Tanveer Sangha has captured the attention of the cricket world after a stunning four-wicket debut in Australia's victory over South Africa in the first of three T20s. The spinner captured 4-31 as Australia won by 111 runs, making the most of a late call-up after Adam Zampa was struck down by illness.
Sangha wasn't even meant to be playing on Thursday, but the late scratching of Zampa resulted in the 21-year-old leggie being rushed into the side for his international debut. It meant Australia fielded four debutants - Aaron Hardie, Spencer Johnson, Matt Short and Sangha.
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Zampa is expected to be fit for the second game of the series, but Sangha's stunning debut means Australia now face a welcome selection dilemma. The youngster was introduced into the fray in the seventh over, with South Africa at 2-53.
He snared his maiden scalp with his sixth ball when Aiden Markram struck him straight to backward point. And when Sangha dismissed Dewald Brevis and Tristan Stubbs in consecutive deliveries in the eighth over, South Africa's hopes of chasing down Australia's mammoth total of 226 were all-but over.
Sangha's haul marked the best figures by an Australian on debut in an international T20 game. "Amazing. He's done that in the Big Bash and for NSW for the last couple of years," new captain Mitch Marsh said of Sangha. "He's a fantastic young talent. To come in and do that, he's got great character, and he's going to fit right into international cricket."
Marsh later told cricket.com: "I don't think Tanveer's heart rate gets over 100. He was in the gym when he found out and he was pretty chilled and said he's ready to go and it appears that he keeps it very simple, which will hold him in good stead for top level cricket.
"His demeanour is fantastic. I'm proud of him to come in and have a debut like that. He's got a great smile, so hopefully we see it for many years to come."
The spinner's remarkable debut had cricket fans in awe on social media.
Such a quality bowler. 💪🏻💙
— Waѕiyullah Budye (@WasiyullahB) August 30, 2023
He has always looked the goods. Surprised he was picked for this tour simply because he missed all last season with injury and hasn't played in ages. But from when he first started playing for the Thunder I thought he looked a future 3 format player for Australia.
— Chris Kettlewell (@ChrisKettlewell) August 30, 2023
Pure domination 😳
— bdcrictime.com (@BDCricTime) August 30, 2023
WOW Australia won by 111 runs in 1st T20 v RSA !!!
Brilliance from Mitch Marsh, Tim David and Tanveer Sangha !
— ABHIJIT NAIR 🏏🇦🇺 (@Rahul_bill) August 31, 2023
Huge fan of Sangha and so glad he's got a deserved debut, currently searching for highlights
— Saoirse del Tufo #BLM 🌹🇮🇪🏳️🌈 (@SaoirsedT) August 30, 2023
— Zord (@MartelliJordan) August 30, 2023
Mitch Marsh at brutal best in debut as Australia captain
Sangha's heroics came after Mitch Marsh and Tim David had blasted Australia to a record total of 6-226. In his first game as national captain, Marsh thumped an unbeaten 92 off 49 balls while David made 64 off 28.
Australia's total was also the biggest for a T20 international at Kingsmead ever, eclipsing the 4-218 that England posted against South Africa in 2020. The 111-run win was also Australia's biggest ever in a T20 game against South Africa, bettering the 107-run win in Johannesburg in 2020.
"It's always nice to start a three-match series with a win, and my job is to score runs, so it was nice to get a couple," Marsh said. "I thought Tim David was fantastic, the way he batted took the pressure off me. It was a really good partnership, and he batted beautifully."
The Aussies were crusing at 1-69 in the fifth over, but the loss of Short (20 off 11), Josh Inglis (1) and Marcus Stoinis (6) in quick succession resulted in the visitors slumping to 4-77. But David and Marsh combined for a 97-run partnership to steady the ship.
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