Monday 24 November 2008 

Smith And Steyn Go For Double In Centurion

Smith And Steyn Go For Double In Centurion
Smith And Steyn Go For Double In Centurion
© Action Images / Scott Heavey
 

Graeme Smith goes into the second Castle Test match against Bangladesh at SuperSport Park, Centurion, on Wednesday, needing just 18 runs to overtake India's Virender Sehwag as the leading Test runs scorer this year.

Both batsman have played 12 matches although Sehwag has had an extra three innings and this is reflected in their averages: Sehwag (1353 at 61.50 with three centuries and five 50s) and Smith (1336 at 74.22 with five centuries and four 50s).

If Smith does achieve that landmark, then it will represent a unique occurrence for Cricket South Africa as never before has this country had both the leading runs scorer and leading wicket taker in the same year.

Dale Steyn is the leading bowler with 59 wickets at an average of 18 and a strike rate of 33.1.

Steyn's five-wicket haul against Bangladesh means that he has now achieved this feat against all four Asian countries.

Harbhajan Singh of India is No. 2 on the wicket taking list this year with 55 dismissals and no other bowler has managed the 50 wicket mark. Makhaya Ntini is the next highest South African on 40 and he is up to No. 4 in the world rankings.

Both South Africa and India have two Test matches left after the completion of the Bangladesh series (South Africa are away to Australia and India at home to England) to decide who comes out on top of the individual lists.

Smith should certainly get past the 1 400 run mark in a calendar year and become only the seventh player on the all-time list to achieve that. The list is headed by Mohammed Yousuf and Viv Richards (both over 1 700) while Ricky Ponting has topped 1 500 twice. The others with more than 1 400 to their credit are Justin Langer, Michael Vaughan and Sunil Gavaskar.

© Cricket South Africa