• Tahir spares Proteas’ blushes

    Imran Tahir bowled a brilliant super over to bail out South Africa in the first T20I against Sri Lanka, and grabs Tuesday’s Turbo Bowler award, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.

    The Proteas’ talismanic wrist-spinner took matters into his own hands with South Africa on the brink of losing a match they at first seemed certain to win. The home side were cruising on 118-3 in their pursuit of 135 runs to win, needing less than a run a ball to get over the line.

    Incredible scenes followed as Sri Lanka’s bowlers stepped up to the plate to restrict the match to a tie – with the assistance of some dodgy running between the wickets by the Proteas.

    Tahir saw himself entrusted to close out the innings, but couldn’t take the Proteas over the line with bat in hand. Instead, he took matters into his own hands with the ball after David Miller (41) helped set Sri Lanka 15 runs to win in the super over after smashing two boundaries off Lasith Malinga (2-11).

    READ MORE: Tahir clinches captivating super-over win

    The veteran leggie pulled out all his tricks in a sensational over to help the home side over the line in front of a nervous Newlands crowd. Tahir conceded only five runs – including two wides – in his response, sealing a victory that had looked inevitable most of the night.

    After bowling the fifth legal ball – with Sri Lanka needing an improbable 12 runs off the final delivery – Tahir jumped for joy, pumping his fists and stirring up the crowd, before closing off proceedings under the mountain.

    READ MORE: Imran Tahir announces ODI retirement

    Sri Lanka will hope to show the same fighting spirit and bounce back in the second T20I of the three-match series. The teams will face off under lights at SuperSport Park on Friday.


    Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images