Dale Steyn has always played his best cricket when he is having fun. The times when he is sporting a big grin, and not taking life so seriously.
Whether that’s jumping out of planes, climbing mountains or swimming with sharks when he doesn’t have the ball in his hand, Steyn needs to be enjoying what he is doing.
The last few years that smile has virtually disappeared, mostly due to injury which has resulted in a frustrating loss of form. But the old Steyn was back at Newlands on Sunday.
Charging in from his beloved Wynberg End for the Cape Town Blitz, the veteran fast bowler found his mojo of 2010 again. It was not just the way the ball was moving that was impressive, but the fact that Steyn was loving his work again.
He shared a light-hearted moment with the Tshwane Spartans’ AB de Villiers out in the middle when he cajoled his former Proteas captain out of his crease before picking the ball up and throwing down the stumps and appealing to the amusement of the crowd. Equally, he stuck out that famous tongue on a few occasions for the cameras.
The only thing that was not hauled out was his trademark chain-saw wicket celebration.
“In our last three games we lost three tight games. You don’t want to go over the top with the celebrations because you might still lose the game. There is something bigger at the end of the day,” Steyn said.
“But I did have a lot of fun out there though. The celebrations were a lot more in that capacity than over the top.”
His dismissal of De Villiers certainly deserved a special celebration. The slower delivery was executed with perfection, and De Villiers could only manage to hit the ball high up on the bat. Considering De Villiers has won the majority of their previous duels, particularly in the IPL, it was a special moment for Steyn.
“I was petrified. I had to take a sleeping pill last night (on Saturday),” Steyn joked about going head-to-head with De Villiers. “He is the best in the world. He has gotten the better of me a few times.
“Last night I sat down and joked with Quinny (Quinton de Kock) that I want to get the best players out in the world. I just had a feeling that I had a different trick up (my) sleeve than I have had against him in the past.”
The Blitz have a full week to prepare for their next challenge against Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Friday at Newlands. It’s an all-important tie with both teams competing for a playoff spot, and the outcome could have a major bearing on the eventual standings.