Hard work finally paying off for McLaren

2013-11-13 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — Ryan McLaren is glad that all the time he has spent with a bat in the nets is starting to pay off so that the Proteas tailenders can get more runs.

McLaren was named the Player of the Series after Monday’s final ODI against Pakistan.

Although he and fellow bowler Imran Tahir each took nine wickets in the series, McLaren achieved a batting average of 35.

In the fifth match McLaren was in a valuable partnership with AB de Villiers, which saw SA gather 89 runs from just 56 balls.

“Our batting improved during the series. This is also thanks to the lessons we learned in Sri Lanka,” said McLaren.

He said was glad to have done so well at the crease. “I felt I had to make a contribution at number seven and am elated that all my hard work is now starting to show results.

“This [batting] is something I have been working on for the last three seasons.

“Regarding my bowling I am happy to have done well for the past few series.”

With the exception of the matches against Sri Lanka and the Netherlands, McLaren (30) has been the top bowler in the Proteas’ one-day set-up this year.

He admits the absence of fast bowler Dale Steyn had given him more opportunities.

Steyn has only managed to take 12 wickets in nine ODIs this year.

Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal is the top bowler this year with 48 wickets in 25 matches (228.4 overs).

McLaren is not far behind, in 179.3 overs he managed to get 39 wickets.

Leading ODI wicket takers in 2013 (wickets, matches)

48: Saeed Ajmal (Pak) in 25

46: Ravindra Jadeja (Ind) in 28

39: Ryan McLaren (SA) in 22

38: Mohammad Irfan (Pak) in 24

35: Junaid Khan (Pak) in 21

(Source: ESPNcricinfo.com)

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