Menace:  Proteas fast bowler Vernon Philander celebrates one of his four wickets in the second Test at Newlands against Sri Lanka. Picture; GALLO IMAGES
Menace: Proteas fast bowler Vernon Philander celebrates one of his four wickets in the second Test at Newlands against Sri Lanka. Picture; GALLO IMAGES

Newlands was the perfect setting for Vernon Philander to claim his 150th Test wicket on Tuesday, even though it was hard work.

It is Philander’s home ground, the place where he struts his stuff as bowling judge‚ jury and executioner.

"This is the home of cricket and it is a ground where I really enjoy playing my cricket.

"I couldn’t have asked for a better place to take the milestone wicket but hopefully there are more wickets that I can take in my career going forward.

"I just happen to cherish every wicket I take for my country‚" Philander said.

"You want to take wickets with the new ball and that really sets the tone for the match.

"You know as a bowler there will be spells where you put the ball in the right place and you reap the rewards.

"Kyle Abbott and I have invested well in the new ball.

"You don’t always get the rewards but we invested well and the rewards followed."

Abbott’s wicketless but miserly eight-over contribution on Tuesday was as important as Philander’s 4/27.

There was constant pressure from both ends and the relentlessness of the bowlers wore down the visitors.

There was also the small matter of Philander having to deal with the furore surrounding Abbott’s impending Kolpak drama with Hampshire.

The discretion with which he handled the issue could have been handy for Sri Lanka but Philander said that players who decided to play abroad needed to have their wishes respected.

"It’s a personal decision players make for themselves and that’s something we need to respect as fellow players," Philander said.

"If they find that’s something they could take forward in their career‚ then by all means‚ you have to take that path.

"You find that it’s silly season in regards with things like those‚ but that’s something he needs to deal with Cricket SA.

"I’m in no position to comment about the matter.

"Cricket SA will do all the commenting in regards with that matter," Philander said.

TMG Digital

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