Hardus Viljoen was handed a debut for South Africa in the third Test against England in Johannesburg and he responded by creating history with both bat and ball. (Joe Root Century Gives England Advantage)
Coming in to bat at No.11 and with South Africa at 288/9, Viljoen got off the mark in style as he thumped a James Anderson full toss straight down the ground for a boundary. He scored a confident 20 off 16 balls with four boundaries and he ensured South Africa crossed 300.
With the ball, Viljoen struck gold with his first ball in Test cricket. Coming to bowl in the 11th over, Viljoen bowled a full delivery down the leg side but England skipper Alastair Cook managed to get a fine edge which was taken by the keeper Dane Vilas to depart for 18. By taking a wicket with his first ball, Viljoen has joined a select list.
In 2199 Tests, Viljoen became only the 20th bowler in history to take a wicket with his first ball in Test cricket. He became the third South African bowler after Albert Vogler and Dane Piedt to achieve this feat. There is lot of things similar between Vogler and Viljoen. Both achieved the feat in Johannesburg and got it against England. Vogler achieved it in 1905/06 season while Viljoen achieved it in the 2015/16 season.
Speaking about the achievement, Viljoen said, “The adrenalin was pumping, and the nerves were going, I was lucky enough to get a wicket with the first ball. I would have liked to nick him off on the off-side but they say that everyone counts.”
Viljoen has been a regular in the Easterns and Lions team in South Africa and since his first-class debut in 2008, he has taken 296 wickets at an average of 25.7 in the domestic circuit.