Tahir proves value
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