Steyn ready to pass Ntini
Fresh off a six wicket haul against the West Indies in the first Test in Centurion on Saturday, Proteas fast-bowler Dale Steyn is poised to overtake Makhaya Ntini as the second-highest wicket-taker, in Tests, for South Africa.
Steyn claimed 6/34 in the second innings against the tourists as South Africa romped to an innings and 220 run victory, and in the process moved to 389 wickets in the longest format of the game.
Ntini, 37, claimed 390 Test wickets in his career from 101 matches at an average of 28.82, but Steyn in 76 matches has raced to one behind the mark of Ntini at a remarkable average of 22.44.
"I wish him good luck, and I'll be the first person to congratulate him. You can't keep the records forever, you know someone is going to break them," said Ntini.
"Seeing someone breaking a record is exciting, and I'll be honoured when Dale Steyn passes me."
Shaun Pollock claimed 421 wickets in his 108 Test career at an impressive average of 23.11 to set the mark for the most wickets by a South African bowler.
"He'll be chasing Shaun Pollock after that for the number one spot, he's got a lot of time to do that," Ntini said.
After going wicketless in the West Indies first innings from 14 overs, Steyn was back to his ruthless best with four wickets in 16 balls.
With two matches remaining in the three Test series against the West Indies, Steyn could increase his wicket tally substantially starting with the Boxing Day clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The Phalaborwa Express, at 31 years old, is 11 wickets shy of the magical 400 Test wicket mark, and could also become the 12th player in the history of the game to achieve that milestone.
"No one thinks of getting 400 wickets when they start out playing. It's just a thing we do for fun. Later you begin to appreciate milestones and records, and that they're there to be broken," said Ntini.
"You talk about guys like Malcolm Marshall, Ian Bishop, Courtney Walsh, Brian McMillan and Allan Donald. We wanted to be like the guys that came before. And those guys are known to the world because of their milestones."
Steyn as the top-ranked Test bowler in the world at the moment, had deservedly reached the summit of the rankings said Ntini.
"Without a doubt he's the best fast bowler in the world at the moment.
"He has stayed at number one because he believes the longer he stays there the better it is for his country."
When Steyn passes Ntini, he will have just seven fast bowlers ahead of him on the all-time wicket-takers list and will surely end his career as the most the successful quick South Africa has produced.
"Whenever any country plays South Africa, the first person to come to mind is Steyn. They know if they can get through Steyn, they can make runs, but if he starts getting wickets, they're in big trouble.
"It was the same when I played, people would always talk about Pollock and Donald."
Surrey retain County Championship title after Essex batting collapse
The holders have been crowned champions for the 21st time.
Geoffrey Boycott: Everybody in Newcastle hates Mike Ashley amid Headingley links
The PA news agency understands the Frasers Group, where Ashley is chief executive, is one of the parties interested in purchasing Headingley.
Essex’s slim hopes of winning County Championship dented by Northamptonshire
Essex need at least 400 to have any chance of claiming top spot.
Matthew Mott: Jofra Archer ‘desperate to play but realistic’ ahead of World Cup
The 28-year-old is not expected to be ready to return to action until the tournament is close to a conclusion.
Umpire Sue Redfern makes history in County Championship match at Glamorgan
Redfern became the first woman to stand as an umpire in a men’s first-class match in England and Wales.
England’s summer ends in soggy fashion and prompts a call for innovation
The one-day international against Ireland at Bristol was abandoned.
England win ODI series against Ireland after play is abandoned at Bristol
Ben Duckett had scored a century and Phil Salt 61 off just 28 balls before rain stopped play.
Marcus Trescothick says Andrew Flintoff ‘sprinkling gold-dust’ on England team
Flintoff was initially enlisted for four ODIs against New Zealand but has hung around for the Ireland series.
Axed Jason Roy urged to remain positive with World Cup role still a possibility
The big-hitting opener was replaced by Harry Brook in England’s squad for the World Cup.