Veteran South African spinner Imran Tahir wanted more with his bowling in the first T20 International against Zimbabwe despite bagging a five-wicket haul, saying he still wished he “could have got the hat-trick” in Buffalo Park on October 9.
The leg-spinner has brilliantly damaged Zimbabwe in the first four overs by dismissing Hamilton Masakadza (1) and Tarisai Musakanda (0) in the consecutive deliveries, but could not get a hat-trick, as Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams balanced things thereafter.
However, Tahir still ended with 5/23 in four overs – his career-best figures in T20Is to help the Proteas to restrict Zimbabwe at merely 126 in 17.2 to win the first T20I of the three-match series by 34 runs.
He told reporters, “I wish I could have got the hat-trick. (But) I am really pleased. I don't take things for granted. It came out the way I wanted it to. Till I am doing well for the team, I am happy.”
Tahir also revealed he had been practicing with the new ball in T20Is. He added, “I practice with the old and new balls to be more accurate. I have been bowling in T20Is with the new ball. I am learning to do it in ODIs. I am a firm believer in the fact that it is never too late to learn.”
Man of the Match ✅— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 9, 2018
Career-best figures of 5/23 ✅
SA's leadingT20I wicket-taker✅
All of this and @ImranTahirSA still has time to share tips with @brandonmavuta after the match #SAvZIM #Fortheloveofthegame pic.twitter.com/tYmL99baII
Meanwhile, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis is delighted with Tahir’s form with the ball but said the team management wants to see him in the similar form in one-day internationals as well to be in contention for the upcoming World Cup next year in England.
Plessis signed off by saying, “He's got a knack for taking wickets. He sees the value of taking wickets upfront, like today when he got three in the first six. We want him to do the same in ODIs as well.”
The second T20I between South Africa and Zimbabwe will be played at Senwes Park on October 12.