AUS v SA, 1st Test : Pacer Mitchell Starc joins the 300-wicket club

Brisbane : By castling South African batter Rassie van der Dussen on Day 2 of the first Test at the Gabba with a trademark inswinger, left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc on Sunday claimed his 300th Test victim, becoming the seventh Australian bowler to achieve the mark.

Starting the first Test against South Africa with 296 wickets, Starc claimed 3-41 in the first innings and then added 2-26 in the second to cross the 300-victim mark. The pacer is the seventh Australian and the 37th bowler to take 300 or more wickets in Test cricket.

He currently has 301 wickets in 142 innings of 74 Test matches at an average of 27.20 and a strike rate of 49.5. He has the best haul of 6-50 and the best match haul of 11-94. On 13 occasions Starc has taken five wickets in an innings and on two occasions, the 32-year-old from Baulkham Hills, Sydney, has taken 10 wickets in a match.

He now needs ten more scalps to overtake Brett Lee and 14 to surpass fellow left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson. Sri Lanka’s Muthiah Muralitharan leads the list of most successful bowlers with 800 wickets in 133 matches while Shane Warne is Australia’s most successful bowler with 708 wickets in 135 matches.

Poised on 299 after South Africa’s first innings, Starc struck in the fifth delivery of his fourth over in South Africa’s second innings. He produced a magnificent ball which swung back into van der Dussen, zipping through a huge gap between bat and pad and demolishing the stumps.

“It was nice to pull a nice ball out. I said to Patty [Cummins] I felt like I could get him that way, the way he’s set up. I’ll definitely take that as a nice ball to bring it up with.It’s something to be proud of. It’s something I will reflect on later.

Just really pleased to have a good Test match win,” Starc said. “I’m not sure I’d get one wicket let alone 300,” Starc had said in the lead-up to the Test. “It’s been an interesting but very enjoyable journey. Hopefully, there’s a bit more left in it,” he added.

 

 

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