Zimbabwe posted 228 thanks to a solid half-century from Sean Williams, KHALID MOHIDIN reports from Boland Park.
In a scorching day in Paarl, the Proteas took on Zimbabwe in a dead-rubber ODI.
The Proteas’ experimental plan continued with Faf du Plessis’ return to the starting XI. The Proteas skipper slotted into the No 3 spot, which meant Dean Elgar was left out the side to give Reeza Hendricks a chance to play in his natural position, at the top of the order with Aiden Markram.
The Proteas experimental plan was emphasised further when they decided to make use of the two spinners in their lineup when Imran Tahir (2-44) opened up the bowling with Dale Steyn.
Tahir struck in the sixth over, bowling Solomon Mire (seven) whose poor form continued. Mire was fooled by a straight delivery with a dash of topspin from Tahir which missed his outside edge and crashed into his stumps.
Steyn struck in the following over as Craig Ervine (duck) edged a length delivery to Heinrich Klaasen behind the stumps.
Much like the other two games, Hamilton Masakadaza (28 off 39 balls) could not kick on after a quick start. This time Kagiso Rabada (3-32) got his scalp, by banging in a short delivery to the Zimbabwe captain who was trapped aiming to defend off the back foot but the delivery brushed his gloves to Klaasen diving to his right.
With Zimbabwe 44-3 after 11 overs, they were in need of a rescue mission.
Brendan Taylor (40) and Williams strung together a solid 73-run partnership. Taylor scored 40 off 44 balls which included him reaching 6,000 ODI runs, but brilliant keeping from Klaasen saw him stumped – replays showing his back foot millimetres from the ground when the bails were removed – as Zimbabwe were reduced to 117-4.
Williams continued to push on. The 32-year-old hit consecutive boundaries off Tabriaz Shamsi (0-72) bringing up his 28th ODI half-century.
The visitors were reduced to 151-5 when Steyn (3-29) banged in a short delivery to Peter Moor who tried to steer one down to third man but was caught acrobatically by Hendricks in the slips.
Williams’ solid knock came to an end in the 35th over, when he chipped it back to Rabada for his second wicket.
Andile Phehlukwayo put them seven down for 182 when Elton Chigumbura went after a short and wide delivery but found the keeper.
Brandon Mavuta scored 18, Donald Tiripano hit 29 and Kyle Jarvis eight as Zimbabwe posted 228 all out.
Zimbabwe innings 228-10: Sean Williams 69; Dale Steyn 3-29, Kagiso Rabada 3-32
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images