JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 02: Dale Steyn of the Proteas celebrates the wicket of Steven Smith of Australia during the 2nd Momentum ODI Series match between South Africa and Australia at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on October 02, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

When you talk about some of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Dale Steyn's name is in that category.

South Africa has produced a plethora of outstanding bowlers in Allan Donald, Makahya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Jacques Kallis and Hugh Tyfield in representing the rainbow nation.

But none were more frightening and fierce than Steyn.

Coming onto the Test scene in 2004 against England, Steyn went from strength to strength in becoming the country's best bowler, taking 439 wickets in 93 Tests at an outstanding bowling average of 22.95 and a strike rate of 42.39. He possessed a terrific outswinger and inswinger and sheer brutal yorkers leaving the batsmen's stumps sprawling.

Whilst his bowling put fear into opposition batsmen, his wicket celebrations and "crazy eyes" would have made the youngest cricket fans quickly retreat from their living rooms. Despite battling a shoulder injury in the twilight of his career, it doesn't take away from the fact that the man from Phalaborwa, in South Africa's Transvaal Province, would imprint himself among cricket's greats.

In this piece, we'll take a dive into the top five moments of Dale Steyn's illustrious cricketing career.


1. Highest Test score of 76 and 10 wickets, 2008 Boxing Day Test vs Australia

Coming off the second-greatest run-chase (4/414) in the series' opening test at the WACA, the tourists came into the Boxing Day Test at the MCG brimming with confidence. These levels would soon evaporate as Australia posted 394 in its first innings despite Steyn taking 5/87.

In its first innings, South Africa found themselves in dire straits at 7/184 then at 8/251 when Steyn strode out to the crease to partner J.P. Duminy - only playing in his second Test. Prior to the test, Steyn had never made a test half-century. Soon that would change.

With Duminy showing poise and class beyond his years, Steyn got in on the action. Displaying a range of cricket shots not naturally in a number 10's kit bag, Steyn played a significant contribution in assisting Duminy in eating away at the considerable deficit of 137.

As Steyn began to enjoy his time at the crease, the frustration on the Australians' faces was paramount. None more so when Steyn attempted to pull Peter Siddle past square wicket only for his shot to catch the outside edge and fly over the top of wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for a boundary.

Later on, Steyn survived a dropped chance from Michael Hussey who completely misread the flight of the ball under the sun. And he made the Australians pay. Shortly after he took the attack to Mitch Johnson with a bullet tracing straight drive and then belting off-spinner Nathan Hauritz over long mid-on for six.

Steyn's highest test score of 76 would come to end, but not before he and Duminy put on a rearguard performance with a 180-run ninth-wicket partnership. It is the fifth highest for any ninth wicket stand to this day and the second best in South African Test history behind the 195 runs from Mark Boucher and Pat Symcox against Pakistan in Johannesburg in 1998.

Now with a pep in his step, Steyn would begin his bowling assault on the experienced Australian batting line-up. First, he got rid of Matthew Hayden going for a booming cover drive, and then soon Simon Katich, as he also looked to expansively drive through cover. Michael Clarke became Steyn's third victim after shelling a back-foot drive straight to Graeme McKenzie at short cover, before Andrew Symonds would be next with an absolute jaffer outside off-stump, hit to Jacques Kallis at second slip. To top it off, Steyn got Peter Siddle fishing outside off-stump into the waiting gloves of Mark Boucher.

In the process, Steyn took his 150th Test wicket, ending up with figures of 5/67 from 20.2 overs, following up his five-wicket haul in the first innings. A truly marvellous display from one of the South African greats.