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T20 World Cup: The many wickets and celebrations of Tabraiz Shamsi

CricketT20 World Cup: The many wickets and celebrations of Tabraiz Shamsi
T20 World Cup: The many wickets and celebrations of Tabraiz Shamsi. Pic/ICC
T20 World Cup: The many wickets and celebrations of Tabraiz Shamsi. Pic/ICC

David Miller and Kagiso Rabada may grab the headlines for their firepower partnership which took South Africa to a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Tabraiz Shamsi.

The wrist spinner took 3-17 to restrict Sri Lanka to 142 all out before Miller and Rabada saved South Africa in a tense finish to keep their hopes alive.

Shamsi is known for his exuberant celebrations and those were evident again today, although this time they weren’t quite as creative as using his shoe as a phone for which he gained notoriety in 2019.

The Johannesburg native’s first wicket came in his second over, getting Bhanuka Rajapaksa caught and bowled for a duck.

In celebration, Shamsi wheeled off and was followed by his teammates, the sheer jubilation and relief clearly etched on his face.

With good reason, he had reduced Sri Lanka for 62-3 as the halfway mark of their innings approached.

Perhaps worn out by his earlier sprint, Shamsi’s celebration of his second wicket was a bit less dynamic.

It came as Avishka Fernando followed the blueprint Rajapaksa had left for him, batting the ball back to Shamsi who gleefully took the catch.

Having turned to run, he sunk to his knees before being engulfed by his teammates, this time his face showed the effort and determination he was putting into every ball as he looked to deliver once again for his country.

Speaking after the match, Shamsi said: “I’m just happy to be playing cricket, I’ve picked up a little bit of a niggle as well before before the comp started…so I’m just really happy to be out there.

“I want to personally try and contribute as much as I can every game and my previous game wasn’t as good as I wanted and just working with a bit of a niggle, I really wanted to do something special for the bowling unit.”

For his final wicket, Shamsi got one over on someone who he may be building a budding rivalry with.

Wanindu Hasaranga had to go after holing out to the diving Aiden Markram at long-on as Shamsi took his 32nd T20I wicket of the year.

That is the most of any bowler playing in T20Is, while Hasaranga is hot on his coattails with 31 having taken a hat-trick in a losing cause today.

That isn’t the only leaderboard Shamsi tops, he is also the world number T20I bowler according to the ICC MRF Tyres Rankings, again ahead of Hasaranga.

However, he admits it isn’t all about personal achievements: “It’s been quite nice, obviously, you don’t go out there looking for personal achievements,” Shamsi said

“If it comes along the way that’s quite nice, but the amazing thing about our bowling unit is that it’s not a one-man show.

“As we’ve seen in the games leading up to it, there’s different guys putting their hands up, and I’m just one member of that unit”

“I’m happy with the accolades and stuff if it comes along the way, I’m not going to say that I’m not happy about it, but we are all trying our best.”

Courtesy: ICC

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