Imran Tahir registered on Saturday the most economical 10-over spell by a South Africa cricket team bowler as he gave away just 14 runs while picking up two wickets to help his side win their seventh consecutive bilateral series in One Day Internationals since July 2015.
New Zealand, who were put in to bat by South Africa, could only put up 149 runs on the board before being bundled out in the 42nd over. Coming on to bat, the visitors were led by unbeaten knocks from Faf du Plessis (51) and captain AB de Villiers (45) as they chased down the target with six wickets to spare.
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Other statistical highlights:
Tahir’s figures were also the most economical by a spinner in New Zealand and the fourth overall for the Proteas. Pakistan great Abdul Qadir tops the chart with figures of 4/9, which he picked up against New Zealand in 1986.
Incidentally, four of the top six economical figures by a leg-spinner in the ODI format are against New Zealand. Before Tahir’s devastating spell at the Eden Park, Pat Symcox (2/18) had the best figures for a South African spinner. In New Zealand, the record was previously held by England’s Phil Tufnell who had conceded just 17 runs in the 10 overs. He, however, didn’t have any wickets to his name in that match.
This was also the fourth time that South Africa won a series in the deciding match since July 2015. They have won 23 matches and lost nine in the same period.
This was also the second biggest margin for South Africa in terms of deliveries to spare (106) while winning a match against New Zealand. The previous best was back in 1994 when they won in Perth with 117 balls in hand.
While South Africa would be proud of their achievements, New Zealand would be extremely unhappy with their record at Eden Park. While this was their lowest tally while batting first against South Africa, the only other time when they put up such a paltry total was back in 2013 against West Indies when they scored 156.
(Stats by S. Pervez Qaiser)