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It's a funny old game

03 July 2017 - 08:06 By Telford Vice
Dane van Niekerk. File photo
Dane van Niekerk. File photo
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

That cricket is a stupid game was proved again in Leicester, England, yesterday, when Dane van Niekerk grabbed the stunning figures of 4/0 to mark the only time in international cricket history, men's or women's, a bowler has claimed that many wickets without conceding a single run.

That wasn't the stupid bit.

Neither was the 48 West Indies were shot out for - their second-lowest total in one-day internationals - nor South Africa's reply of 51 without loss, which sealed their third match without defeat in this women's World Cup.

What didn't make sense was that leg spinner Van Niekerk's performance will not be recognised as the best of her career. That distinction still belongs to the 5/17 she claimed against Pakistan in Doha in January 2014.

Many bowlers would be proud to call 5/17 their best figures. But 4/0 is 4/0, for goodness sake.

What did Van Niekerk think?

"I don't know," she said. "I'm just glad I pitched the ball.

"Not to sound naive, [but] the ball's not coming out great.

"I was just hoping to land it, to be honest.

"I can't say I bowled to a plan. I'm going to lie if I said that I did."