Zimbabwe in SA

Proteas set to dominate

2010-10-16 20:43
Graeme Smith (Gallo)

Potchefstroom - South Africa look set to continue their dominance over their neighbours in the second one-day international (ODI) against Zimbabwe in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

The South Africans lead the three-match series 1-0 after securing a 64-run victory over the visitors in Bloemfontein on Friday night.

On paper, South Africa's win looked comfortable, but it did not all go their way as they were unable to bowl out the Zimbabweans whose batsmen took advantage of some inconsistent bowling.

The Proteas have been plagued by injuries, particularly to their fast bowlers.

Dale Steyn suffered a concussion and back injury during the Champions League Twenty20 tournament last month, while Morne Morkel sprained an ankle ligament fielding in the first T20 game against Zimbabwe last week.

All-rounder Jacques Kallis is also recovering from a neck injury, but South Africa hope all three may still play a part in this series.

"When you've got two guys," said captain Graeme Smith, referring to Morkel and Steyn, "and one's got bounce and can still hit 145 km/h, and the other one's got swing and can hit 140 to 150km/h, those are wonderful assets to have.

"Any side would set up their attack with variety but at the moment we don't have that.

"It's an opportunity for the younger guys to get their skills right and focus on that."

Colin Ingram was named Man-of-the Match in Bloemfontein after making 124 runs to become the first South African, and only the sixth player ever, to make a century on debut.

The 25-year-old said he was aware that his place in the squad may only be temporary, having replaced the injured Kallis.

"In terms of the number of years I've played at first-class level, I'm still a relative junior," Ingram said.

"I'm very much at the stage of learning as much as I can just by being part of the squad.

"I don't think it creates any extra pressure. Jacques is a wonderful player and I look up to him a lot.

"If the situation demands that he comes straight back in, I am happy with that. I am here to learn, grow my game and take any opportunities I get with both hands."

And while the injured trio should be available soon, Smith said it was important for the younger players to prove their worth.

"Some of these guys are going to be performing in the next games, and when those other guys are back and fit, these guys will be looking to stake claims, so it's important that they show their worth," the skipper said.

"There will be a couple of changes on Sunday. Not only tactical ones, but just giving other guys opportunities."

Another remarkable milestone reached in Bloemfontein was achieved by Zimbabwe's opening batsman Brendan Taylor. He carried his bat throughout the innings, making 145 not out, and was only the ninth batsman in the history of one-day cricket to achieve the feat.

It was also the highest score ever made by an individual at the OUTsurance Oval, but it was not enough to carry his team to victory.

With a relatively strong batting line-up, including openers Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza and recently boosted by the return of Grant Flower, Zimbabwe's main concern is their seam bowling.

Shingirai Masakadza was the only bowler to take any wickets for the tourists in the first match, but his four scalps came at a price as he gave away 86 runs.

Zimbabwe's coach, Alan Butcher, said he was more than a little concerned about their bowling attack.

"They're not stepping up to the mark but we have to keep faith with them, keep working them and hope that in the near future they'll start hitting better areas."


South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Wayne Parnell, Rusty Theron, Charl Langeveldt, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Robin Peterson.

Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha, Sean Williams, Grant Flower, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Elton Chigumbura (capt), Graeme Cremer, Prosper Utseya, Shingirai Masakadza, Christopher Mpofu, Ed Rainsford, Craig Ervine, Ian Nicolson.


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