Dale Steyn Pips Imran Tahir to Become South Africa’s Leading Wicket-Taker in T20I Cricket
Dale Steyn becomes South Africa's leading wicket-taker in T20I cricket during 1st T20I between SA and ENG©Twitter

Dale Steyn made a fantastic comeback to international cricket as he became South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in T20 internationals on Wednesday night. Steyn achieved the feat during the opening game of the three-match T20I series between South Africa and England played at the Buffalo Park, East London. The hosts edged out England by one run to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

During the third over of England’s run-chase of 178 in 1st T20I, Steyn got the wicket of England’s Jos Buttler and in the process surpassed former leg-spinner Imran Tahir’s tally of 61. Tahir scalped 61 wickets in 35 matches for the Proteas while Steyn reached the landmark in his 45th match. Third in the list of leading South Africa wicket-takers is Morne Morkel with 46 wickets.

Overall, Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in T20I cricket with 106 wickets to his name. He is followed by Shahid Afridi (96), Shakib al Hasan (92) and Umar Gul (85).

Steyn already holds the record for being South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket. The right-arm fast bowler has 439 wickets to his name in 93 Tests. In 145 ODIs, he has scalped 196 wickets.

On Sunday, the 36-year-old was playing his first match for South Africa in almost a year. Steyn has had constant run-ins with injuries over the last few years, especially after a career-threatening shoulder injury during South Africa’s tour of Australia in November 2016. Since then, he has featured in just eight Tests, nine ODIs and three T20Is.

He has already expressed his desire to feature in this year’s T20 World Cup, feeling his experience of 15 years in international cricket can come in handy to lead the Proteas quicks in Australia.