Harare - Faf du Plessis has hit his third century in four games as South Africa
beat Zimbabwe by 63 runs on Thursday to book a date with Australia in
the triangular series final.
Scorecard: Zimbabwe v South Africa
Du Plessis' 121 carried the Proteas
to 271 for six after they were put in to bat in Harare, before JP Duminy
picked up three wickets as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 208.
had to chase down their target in 25.2 overs if they were going to gain
a bonus point and improve their net run rate sufficiently to knock
South Africa out, but didn't even come close to winning with Brendan
Taylor's 79 the only score of note.
Instead South Africa ended up
winning with a bonus point to top the standings, and they will now meet
Australia at the same venue in Saturday's final.
Du Plessis paced
his innings superbly on another turning pitch, bringing up his
half-century in 87 balls as the Proteas recovered from the early loss of
their openers, before gradually increasing his scoring rate until a
climax saw him hit three sixes in four balls after he had reached three
The No. 3 batsman only scored his maiden one-day hundred
last Wednesday against Australia, but followed it up with 126 against
the same opposition in a losing cause on Tuesday before adding a third
century on Thursday.
"It's certainly the best form he's shown at
international level, but I've always known that he's capable of doing
that so it's great to see him coming through at a crucial time leading
up to a big World Cup," South Africa captain AB de Villiers said.
"It's great to have our No. 3 spot cemented down now by a guy in great form and with a great cricket brain."
the game began promisingly for Zimbabwe after they won the toss and
inserted South Africa before reducing them to 26 for two, Du Plessis
added 70 for the third wicket with Rilee Rossouw.
was bowled for 36 by left-arm spinner Sean Williams and De Villiers was
run out in bizarre circumstances when John Nyumbu dropped a return catch
from Du Plessis onto the stumps at the non-striker's end, a savvy
103-run stand between Du Plessis and JP Duminy put the Proteas back on
As Zimbabwe's spinners whirled away, the pair manoeuvred a
succession of ones and twos to set the innings up for a big push at the
Even as both batsmen departed attempting big shots, with
Duminy out for 51, the Proteas added 61 in the last five overs to leave
Zimbabwe with a huge task that proved well beyond them.
all but one of the top seven reached double figures, the hosts were
unable to form any meaningful partnerships as a series of batsmen got in
and then got out.
While Taylor returned to form with his first
half-century in seven matches, he found precious little support and was
eventually bowled by Duminy, who finished with figures of 3 for 35.South Africa: 271 for six wickets in 50 overs (Faf du Plessis 121, JP Duminy 51)
Zimbabwe: 208 all out in 47.2 overs (Brendan Taylor 79)
Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor (wicketkeeper), Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura (captain), Prosper Utseya, Neville Madziva, John Nyumbu, Tendai Chatara
Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers (captain), David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy, Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Morne Morkel
Referees: Aleem Dar (Umpire), Jeremiah Matibiri (Umpire), Owen Chirombe (TV umpire), Javagal Srinath (Match referee)