South African bowlers did well to defend a measly total of 231 © AFP
South African bowlers did well to defend a measly total of 231 © AFP

By Sameer Jha

Aug 29, 2014

South Africa won by 61 runs against Zimbabwe in the third One-Day International of the triangular series at Harare. Despite the result, the match wasn’t one-sided, and there were many periods were Zimbabwe actually had an upper hand. Off-spinner Prosper Utseya (who was adjudged the man-of-the-match) took three wickets in the 27th over to dismantle the South African middle-order and restrict them to just 231.

Most of the Zimbabwean batsman weren’t able to convert the start that they got, and failed to form big partnerships to get their team home. The loss extended Zimbabwe’s losing streak to seven matches in ODIs.

Quinton De Kock and Hashim Amla had started things in style for South Africa, and the visitors were looking set to post a big total when they were 142 for no loss. However, Prosper Utseya and John Nyumbu had other plans. Utseya took a hat-trick to dismiss De Kock, Rilee Russouw and David Miller, while Nyumbu took the crucial wickets of Faf du Plessis and Ryan McLaren to restrict the visitors.

The Zimbabwean batting disappointed them again, and opener Tino Mawoyo departed for a duck. Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Williams got off to good starts, but weren’t able to convert them into big scores. They’ll be kicking themselves for failing to give Zimbabwe a great win.

The South Africans did well to recover after the batting collapse. However, it was not a perfect game for them and the team mangement will look to address many issues ahead of the bigger challenges that lie before them.

Full Scorecard

Brief scores:

South Africa 231 all out in 50 overs (Hashim Amla 66, Quinton de Kock 76; Prosper Utseya 5 for 36, John Nyumbu 3 for 42) beat Zimbabwe 170 all out in 38.3 overs (Sikandar Raza 35, Sean Williams 46; Ryan McLaren 3 for 24, Dale Steyn 3 for 36) by 61 runs