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South Africa vs Australia: Morne Morkel Becomes Fifth South African Bowler to Scale Peak 300

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 23, 2018, 11:04 PM IST
South Africa vs Australia: Morne Morkel Becomes Fifth South African Bowler to Scale Peak 300

South African bowler Morne Morkel (R) celebrates the dismissal of Australian batsman Steven Smith (L) during the second day of the third Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia at Newlands. (AFP Image)

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New Delhi: Ace South Africa cricketer Morne Morkel has added a fresh feather into his already illustrious cap as he became only the fifth Proteas bowler to scalp 300 wickets in the longest format of the game, on Friday.

During the second day of the third Test against Australia, Morkel scalped the wickets of Usman Khawaja (5), Steve Smith (5) and Shaun Marsh (26) to reach the landmark. Morkel joins the likes of Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, Mkhaya Ntini and Allan Donald in this illustrious list.

Shaun Pollock - M: 108, W: 421
Dale Steyn - M: 86, W: 419
Mkhaya Ntini - M: 101, W: 390
Allan Donald - M:77, W: 330
Morne Morkel - M: 85*, W: 300*

Morkel also sits pretty at the fourth spot in the list of oldest pacers to scale peak 300 in Tests. Morkel stands behind only to the likes of Zaheer Khan, Richard Hadlee and Imran Khan.

Zaheer Khan (IND): 35 years 076 days
Richard Hadlee (NZ): 34y 233d
Imran Khan (PAK): 34y 221d
Morne Morkel (SA): 34y 168d

Let's now take a look at Morkel's milestone wickets in Test cricket. Shaun Marsh — who became Morkel's 300th scalp — joined some top names like -

1st: MS Dhoni, Durban 2006
50th: Michael Hussey, Johannesburg 2009
100th: Rahul Dravid, Centurion 2010
200th: Kithuruwan Vithanage, Colombo 2014
300th: Shaun Marsh, Cape Town 2018

This milestone is set be Morkel's last of his career as it will be impossible for him to overtake Donald's mark of 330 wickets considering he will be hanging up his boots at the end of the current series. Prior of the series, Morkel cited a demanding international schedule and the strain it put on his young family as the reason for his surprising announcement.

"It was an extremely tough decision but I feel the time is right to start a new chapter. I have a young family and a foreign wife, and the current demanding international schedule has put a lot of strain us. I have to put them first and this decision will only benefit us going forward," Morkel said.

"I have loved every minute that I have played in the Proteas jersey, and I am incredibly grateful to my teammates, Cricket South Africa, and my family and friends for the support over the years. I still feel there is a lot of cricket left in me and I am excited for what lies ahead. For now, all of my energy and focus is on helping the Proteas win the upcoming series against Australia," he added.
First Published: March 23, 2018, 6:55 PM IST
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