Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen scored half-centuries to help the Proteas secure a 3-0 whitewash with a four-wicket win against Zimbabwe, writes KHALID MOHIDIN at Boland Park.
Zimbabwe posted a respectable 228. The Proteas’ premier speedsters, Dale Steyn (3-29) and Kagiso Rabada (3-32), took three wickets apiece.
Having struggled to perform in the previous two ODIs, it was time for the Proteas’ batsmen to prove their worth.
With Hendricks moving up the order to partner Aiden Markram, the pair got off to a solid start with the latter spearheading the chase.
Markram was in fine form; he hit seven fours for his 40-ball 42 and looked set to score his second half-century, but he was given lbw despite a thick inside edge on to his pads.
Faf du Plessis was welcomed by a loud roar from the Boland Park faithful. He looked tidy for his 26 (two fours), but pulled a Brandon Mavuta (1-44) delivery straight to Craig Ervine at mid-wicket.
The Proteas suffered a slight middle-order scare, with JP Duminy losing his wicket for one, as the Proteas found themselves on 122-3 after 22.4 overs.
Hendricks scored 66 off 82 balls (five fours, one six) to take the Proteas past 150, but failed to stick around when he was trapped lbw by Donald Tiripano (2-34).
Klaasen kicked on. He scored his maiden half-century with a 66-ball 59 (five fours, one six) before going out to the pull-shot for the second time in the series.
Andile Phehlukwayo lost his wicket unnecessarily on a nine-ball duck, the Proteas down six with two runs to win.
Khaya Zondo stuck around to see out the game with an unbeaten 25, but Steyn hit the winning runs with a four.
Zimbabwe innings 228-10: Sean Williams 69; Dale Steyn 3-29, Kagiso Rabada 3-32
South Africa innings 231-6: Reeza Hendricks 66, Heinrich Klaasen 59; Donald Tiripano 2-34.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images