x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

South Africa cricket bowler Dale Steyn plays down career records

Steyn followed up his first innings haul of six for eight with five for 52 as Pakistan were bowled out for 268 in their second innings on Monday.

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn, left celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Shafiq Asad on day four of the first Test match between South Africa and Pakistan on Mondy. AFP Photo
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn, left celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Shafiq Asad on day four of the first Test match between South Africa and Pakistan on Mondy. AFP Photo

Dale Steyn was modest on his bowling heroics for South Africa after his career best figures in a Test match helped inspire South Africa to a dominant 211-run win in the first Test against Pakistan in Johannesburg on Monday.

Steyn followed up his first innings haul of six for eight with five for 52 as Pakistan were bowled out for 268 in their second innings.

Of his efforts, which were the cheapest 10-for haul by a South African bowler in Test history, Steyn said: "Things just kind of clicked, the ball came out nicely.

"There's not much thinking going on, your natural instinct takes over. I just got the ball in my hand and ran in and bowled.

"We wanted to try to get these wickets as quickly as possible today, the guys pushed hard, there wasn't a lot of chances, we were pumped to try to finish off the game."

It was also a special day for AB de Villiers, whose 11 catches in the match equalled the world record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in one Test, matching the former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell's mark – set against the Proteas in 1995.

Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain who was delighted to mark his 100th Test in charge with a win, said: "We knew we wanted to bat first, we were looking at 250-odd, but we left ourselves down a little bit. But we knew the cracks would come into effect.

"We are blessed to have Steyn in the attack, he is the number one bowler in the world and was helped by [Morne] Morkel and [Vernon] Philander.

"Hopefully AB has silenced the critics with his keeping."

Pakistan had always been up against it after being rolled over on day two by a Steyn-inspired South Africa for just 49.

Although they batted much better in the second innings, lasting 100.4 overs, compared to the dismal 29.1 in the first innings, Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, acknowledged that his side had not been able to cope with Steyn.

Misbah, who top-scored in the second innings, with 64, said: "I think everybody knows that once we can see off the new ball, we can score runs, I think in the next match you will see that," he said.

"They are the number one side and have top-class bowlers, top-class batsmen, we can learn a lot from them."

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