Career timeline December 16, 2009

South Africa's trailblazer

Makhaya Ntini will play his 100th Test at Centurion against England on Wednesday. Cricinfo looks at the highlights and difficulties of his marathon journey.

December 1997
Tours Australia as a replacement for Roger Telemachus. Doesn't play in the Test series but impresses on ODI debut at Perth in the tri-nation series with New Zealand.

March 1998
Makes Test debut against Sri Lanka in Cape Town, becoming the first black cricketer to play for South Africa. Takes the final wicket of the match to seal South Africa victory by 70 runs.

April 1999
Convicted of rape and handed six-year prison sentence. He steadfastly maintains his innocence and six months later is cleared on appeal although he is dropped for the 1999 World Cup.

November 2000
Takes 6 for 66, his first five-wicket haul, against New Zealand in Bloemfontein on his second game back after the appeal.

October - December 2002
Collects 37 wickets in six matches at 16.54 in South Africa's home summer against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

August 2003
Becomes the first South African to take 10 wickets at Lord's, getting his name on the famous honours board twice, as his 5 for 75 and 5 for 145 powers South Africa to an innings victory.

April 2005
Devastates West Indies at Port of Spain with 13 wickets in the match, collecting his career-best figures to date of 7 for 37 in the second innings as South Africa win by eight wickets.

December 2005
Voted South Africa's favourite sportsperson by South Africa Press Association, becoming the first cricketer to win the accolade.

April 2006
Takes 10 wickets against Australia in Johannesburg but the tourists sneak home to a two-wicket victory. Reaches No.2 in the bowling rankings, his highest position to date.

May 2006
Named Man of the Series after his 20 wickets in three Tests against New Zealand helps South Africa to a 2-0 series win.

January 2007
Becomes the 21st bowler and the second South African to take 300 Test wickets, after removing Pakistan's Mohammad Sami in Port Elizabeth. It is his 74th Test and it takes him just 19 games to move from 200 to 300 scalps.

March - April 2007
Disappoints in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies with just six wickets from seven games. Dropped from the last two games as South Africa crumbled in the semi final against Australia.

December 2008 - March 2009
Takes nine wickets at 50.00 in South Africa's 2-1 triumph over Australia and 10 wickets at 34.00 in the defeat to Australia in the return home series.

Sahil Dutta is assistant editor of Cricinfo