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PHOTOS: Tahir's frenzied wicket-taking celebrations!

March 19, 2015 08:01 IST
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Imran Tahir of South Africa celebrates after taking a wicket during the World Cup quarter-final match against Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground were repeatedly treated to the sight of leg-spinner Imran Tahir throwing his head back, screaming with joy and pumping his arms before setting off on an uncoordinated run across the outfield on Wednesday as South Africa thrashed Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the first quarter-final at the World Cup.

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The much-travelled Pakistan-born bowler took four for 26 in 8.2 overs as Sri Lanka were dismissed for just 133.

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Man-of-the-match Tahir, however, was at a loss to explain his frenzied wicket-taking celebrations.

"It's just something really -- it's just in me, I think. I don't practice for that, I'm sure," said Tahir.

"I played a club game in Stoke (in central England) and I took a very good catch, and I think I ran out of the ground, so they had to tell me which way is back to the ground.

Imran Tahir of South Africa celebrates after taking a wicket during the World Cup quarter-final match against Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground. Photograph: Steve Christo/Reuters

"I was on the road, I didn't know where I was. It's a true story. I'm not making it up."

The 35-year-old added: "It's just because I want to enjoy everything I do for this team.

"This is a dream, you know. Because maybe there are a million people who do not have the opportunity that I have to play for this team.

"It is just an absolute honour, and I think every wicket I take is just for South Africa, for me, and it's just given me such joy, and I think if I express it -- like I said, I don't know why it come out, I don't know. I have no answer for this."

Imran Tahir of South Africa celebrates after taking a wicket during the World Cup quarter-final match against Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Tahir said his success on Wednesday and that of off-spinner JP Duminy, who took a hat-trick on his way to figures of three for 29, owed much to the work of fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott -- who reduced Sri Lanka to eight for two, as well as their fellow paceman Morne Morkel.

"I think the fast bowlers set the standard for us," Tahir said. "If they didn't do well, then obviously it wasn't going to be easier for us, as well.

"I think as a team we're working hard and going in the right direction. I think that's the key maybe for my success, maybe for Morne's, Dale's, JP's success."

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