn drew level with former India seamer Kapil Dev’s 434 Test wickets on day one of the series opener against Sri Lanka at Kingsmead in Durban.
Steyn surpassed ex-captain Shaun Pollock as the Proteas’ leading wicket-taker in the longest format of the international game late last year.
‘I am very pleased and very happy. I almost let a tear out when I was standing at the top of my mark. I’m very proud,’ said Steyn at the time.
‘Every time I was around Pollock during the nine Tests we played together, it was a lesson. Pollock, Graeme Smith and the other guys helped me grow up as a human being and a cricketer.
‘Shaun popped a note under my door before I made my debut back in the day and I got another one from him for this record.’
Wednesday’s dismissal of opener Lahiru Thirimanne saw Steyn become Test cricket’s joint eighth-highest wicket-taker alongside Dev.
The Proteas star achieved the tally of 434 in 39 matches fewer than the Indian. Four more wickets will see Steyn move past Englishman Stuart Broad’s 437.
Steyn’s average of 22.78 is the third best among Test competition’s top 10 wicket-takers, after Australian Glenn McGrath’s 21.64 and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan’s 22.72.
Muralitharan is Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker with 800, followed by Australian Shane Warne’s 708, Indian Anil Kumble’s 619, Englishman James Anderson’s 565, McGrath’s 563 and West Indian Courtney Walsh’s 519.
Photo: Lee Warren | Gallo Images