Big Total gives Tahir green light to attack


Imran Tahir has given credit to the Proteas batsmen for putting up a total that allowed him to attack the West Indies, on the way to his record breaking figures of 7 for 45.

The leg spinner broke two South African records during South Africa's emphatic win over the West Indies on Wednesday.

Tahir became the fastest Proteas player to reach 100 wickets in ODIs, achieving the feat in 58 matches just one less than teammate Morne Morkel.

The tweaker also became the first South African to take seven wickets in an ODI, as he eclipsed Kagiso Rabada's effort of 6 for 16 against Bangaldesh last July, to establish a new record for the best bowling figures in an ODI for South Africa.

The spin wizard feels the huge total played into his hands, forcing the West Indies to atack even more than normal: "They [West Indies] are attacking players and we know that. When someone attacks you, there is always an opportunity and that's what I look for,

"The West Indian boys can chase anything. It is a big challenge as a spinner to play modern day cricket, where you have to have five players in the circle. Thanks to technology, you can sit and see the opposition's mistakes and try to learn from them. It's very challenging as a spinner but it's good as well because that makes you perfect."

The Pakistan born Proteas star was brought on early, in an effort to halt a promising opening partnership, and did the business for his captain, removing Andre Fletcher as the opener holed out to mid-wicket with the score on 58 in the ninth over.

The leg-break bowler returned to remove Marlon Samuels, courtesy of some sharp work behind the stumps from Quinton de Kock, who snapped up a sharp catch after Samuels attempted cut took a thick outside edge.

The veteran spinner would make short work of West Indies' tail to spin his way into the Proteas record books.

Tahir reserved special praise for fellow spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who took 2 for 41 in his nine overs, saying: "He is a very good talent,

"I'm very happy to see him bowling like that.

I've been working with him for a long time. He is a brother to me. We played together for a few years in domestic cricket and it's really nice to see him doing what he is doing."

Delighted that his preparation has paid off, Tahir said: "I feel really proud. I will take that any day,

"I'm just really pleased. When things like this happen, you feel good about yourself and all the hard work you've done in the nets."

Next up for the Proteas will be a clash with Australia in Barbados on Sunday.