Sunfoil Series 2012-13 January 6, 2013

Tahir leads Lions to big win

ESPNcricinfo staff

A collective batting performance and a 12-wicket haul by legspinner Imran Tahir propelled Lions to a 252-run win over Dolphins in Durban. Chasing 416, Dolphins were bowled out for 163 in the morning session on the final day, as Tahir ran through their middle and lower order. Besides Tahir, middle-order batsman Neil McKenzie starred in Lions' win, scoring a century in the second innings to help cement their dominance in the contest.

The seeds of the win were sown by a 93-run lead in the first innings. After scoring 248, a total built around half-centuries from Zander de Bruyn and Brett Pelser, Lions bowled Dolphins out for 155, as seamer Ethan O'Reilly and Tahir took eight wickets between them. Tahir claimed 5 for 42.

Lions consolidated their advantage by scoring 322 for 4 before declaring their second innings on the third day. Besides McKenzie, wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock and de Bruyn also played productive knocks. Dolphins were already five wickets down by the end of the third day.

Tahir, who had already taken three wickets, struck with the second ball of the final day, dismissing Cody Chetty for a duck. After a slow 42-run stand between Daryn Smit and Khaya Zondo, Tahir took his fifth wicket, trapping Smit lbw to leave Dolphins struggling at 160 for 7. Khayelihle Zondo, who scored 34, was then removed by de Bruyn before Tahir cleaned up the tail to lead his team to the win.

The result left Lions in third position in the points table, with Dolphins behind them.

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  • fabian on January 8, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    Unfortunately Tahir is one of those players who performs well at domestic level but fails when given the chance to play for his country.I remember him having a really good stint at Hampshire and picking up lots of wickets.Then I read about him wanting to play for SA and I really wanted the guy to do well but he just didn't make the 'grade'.Imran you seem like a nice enough guy and a trier but seriously mate....stick to bamboozling county/state batsmen as that is what you're good at.There will only be ONE Shane Warne....Sorry.

  • Paul on January 8, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Poor old Tahir gets a very bad rap, he is partly let down by management with their ridiculous field placings though and Sa forcing the man to bowl round the wicket on day one of a test match (tahir is not paul harris). If you listened to the commentary other than superbores cliche captains, you will have heard and i quote Mark Taylor "What is this field set for Tahir, it is impossible to bowl to!" (Having captained Warne succesfully i daresay he knows what he is talking about) and Warne himself in the commentary booth has questioned the fields Tahir is forced to bowl to. Watching that test in oz it saddened me to see a legspinner bowling round a wicket on day to maybe 3 fielders on the off side, how do you take any wickets like that. Problem is SA for someone reason want defensive spinners (waste overs so we can draw easier). At the end of the day Tahir is a more dangerous bowler to a team than Morne Morkel (his stats aren't as grand as he is made out to be), but SA are clueless.

  • Duncan on January 7, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    So why could he not get a wicket in Australia? Some analysis anyone?

  • Gautam on January 7, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    If Imran T is building a case for himself to be considered for inclusion in the Test series against Pakistan, he'd do well to refrain from doing so in the best interests of the Saffas. I for one wouldn't wish to see the selectors capitulate to rewarding Imran with a Test team spot and then consequently leave his team-mates considering in retrospect what a liability he's proven again to be, should he be so.

  • Bilawal on January 6, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa I don't think Tahir is test material but he's good in shorter format ODI/t20, he has to do something really special to get back into test side. anyway looking forward to Pak vs SA series it will be a cracker. Good Luck to both teams

  • greig on January 6, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    If thats not knocking on the door again, i dont know what isnt !!! Well done Imran. Good to see young de kock getting runs too.

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