Captain Faf du Plessis praised South Africa’s ability to triumph over conditions – and the opposition – after a victory by 34 runs in Tuesday’s first T20I at Buffalo Park in East London.
The Proteas pressed to 160 for six on the back of debutant Rassie van der Dussen’s half-century, while Du Plessis and the left-handed David Miller weighed in with 34 and 39, respectively.
Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi and leg-spinner Imran Tahir later limited Zimbabwe to 126 all out, ensuring a one-nil lead in the three-match series.
Ngidi and Tahir conceded just 30 runs from seven overs. The latter clinched five wickets and the former one.
‘The wicket got a bit slower, so we were thinking 155. And there was a bit of dew, so the ball doesn’t grip as much as in the first innings,’ said Du Plessis, who had won the toss and opted to bat first.
‘Rassie batted really well and it’s nice to have David bat well, and me too, obviously.
‘Tahir has got a knack for taking wickets. He sees the value of taking wickets upfront, like here where he got three in the first six. We didn’t expect it to be this dewy.
‘The wrist spinners face a huge challenge, and it wasn’t easy for the seamers as well. But you want your young bowlers to experience a challenge, and Ngidi came back brilliantly.’
The second T20I will be played in Potchefstroom on Friday. Benoni will host the third and final match of the series on Sunday.