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By Amit Banerjee
Sep 4, 2014
South Africa won the sixth game of the triangular series against Zimbabwe by a margin of 63 runs after dismissing the hosts for 208 at the end of 47.2 overs after having posted a total of 271 for the loss of six wickets during the innings earlier. South Africa move past Australia on the table with 15 points courtesy the victory and will face them in the tournament final on September 6 in Harare.
South Africa ended their innings at 271 for the loss of six wickets against Zimbabwe, with David Miller and Wayne Parnell at scores 10 each in the sixth match of the Zimbabwe Triangular Series. Neville Madziva was the pick among the bowlers with figures of two for 53 in six overs. The highlight of the South African innings was a century by Faf du Plessis, his third in the current series.
The South African innings began disastrously as they lost their first wicket with just two runs on the board as wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock edged a Tendai Chatara delivery down the leg side for Zimbabwean keeper Brendan Taylor to collect. Hashim Amla too did not last long as he was dismissed for 14 by the same bowler with the scoreboard registering a mere 26 runs in South Africa’s account.
Faf du Plessis then joined hands with Rilee Rossouw, who had registered consecutive ducks in the first two games of his ODI career. The duo added a crucial 70 runs for the third wicket that helped South Africa recover from the early blows. After their dismissals at the hands in similar fashion, with both skeing the ball to provide a simple catching practice, it was left to David Miller and Wayne Parnell to take South Africa past the 250-run mark. The duo smashed 20 runs off the final over which was bowled by Neville Madziva.
Chasing a stiff target of 272 a pitch which had supported the bowlers in the first half was never going to be an easy task for the hosts and the openers as such burdened with the responsibility of giving thir side a solid start to build a foundation for the win. The duo of Vusi Sibanda and Sikandar Raza started to play on a very cautious note, producing 30 runs off the first six overs, with the openers successfully surviving the initial spell by Dale Steyn. In came Waye Parnell, and the destruction began as Sibanda was dismissed courtesy a brilliant run-out by skipper AB de Villiers. Raza soon followed as he attempted to cut a short-pitched delivery which was pitched wide of his off-stump, only to get caught at deep-point at the hands of David Miller.
It was around this time, after Raza’s dismissal to be specific, that Brendan Taylor walked in to bat. Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza shared a brief soiree before the latter attempted a drive towards the covers, only for the ball to get trapped in de Villier’s hands for a second time in the Zimbabwean innings. Sean Williams and Elton Chigumbura departed from the centre without contributing much, and with the scoreboard reading 110 for the loss of five wickets, it seemed as if Zimbabwe would hand the Proteas a victory margin of over 100 runs.
Brendan Taylor however was not one to give up on a fight so easily. He spent the middle overs with patience, occasionally despatching the bowlers over the fence. After the fall of the eighth wicket with 166 runs on board, the Zimbabwean wicket-keeper batsman decided to throw all caution to the winds and bagan to attack the opposition bowlers with a sense of freedom. Taylor was going good and looked to complete an memorable century when he was cleaned by a clever delivery by Duminy. His brave 96 ball knock of 79 runs contained five fours and two sixes.
With Taylor gone, final Zimbabwean pair had no chance against the vicious pace or the crafty spin of the South African bowlers and the last batsman, John Nyumbu, was caught plumb leg-before off the bowling of Duminy, who picked his fourth wicket in the process.
South Africa 271 for 6 in 50 overs (Faf du Plessis 121, Rilee Rossouw 36, JP Duminy 51; N Madziva 2 for 53) beat Zimbabwe 208 in 47.2 overs (Sikandar Raza 29, Brendan Taylor 79; JP Duminy 3 for 35) by 63 runs.
Man of the match: Faf du Plessis
(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, traveling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)
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