Hats off to Zimbabwe in Harare

2014-08-09 17:36
Dane Piedt (AFP)
Harare - Dane Piedt had a dream debut as 83rd player to represent the Proteas on the opening day of the one-off Test match against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

SCOREBOARD: Zimbabwe v South Africa - Day 1

Not only did he take a wicket with his first delivery – the 19th player to do this and the second South African, the previous one being leg-spinner, Ernest Vogler, in January, 1906 – but he took three of the first four wickets to fall and, for good measure, also accounted for the mainstay of the Zimbabwe first innings, captain Brendan Taylor, who was caught in the deep, chasing his century as he ran out of partners.

Piedt, who replaced Imran Tahir in the only change to the South African team, finished the day with figures of 4/90 in 24 overs and he could have had a fifth had he held on to a return catch in the final over of the day.

Zimbabwe finished on 248/9 from the 89 overs that were possible and will have been well pleased with their recovery after looking in serious trouble at 120/5 in mid-afternoon.

They had won the toss on a pitch that offered no assistance to the bowlers apart from some early turn for Piedt as a result of the early moisture in the surface.

Taylor (93 in four-and-a-quarter hours off 159 balls, 8 boundaries) rallied the lower-order support as well as he could and looked certain to complete his fifth Test century until his dismissal.

The Zimbabweans could actually claim to have had an even share of the afternoon session as they scored 101 runs for the loss of three wickets.

Dale Steyn also took four wickets and with the new ball still hard and fresh will have the chance to claim his 24th fifer if he takes the final wicket on the second morning. As it is his four wickets took his career total to 379. He has now gone past the legendary Malcolm Marshall (376) into 14th place on the all-time list and will next have Sir Ian Botham (383) in his sights.

The unlucky South African bowler was Morne Morkel who did not achieve success but gave Taylor more trouble than anybody else with his short-pitched attack from around the wicket.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  proteas  |  cricket

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