Marchant de Lange made a stunning Test match debut when he stood in for the injured Vernon Philander in the 2011/12 series against Sri Lanka and returned innings figures of 7/81. These were the third best debut figures for South Africa at the time behind Lance Klusener (8/64 against India in 1996) and Alf Hall (7/63 against England in 1923).
This was the high point of a stunning season for the 21-year-old who went from a provincial player with Easterns to South Africa A for whom he took five wicket in an innings against Australia and then to the highest level.
Such was Philander’s form that De Lange had to give way to him for the remaining Test of that series but there were further opportunities for him on the 2012 tour of New Zealand where he made his debut in both limited overs formats. That included a memorable final over in the series-deciding T20 when he took two wickets for two runs to get the Proteas home by three runs.
His upward mobility continued with an IPL contract with the champion Kolkata Knight Riders.
He missed most of the 2012/13 season through injury but came back strongly in helping the Nashua Titans reach the final of the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge.