- Imran Tahir was at his devastating and confusing best during South Africa’s first T20I against Zimbabwe on Tuesday
- Tahir helped the Proteas to a comprehensive 34-run win with a career-best performance of 5/23
- The Proteas coaching side has released Tahir for the final two matches of the series in order to give other less experienced players a run
South African spin maestro Imran Tahir was at his devastating, confusing, magnificent best during South Africa’s first T20I match against Zimbabwe in East London on Tuesday. Tahir helped the Proteas to a comprehensive 34-run victory with a career-best performance of 5/34 from his allotted four overs.
Tahir spun circles around the Zimbabwean batsmen who looked dazed, hapless and utterly hopeless whenever they faced Tahir. The South African spinner was named man of the series for the recently completed One-Day-International series against the same opponents.
It soon became obvious that Tahir was getting better with each over and that the Zimbabwean batsmen still had no answer to the spin wizard.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Tahir clearly still has enormous passion for the game of cricket and loves everything about the game. Tahir is one of those rare examples of true humility, no matter how well he does he always feels he can do more.
South Africa batted first and put up a slightly disappointing total of 160/6 but that total proved to be ample as Tahir dismantled the Zimbabwean batsmen, our northerly neighbours being bowled out for 126 runs.
Sport24.com reported that this love of the game was evident after the match in East London was done and the happy crowd had made their way home. Tahir showed the true meaning of sportsman-like behaviour and just how classy a player and human being he is.
Tahir was caught taking time out not with his jubilant teammates but with the young Zimbabwean spinner Brandon Mavuta. Tahir and the 21-year-old Mavuta were spotted in the middle of the field going through some practice moves.
The 39-year-old Tahir seemed to enjoy spending time with the talented youngster and giving him tips and advice, his love and passion for cricket on clear display for those still at Buffalo Park.
Meanwhile, Cricket SA announced that Tahir would not play in the final two T20I matches of the series. This is to enable the Proteas coaching squad to give younger inexperienced players a run on the international stage.
Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has made no bones about making each match the team plays no matter the format about preparation for the World Cup next year in England and Wales.
Gibson has spent most of his coaching career in England and thus has some valuable insights into what it takes to win in English conditions. It remains unclear whether Tahir will form part of the World Cup squad or whether he will be deemed too old and predictable on English pitches to make the cut.
Proteas fans can only dream of the day when their side finally manages to bring home the World Cup, although right now not many Proteas fans give their team much chance.
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