The Proteas’ bowling attack devoured Zimbabwe as the visitors were skittled for 117, their lowest total against the hosts.
JP Duminy won the toss and elected to bowl first. It took three overs for them to strike, as Lungi Ngidi banged in a full seam-up delivery to Solomon Mire, who edged it to Reeza Hendricks at slip, Zimbabwe 10-1.
Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza had the difficult task of soaking up the pressure and seeing off the lethal new-ball partnership and he did so as Wiaan Mulder was brought in to replace Kagiso Rabada after 10 overs. Craig Ervine (seven) could not play his part at No 3, however, and was removed by nicking a Mulder delivery to Heinrich Klaasen behind the stumps.
It was great to see the camera cut away to Dale Steyn on the boundary in his warm-up vest, passing on advice to the 20-year-old Mulder. Steyn’s exclusion meant another chance for the Proteas to test the two all-rounders system of Andile Phehlukwayo and Mulder. It never failed.
Phehlukwayo came into the attack in the 14th over to replace Ngidi and he struck in his first over, as Masakadza’s resistance came to an end – dismissed on 25 after finding a thick outside edge to Hendricks at slip. Phehlukwayo followed this with the wicket of Sean Williams who he trapped lbw in his second over.
Rabada (2-34) came back into the attack in the 20th over, and he removed the experienced Brendan Taylor who nicked off to Hendricks as Zimbabwe found themselves four down with 53 on the board. He struck again in his seventh over, finding Peter Moor’s edge, Dean Elgar scooping up the ball in the slips.
Imran Tahir struck in the 28th and 30th over. His flipper trapped Wellington Masakadza lbw on 15 and his slider trapped Brandon Mavuta lbw to see Zimbabwe reduced to 96-8.
Ngidi picked up his second in the 33rd over as Kyle Jarvis (eight) chopped a chest-high bouncer into his stumps. He finished things off in the 35th over, dismissing Elton Chigumbura for 27.
Zimbabwe innings 117 – Hamilton Masakadza (25), Elton Chigumbura (27); Lungi Ngidi (3-19), Imran Tahir (2-23), Andile Phehlukwayo (2-22).
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images