3rd ODI: South Africa and Zimbabwe with plenty to play for in dead rubber
Hamilton Masakadza has the task of trying to avoid a clean sweep. @AFP

The three-ODI series between South Africa and Zimbabwe may be decided, but both teams have issues to address in regards to their feeble batting as they head into the final ODI at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday.

South Africa wrapped up the series with a game to spare, with Dale Steyn the batsman to thank. In his first ODI in two years, Steyn was at the forefront of South Africa’s win in Bloemfontein as he scored his maiden ODI fifty to help the hosts from 101/7 to 198. Zimbabwe never came close, bowled out for 78 with Imran Tahir taking a hat-trick in his six-wicket haul. A tour of Australia is ahead, and the patchy form of Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks and Dean Elgar does not bode well.

Hamilton Masakadza’s 200th ODI was a forgettable affair and the Zimbabwe skipper now has the task of trying to avoid a clean sweep by South Africa. Their bowling has been good, led by Tendai Chatara, but the batting – bolstered by the returns of Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza – has been awful. If this experienced quartet, Masakadza and Solomon Mire click, Zimbabwe can seriously threaten South Africa. If not, then 3-0 to South Africa looks certain.

Date: October 6

Venue: Boland Park, Paarl

Time: 16:30 IST

Weather: Partly sunny wth a high of 32 degrees

Team News

South Africa 

Faf du Plessis has declared himself fit and will be back to resume the captaincy duties after missing the opening two matches. It is a dead rubber, but South Africa may bench Dean Elgar after scores of 2 and 4 in his first ODIs inn three years. Hashim Amla could get a game. With Wiaan Mulder ruled out with injury, Christiaan Jonker looks primed to keep his place in the middle order. Lungi Ngidi could be rested to give the team management the chance to see how Steyn and Kagiso Rabada operate in tandem.

Probable XI: 1 Aiden Markram, 2 Dean Elgar/Hashim Amla, 3 Faf du Plessis (capt), 4 Reeza Hendricks, 5 Heinrich Klassen (wk), 6 Christiaan Jonker, 7 JP Duminy, 8 Andile Phehlukwayo, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Dale Steyn, 111 Imran Tahir

Zimbabwe

Given how miserable the batting has been, you would expect changes. But with a tour to Bangladesh ahead, getting the batsmen into some sort of form is imperative. So the same XI could be rolled out.

Probable XI: 1 Hamilton Masakadza (capt), 2 Solomon Mire, 3 Craig Ervine, 4 Brendan Taylor (wk), 5 Sean Williams, 6 Peter Moor, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Donald Tiripano, 9 Brandon Mavuta, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Tendai Chatara

Statistics

- South Africa have have won four of the five ODIs they’ve played at Boland Park.

- Tahir is three short of 150 ODI wickets. If he gets there, he will be the eighth South African to do so.

- Taylor is 39 runs shy of 6000 runs in ODIs. Only the Flower brothers have scored over 6000 for Zimbabwe.

Quotes

“When I started my career, I joked with the guys and said I could bat a little bit. It’s taken me almost 14 years to score my ODI fifty.” – Steyn on his innings of 60 at Bloemfontein

“We controlled such a large part of the first half that it’s disappointing how it went in the end. The guys bowled really well up front, but we just couldn’t close it off. Definitely need more application with the bat.” – Masakadza after the loss on Wednesday