Cape Town - The Proteas' batting woes continued during the second ODI against Zimbabwe at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein as their top order once again struggled to impose themselves on the opposition.
The home side were dismissed for 198 with Dale Steyn top scoring on 60.
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Proteas skipper, JP Duminy won the toss and elected to bat on what seemed to be a decent batting wicket
The visitors, however, soon had the Proteas in trouble with Tendai Chatara having Dean Elgar caught behind for 4 to a ball he probably should have left.
The home side were soon 9 for 2 as Kyle Jarvis bowled Reeza Hendricks for 1 to a ball that admittedly kept very low.
Heinrich Klaasen joined Aiden Markram and the pair pushed the score into the twenties before the South African wicket-keeper became Chatara's second victim - caught by Mire at mid-wicket while attempting a pull - to leave his side on 26/3.
Markram was next to go with the score on 49, falling to Donald Tiripano as he edged behind for 35.
With the Proteas struggling at 49 for 4, it was left to Khaya Zondo and Christiaan Jonker to rebuild.
The pair took the score to 85 where the aggressive Jonker (25) played past a straight one from leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta.
Zondo soon followed, stumped by Taylor off Mavuta for 21 and the Proteas were in a woeful hole at 92-6.
Things didn't get any better with Jarvis returning to the attack to trap Duminy in front for just 5.
A rescue act was needed and it came in the form of Dale Steyn and Andile Phehlukwayo who managed 75 for the 8th wicket.
Phehlukwayo was the more circumspect but was eventually caught down the legside for 23 in the 41st over to leave the Proteas on 176 for 8.
Imran Tahir didn't last long and he was trapped LBW by Sean Williams for just 1.
Steyn did well to protect Lungi Ngidi and the pair added 21 for the final wicket with Steyn registering his maiden ODI fifty before he was dismissed with 17 balls remaining.
Earlier, the Proteas recalled Steyn to the team in place of Kagiso Rabada while Zondo came in for the injured Wiaan Mulder, who was ruled out of the remainder of the series with an ankle injury.