This week marks 15 years since former Proteas fast bowler Andre Nel took 10 wickets in a Test match for the first and final time.
South Africa won April 2005’s third Test at Sabina Park in Bridgetown, Barbados, by an innings an 86 runs. Nel completed a haul of 10-88 on the fourth and final day, with six wickets in the second innings added to four in the first.
He dismissed the great Brian Lara in both innings. The second was especially important, after Lara had amassed 176 in the first. Openers AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith had matched Lara with tons, too, as the West Indies deployed all of eight bowlers in an attempt to curb the visitors’ dominance.
Nel clinched the player of the match award, though enjoyed fine support from fellow right-arm fast bowlers Monde Zondeki and Makhaya Ntini. The result gave the tourists an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.
Nel, like former captain Shaun Pollock, was particularly prolific against the West Indies overall. More than 40% (52) of Nel’s 123 Test wickets came against the men from the Caribbean.
Nel’s 36th and final Test was against England some three years after his April 2005 star showing against the West Indies. His swansong at The Oval in London in 2008 didn’t yield even one wicket, as the Proteas slipped to defeat.
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