Left-arm spinner Sean Whitehead was absolutely splendid in his recent first-class bowling performance as he joined an elite list by picking all 10 wickets in an innings of a first-class match. Whitehead achieved the feat in the South Western Districts' match against Eastern Storm which was part of South Africa's first-class domestic competition - the 4-Day Franchise Series 2021-22.
Whitehead scalped all the 10 wickets in the final and fourth innings of the match as the Eastern side was chasing 186. Although, an initial look at the target would suggest it was chasable, Whitehead hit the right areas and never allowed Storm to build a partnership. It was a match to remember for the 24-year-old as he not only scalped 10 wickets in the second innings but had already picked 5 wickets in the first and had chipped in with scores of 66 and 49 with the bat in a match that wasn't particularly a high-scoring one.
Whitehead's 10/36 only behind Bert Vogler's 1906 spell
The spinner was part of the South Africa squad at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh. In this tournament too, he was impressive as he played six matches and scalped as many wickets at an impressive average of 26.00. On the back of the 10-wicket haul, Whitehead has now 39 wickets in 13-first class games at an average of 25.64 to go with 481 runs at 37.00.
To put Whitehead's figures in context, his spell of 10 for 36 are the second-best in the history of South African domestic cricket. Only leg spinner Bert Vogler's 10 for 26 has better figures than Whitehead and that too had come over 100 years ago in 1906.
Meanwhile, the last South African to scalp all 10 wickets in an inning of a first-class match in South African domestic cricket was Mario Olivier. Although Vogler and Whitehead were spinners, Oliver, a fast bowler, had taken 10 wickets for 65 runs for Warriors against Eagles in a match in 2007.