Tahir proves value

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

CAPE TOWN — He may have played a lot fewer matches than most, but Imran Tahir only stiff­ens his claims sta­tis­ti­cally to be con­sid­ered one of the most ef­fec­tive Twenty20 spin­ners in the for­mat’s rel­a­tively short his­tory.

Tahir was on song again on Sun­day as South Africa pul­verised Eng­land in the se­cond KFC T20 in­ter­na­tional at the Wan­der­ers for a 2-0 mini-se­ries sweep, and ended as the joint-high­est wicket-taker across the two sides with five, along­side com­pa­triot Kyle Ab­bott.

But Tahir’s av­er­age (9.20) and econ­omy rate (5.75) were su­pe­rior and he landed the player-of-the-se­ries award, helped by his ca­reer best-equalling haul of 4/21 at New­lands on Fri­day.

The ex­u­ber­ant char­ac­ter has now claimed 32 scalps in just 20 T20 in­ter­na­tion­als and is only six shy of eclips­ing Jo­han Botha as South Africa’s lead­ing wicket-tak­ing spin­ner in the arena.

Botha achieved his 37 wick­ets in ex­actly dou­ble (40) the num­ber of games Tahir has played for the Proteas, which gives an idea of just how pro­lific the lat­ter is in dis­missals terms.

Whereas off-spin­ner Botha, al­beit a trustier con­trib­u­tor with the bat and in the field, av­er­ages 22.24 and sports a strike rate of 20.9, Tahir’s av­er­age is 14.75 and the leg-spin­ner strikes at 13.8. Their econ­omy rates are cur­rently ab­so­lutely iden­ti­cal at 6.37. But Tahir is also right up there with the very finest T20 “tweak­ers” across the world, based on fig­ures. — Sport24

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