IMRAN Tahir returns to Hampshire on a high after helping South Africa win today's triangular series final against Australia in Zimbabwe.
The leg-spinner took 10-40 from his ten overs, bowling Australia captain George Bailey - another former Hampshire overseas player - as the Proteas won by six wickets at Harare Sports Club.
Glenn Maxwell was lbw to Dale Steyn first ball and took a wicket in the second of his two overs as an opening bowler before AB De Villiers led South Africa home.
Tahir's Ageas Bowl return give Hampshire’s coaching staff and captain Jimmy Adams a difficult selection decision ahead of their next LV County Championship match, against Kent at The Ageas Bowl from September 15.
Hampshire have won back-to-back Championship matches without overseas aid by following their win against Kent at Canterbury – a crucial victory in the context of the season – with this week’s maximum-point thrashing of Leicestershire at The Ageas Bowl.
Tahir returns for the end of what has been Hampshire’s best Championship season since he arrived as a relative unknown in 2008.
The 35 year-old became a cult hero when his 44 wickets at 16.7 turned the county from relegation favourites into title hopefuls.
And, with only seven points separating them from leaders Worcestershire, who are not the same side now that Saeed Ajmal is unavailable, Hampshire have their most exciting end to a Championship season for six years to look forward to.
Tahir may only be here for two matches this time but he will be looking forward to adding to the 124 Championship wickets he has taken for the county (at 25.24 apiece) when he makes his division two debut.