AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis put on a 91-run partnership to guide South Africa to a six wicket victory over Australia in the Zimbabwe Triangular Series final at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday. The Proteas won the toss and put the Australians in to bat. Their openers Aaron Finch and Phil Hughes took them to 25/0 before Hughes (15) was dismissed my Dale Steyn (4/34).
Steve Smith joined Finch but only managed ten runs before he was caught by David Miller running in from mid-on with the Aussies on 49/2. The skipper George Bailey made his way to the crease but was unable to get going managing only 12 runs before he too departed, castled by Imran Tahir with his side on 82/3. The South African bowlers had a firm hold on the game not allowing the men at the crease to get going.
Mitchell Marsh was in at number six and with Finch who brought up his 4th half century took their side past the 100 mark before the Phalaborwa Express took the two wickets of Finch (54) and the next man in Glen Maxwell (0) in one over to leave them on 115/5. Brad Haddin joined Marsh in the hope of saving their side’s innings and took them to 132/5 before Wayne Parnell (2/40) bowled Marsh (27). The powerplay was enforced in the 35th over and the Baggy Greens lost Haddin (6) and Mitchell Johnson (6) inside the first two overs to leave them on 144/8.
James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc however were not going to give up that easily as they put on a 71-run partnership to help their side to 215/8 before Faulkner (39) departed. Nathan Lyon (0) joined Starc (29 not out) at the crease as they finished their 50 overs on 217/9. In reply the Proteas lost the early wicket of Quinton De Kock (7) leaving them on 14/1.
Faf Du Plessis joined Hashim Amla putting on 98-run partnership to get their side to 110/1 before Amla (51) departed, caught at cover by George Bailey. In a bizarre tactic the men from South Africa sent out Wayne Parnell in at number four. The tactic was not very profitable as Parnell faced 24 balls scoring six runs before he was castled by Faulkner (1/54).
Faf was joined by his good friend AB De Villiers at the crease and they put on a profitable 91 run partnership to get them to 217 before Du Plessis chipped one to Faulkner at mid-on. De Villiers hit the winning runs as he led his side to a six wicket victory. The man of the match award went to Dale Steyn for his bowling performance.
The man of the series went to Faf Du Plessis for his three hundreds and 96 scored throughout the series. The Pride of Zimbabwe went to Prosper Utseya for his bowling performance throughout the series. The best bowler and batsman of the series went to the South Africans Du Plessis and Steyn respectively.