Dale Steyn breaks South Africa bowling record in routing of Pakistan on day one

South Africa's Dale Steyn is congratulated by team mates after bowling out Fakhar Zaman. (Reuters)
Updated 27 December 2018
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Dale Steyn breaks South Africa bowling record in routing of Pakistan on day one

  • Steyn picked up his 422nd wicket, going past Shaun Pollock’s record
  • Pollock, who was commentating on television, was one of the first to congratulate Steyn

CENTURION, South Africa: Dale Steyn became South Africa’s leading test wicket-taker while fellow paceman Duanne Olivier took 6-37 as Pakistan was bowled out for 181 on the opening day of the three-match series on Wednesday.
Steyn picked up his 422nd wicket, going past Shaun Pollock’s record, but it was Olivier who broke the back of Pakistan’s batting with career-best figures.
Olivier was only in South Africa’s team after Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi were ruled out by injury.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed opted to bat after winning the toss and only Babar Azam provided any resistance with 71. He shared a 67-run partnership with Hasan Ali for the ninth wicket to save his team from a complete capitulation.
South Africa barely needed Keshav Maharaj, using the spinner for just three overs as the three pacemen did the damage, reinforcing the pre-series predictions that Pakistan’s biggest challenge would be standing up to the home team’s fast bowlers.
Top-ranked test bowler Kagiso Rabada claimed 3-59, including the first strike in the second over when Imam-ul-Haq was lbw for a duck.
Steyn then removed the other opener, Fakhar Zaman, when he was caught by Dean Elgar in the slips.
Rabada, South Africa’s new fast-bowling star, lifted the paceman up on to his shoulders. The standing ovation in the crowd at SuperSport Park, where Steyn began his career, continued well past the on-field celebrations and was still going when he prepared to bowl his next delivery.
“I won’t lie, when I was standing there at the top of my mark and everyone was standing up, I almost had a tear, I had a lump in my throat,” Steyn said. “Very pleased. Very happy.”
Pollock, who was commentating on television, was one of the first to congratulate him as he came off the field for the lunch break and presented Steyn with a bottle of champagne.
“On all different wickets around the world he’s been absolutely superb,” Pollock said, “and what those figures don’t tell is he’s a fantastic guy as well.”
The 35-year-old Steyn’s record was a long time coming, after he sustained a career-threatening shoulder injury in 2016. He has played just four tests in the last two years.
Steyn is up to 11th on the all-time list of test wicket-takers, nine behind Richard Hadlee. In an indicator of his quality, his 422 wickets have come in 89 games. One of South Africa’s greats, Pollock’s 421 came in 108 tests.
Despite skittling the tourists out for 181, the home side were also rocking after day one — reaching stumps on 127-5 having falled to 43-4 in the 15th over.


Conor McGregor retires from MMA, again

Updated 26 March 2019
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Conor McGregor retires from MMA, again

  • Second time the fighter has called it quits in three years.
  • Irishman has not fought since being well beaten by rival Khabib Nurmagomedov in October last year.

LONDON: Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor on Monday revealed he had retired from the sport, vowing to hang up his gloves for the second time in three years.

The trash-talking Irish star of the Ultimate Fighting Championship wrote on Twitter that he had decided to call time on his career inside the octagon.

“Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art’ today,” McGregor wrote. “I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.

“I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.“

McGregor, 30, has not fought since being well beaten by rival Khabib Nurmagomedov in October last year.

The Dubliner, one of the most bankable stars in UFC, had previously vowed to retire in 2016 in a move that was widely seen as a negotiating gambit.

“I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese,” McGregor wrote in April 2016. His short-lived retirement ended in August 2016, when he returned to fight Nate Diaz in Las Vegas.

McGregor’s decision comes after a troubled few weeks for the Irish fighter.

He was arrested in Miami earlier this month after allegedly smashing a phone outside a Florida nightclub.

He was later charged with criminal mischief and strong-armed robbery after police said he had slapped the phone out of a fan’s hand and then stomped on it.

McGregor was also arrested last year in New York after police said he attacked a charter bus carrying several rival martial arts fighters. Video footage of the altercation showed McGregor, throwing a steel dolly through a window of the bus.

McGregor was also at the center of a brawl which erupted at ringside in the immediate aftermath of his defeat to Nurmagomedov last October in Las Vegas.

In January, the Nevada State Athletic Commission later handed McGregor a six-month suspension for his role in the post-fight melee, backdated to October.

McGregor would have been eligible to fight again in early April.

McGregor is one of the most successful fighters in the history of mixed martial arts, helping to broaden the sport’s appeal beyond its base of hardcore fans.

The Irishman is estimated to have earned $200 million from his fighting career, which included a much-hyped cross-combat bout against former welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.