• New ball again for Tahir’s 100th ODI?

    Leg-spinner Imran Tahir will mark Sunday’s World Cup outing against Bangladesh at The Oval in London with a 100th ODI appearance for South Africa.

    Tahir will become the 24th Proteas cricketer to achieve the milestone. Six members of South Africa’s squad for the ongoing World Cup in the United Kingdom have 100 ODI caps or more – captain Faf du Plessis, batsmen Hashim Amla and David Miller, fast bowler Dale Steyn, all-rounder JP Duminy and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

    ‘It feels really special. I think it is special as I look back, I played my first game in 2011 World Cup and it has been an amazing journey,’ said Tahir, who was born in Pakistan before becoming a naturalised South African.

    ‘I always dreamt that, but I never thought I will be here one day playing my 100th ODI for South Africa, so it’s an absolute honour and privilege being given the opportunity from South Africa and the lovely people from South Africa.

    ‘So I’m just really grateful to everybody, and I hope that from myself, that I give everything, what I could for the country.’

    The 40-year-old opened the bowling in Thursday’s tournament-opening defeat to England at The Oval. He dismissed opening batsman Jonny Bairstow with the second delivery of the match – and later removed captain Eoin Morgan. Whether Tahir will open the bowling against Bangladesh, too, remains in the balance.

    ‘Me opening with the new ball, I think we knew that it was going to be pretty much a shock for everybody,’ he added.

    ‘It was a good challenge, a great challenge. I was just really pleased the way I came out and I got a wicket for the team and that was our plan which worked. Whenever I get an opportunity again like that, you know, I won’t be the guy who is saying no to my captain, because I like challenges and I think it was one of them which I personally think I was really pleased.

    ‘I am the kind of guy who likes challenges and I like to think that my captain can give me a ball in any situation and I will be the first guy to say yes.’

    The Proteas and Bangladesh have contested 20 ODIs since 2002’s first. The former have won 17 and the latter three.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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