Bulawayo - The Proteas did not replicate the batting intensity of the previous match
but still had more than enough in hand to beat Zimbabwe by 61 runs in
the second ODI at the Queen’s Club in Bulawayo on Tuesday and win the
three-match series 2-0 with a game in hand.
As it happened: Zimbabwe v SA
The final match takes place at the same ground on Thursday.
Zimbabwe, who had again won the toss and decided to field first, looked as though they might be in with a chance when they restricted the Proteas to 257 all out.
It was only the third time that Zimbabwe had managed to dismiss South Africa in an ODI.
But the batting problems they encounted in the first match again came to the fore as they lost their first three wickets in the first 12 overs and were six down for 88 after 29 overs.
Sean Williams was again left to play a lone hand but, without a batsman capable of forcing the pace at the other end, there was not much he could do about it as the required run rate soared into double figures.
He played the Proteas spinners particularly well on his way to 55 off 84 balls (three fours and two sixes).
Once he departed there was some forlorn resistance from the tail to reduce the size of the defeat.
If the Proteas put a total on the board that was a good 25 runs below par, their bowling was out of the top drawer from the first ball.
The biggest positive the Proteas can take out of this match was the all-round contributions of both Man of the Match Wayne Parnell and Kyle Abbott.
The pair put on 41 vital runs for the eighth wicket at a stage when the Proteas were struggling following the unfortunate dismissal of David Miller to take the total past 250 that always looked defendable.
They then did well with the new ball.
Parnell finished with 3/28 in 9 while Abbott (19 runs in 8) must be wondering what more he has to do to take a wicket.
There will be occasions when he won’t bowl as well for far greater reward. When he did find the edge of the bat, AB de Villiers of all people put the chance down at second slip.
Ryan McLaren supported the two as reliably as ever and has certainly not been below the radar in this series. He finished with 3/21 in eight.
The Proteas will be disappointed that Faf du Plessis (55 off 72 balls, 3 fours) was their only batsman to go past 50 although there were exonerating circumstances in the case of Miller and of Quinton de Kock who was brilliantly caught in the covers by Elton Chigimbura to a stroke that would have earned him a boundary 99 times out of 100.
He nevertheless made the 37 runs needed to reach 1 000 ODI runs in only his 21st innings and thus equal the world mark of England’s Jonathan Trott.
He already has five centuries to his name at the age of 21.
South Africa: 257 off 49.4 overs (F. du Plessis 55)
Zimbabwe: 196 in 49.1 overs (S. Williams 55; R. McLaren 3-21, W. Parnell 3-28)