Leg-spinner Imran Tahir relished bowling with the new ball, as South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 34 runs in Tuesday’s first Twenty20 International against Zimbabwe at Buffalo Park in East London.
After debutant Rassie van der Dussen pushed the Proteas to 160-6 with a fine half-century, Tahir limited the opposition to 126 all out. Tahir completed telling figures of 5-23 – and gathered the Man of the Match award.
Opening the bowling alongside seamer Lungi Ngidi, Tahir removed openers Chamu Chibhabha and Hamilton Masakadza – and the hard-hitting Tarisai Musakanda.
He later returned to the attack to complete a second T20I career five-for with the dismissals of all-rounders Shaun Williams and Elton Chigumbura.
‘I practice mostly with the new ball, to see if I can get more accurate if I get to bowl with the new ball. I’m a big believer that it’s never too late to learn,’ said Tahir.
‘I’m really pleased. I don’t take things for granted. Every opportunity I get to play for South Africa is an honour. I am just pleased to have been able to come out well.’
The second T20I will be played in Potchefstroom on Friday. Benoni will host the third and final match of the series on Sunday.