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'That Wasn't Me' - Steyn Ecstatic After Maiden ODI Fifty

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: October 4, 2018, 12:58 PM IST
'That Wasn't Me' - Steyn Ecstatic After Maiden ODI Fifty

(AFP)

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Playing his first One-Day International (ODI) in almost two years, Dale Steyn couldn't have asked for a better return to the South African limited-overs setup. Coming in at 101 for 7 in the second ODI between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein, the 35-year-old first dug his side out of a hole with a maiden ODI half-century and then struck twice with the ball early to leave the visitors in all sorts of strife.

Awarded Man of the Match after his all-round heroics, Steyn, who was in a jolly mood after the game, said that he was happy to score some runs and contribute with the bat.

"That wasn't me!” joked the pacer after his knock. "I was discussing lunch, and the next thing I knew, I was in to bat!”

“It’s nice [to win Player of the Match for his batting]. When I started my career, I joked with the guys and said I could bat a little bit! It’s taken me almost 14 years to score my ODI fifty! Maybe that’s just because we’ve had a strong batting line-up.

“In some ways, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t have done that earlier in my career and I had to wait this long, but it’s nice to score runs and contribute.”

Steyn forged a crucial 75-run stand with Andile Phehlukwayo for the eighth wicket scoring 60 to help South Africa reach a respectable total of 198. He then snapped up Solomon Mire and Craig Ervine early before Imran Tahir ran through the Zimbabwe middle-order picking up 6 for 24 as South Africa romped home by 120 runs.

Having been hampered with recurring injuries over the past two years, Steyn said that he was elated to finally be in the thick of things. He credited his recent county stint with Hampshire that kept him "cricket fit".

“In the county season you’re always batting, but the thing is I’ve been playing cricket, which is nice,” he said. “In the past, I’ve come into these series after a winter and haven’t played a lot of cricket, and I feel my way into series. My last game was two weeks ago and I feel cricket fit.”

With the ball as well, in conditions which were massively skewed in favour of the bowlers, Steyn found his rhythm from the get-go. He consistently hit the 140+ mark returning with figures of 2 for 19 in his six overs.

“My fingers were freezing! I don’t think I could feel the ball in the first over!” he said of the conditions in Bloemfontein. “There was a nice breeze behind me, so there was a little bit of pace.

“If you’re going to hit the deck hard, something is going to happen all the time, and the Zimbabweans found it tough.”
First Published: October 4, 2018, 12:58 PM IST
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