• SA go top of Triangular log

    The Proteas have bowled Zimbabwe out for 170, to win their second Triangular series clash by 61 runs and move ahead of Australia on the points table.

    After a run out, Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir took care of Zimbabwe’s top order, Ryan McLaren and Dale Steyn removed the middle and lower order, taking three wickets apiece, to lead South Africa to victory.

    Chasing 232 to win, Zimbabwe would have felt they were in with a chance, but a number of their batsmen got starts, only to get themselves out, gifting South Africa regular wickets. Sean Williams (46), Sikandar Raza (35), Hamilton Masakadza (25), Elton Chigumbura (22) and Malcolm Waller (20) were all guilty of this, and so Zimbabwe could only reach 170. They have now suffered their fifth ODI loss in a row since South Africa’s tour started in August (including Monday’s mauling by Australia).

    From South Africa’s perspective the fact that they wrapped up Zimbabwe’s innings will be a positive, but the failure of the top and middle order when they were batting will be cause for concern. However, they will take the victory and go into their clash with Australia on Tuesday with a good run of form behind them.

    First innings report:
    After a solid start by Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, South Africa suffered a middle order collapse, before Steyn, Tahir and Phangiso staged a late recovery to help the Proteas get one ball short of batting out their 50 overs.

    Zimbabwe won the toss on Friday morning, and chose to bowl, with the Proteas resting AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel, while Wayne Parnell also missed out. They were replaced by Rilee Rossouw, Kyle Abbott and Phangiso respectively.

    De Kock and Amla started the innings fluently, putting on 142 for the first wicket. They started calmly, choosing to ease their way into the game, but still ticked along at around five to the over for the first 10.

    Amla was lucky to be dropped, twice, on six, when he hit the ball back to Brian Vitori, who got a hand on it before it popped up for the mid-on, who put it down. They would come to rue the missed chance immediately as Amla proceeded to smash 11 runs off the next five balls.

    Both Amla and De Kock accelerated after the first 10, and it looked like Zimbabwe were going to concede another huge total. De Kock reached his 50 first, off 45 balls, while Amla got there off 70 deliveries.

    But it all went downhill from there. Amla was the first to go, for 66, coming down the track to Prosper Utseya, but being beaten completely to get stumped. That got Utseya’s tail up, and in his next over chaos ensued.

    First De Kock, who had raced to 76 off 75 balls, reverse swept the spinner to Tendai Chatara at short third man. Then Rossouw came in and got the second first-ball duck of his two-game ODI career, edging a sharp turner to slip. David Miller was promoted above JP Duminy to face the hat-trick ball, and Utseya tossed one up to him, which didn’t turn, and trapped Miller plumb lbw. Utseya had his hat-trick and the Proteas had collapsed to 147-4 from 142-0.¬†Utseya ended with figures of 5-36 from his 10, while John Nyumbu took 3-42.

    South Africa managed to get to 231 off their 50 overs, Steyn (10), Tahir (23 not out) and Phangiso (13) all getting into double figures to help the Proteas recover. Tahir was particularly impressive, taking the attack to Zimbabwe’s seamers and registering his highest ODI score by some way (his previous best was just 3), to get the score past 200, which looked unlikely following Utseya and Nyumbu’s performances.

    Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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    Dan Gillespie