Ryan Harris proves test life can begin after 30

ROB FORSAITH
Last updated 11:03 05/03/2014

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LATE BLOOMER: Ryan Harris became the first bowler in test history to take 100 wickets after debuting after the age of 30.

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Ryan Harris confirmed his status as one of cricket's great late bloomers with a 100th Test scalp in the series decider against South Africa.

Harris trapped Alviro Petersen lbw on Tuesday, the first of four wickets Australia claimed as they seek to post a first Test series win on foreign soil since April, 2012.

Harris floated around the domestic scene for the better part of 10 years before making his Test debut in 2010.

The 34-year-old now holds the mantle of being the first fast bowler to take 100 Test wickets after debuting at age 30 or older.

It is an impressive achievement for anyone, let alone the right-armer who has been beset by injury problems.

"I never thought I'd play more than 10 Tests," Harris said in the lead-up to the third Test in Cape Town.

"I think back to the Ashes of three years ago when we lost in Australia. I thought that could be the end of me playing Test cricket, because of my knee."

Harris will undergo overdue knee surgery after the clash at Newlands and has spoken of his desire to be part of Australia's Ashes defence in 2015.

"Getting it fixed up when I get home will, I think, give me a bit more time," he said.

"The fragments that are loose are causing the swelling, so if they're not there hopefully the swelling stays down."

New-ball partner Mitchell Johnson recently paid tribute to the medical marvel.

"You'll be sitting up in the viewing room when we're batting and he'll go 'feel this' and it'll be a little bit of bone in his knee," Johnson said.

"You're a freak to be able to keep going (in that condition).

"He's mentally strong and physically strong and it definitely pushes everyone along.

"It puts your little niggles to the back of the room ... he should be an inspiration to a lot of fast bowlers."

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