T20 World Cup

Proteas ace Shamsi joins elite T20 club: 'It's no accident that he's No 1'

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Tabraiz Shamsi (Getty)
Tabraiz Shamsi (Getty)

Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi became just the third South African to take 50 T20I wickets on Saturday, joining an elite club of Proteas to have achieved the milestone.

The 31-year-old carded figure of 1/22 (4) in a losing cause against Australia in his country's T20 World Cup opener in Abu Dhabi, and while the result did not go South Africa's way, Shamsi was again at the heart of what was an impressive bowling display.

Woeful batting meant that the Proteas could only set 118, but they took the game deep with the ball, and in the end, Australia needed 19.4 overs to get the job done.

Playing in his 43rd march, Shamsi now joins Dale Steyn (64 wickets in 47 T20s) and Imran Tahir (61 wickets in 35) as the only bowlers to have achieved the 50-wicket milestone in the format.

Kagiso Rabada, with 42 wickets in 36 matches, is next in line to get there.

SA's leading wicket takers in T20s

1. Dale Steyn - 64

2. Imran Tahir - 61

3. Tabraiz Shamsi - 50

4. Morne Morkel - 46

5. Kagiso Rabada - 42

6. Wayne Parnell - 41

7. Andile Phehlukwayo - 40

8. Johan Botha - 37

9. Lungi Ngidi - 36

10. Chris Morris - 34

"Shamsi has been a massive performer for us in the last while," said Bavuma after the match.

"It's not by accident that he's the No 1 T20 bowler in the world, and we lean a lot on him in our attack in terms of taking wickets and controlling the middle phase and today he did exactly that.

"He's an attacking option for us, and I think a good foil with Keshav (Maharaj).

"Going forward, we will obviously be leaning on Shamsi's performances, and hopefully, he will go from strength to strength."

The Proteas are next in action when they take on West Indies on Tuesday in what has become a must-win fixture if they are to keep their tournament hopes alive.

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