South Africa defeated Zimbabwe 63 runs in the final round robin match of the triangular series in Harare. After losing the toss the South Africans were in trouble early on when Quinton De Kock was caught behind by Brendan Taylor off Tendai Chatara (1/31) for just 2. The Proteas were 26/2 when Hashim Amla caught by Elton Chigumbura for 14 off Neville Madziva.
Rilee Rossouw finally got off the mark in international cricket in his third ODI innings with a cover drive for four. Rossouw added 70 runs for the third wicket with Faf Du Plessis before he was bowled by Sean Williams (1/38) for 36. AB De Villiers was next to go when he was run out by John Nyumbu for 16 from 18 balls.
At 120/4 Zimbabwe’s tails were up but Du Plessis and JP Duminy then began the rebuilding process. The pair would add 103 for the fifth wicket before Duminy fell to Madziva (2/53) caught and bowled for 51. The Cape Cobras batsmen hit three fours in his 62-ball innings.
Du Plessis continued on to bring up his third century of the triangular series. The Titans player hit five fours and four sixes in his 121 off 140 deliveries. Chigumbura caught Du Plessis off Nyumbu (1/53) before David Miller (10*) and Wayne Parnell (4*) took the tourists to 271/6.
The hosts needed to hit the target in 25.1 overs in order to reach the final. That improbable goal took a backseat in favour of going for the victory. Zimbabwe’s start was solid enough but after 31 runs in 6.4 overs Vusi Sibanda was out.
Sibanda was run out by De Villiers. It was 46/2 when Sikandar Raza was caught by Miller off Parnell (1/39) for 29. After a 29-run partneship between Hamilton Masakadza and Taylor, Masakadza departed. The Zimbabwean number four made 26 before he was caught by De Villiers off Morne Morkel (1/41).
Taylor was joined by Williams who left nearly as soon as he arrived. Williams contributed just 3 before he was caught by Amla off Duminy and the home side were in big trouble at 85/4. Captain Chigumbura contributed an uncharacteristically pedestrian 13 off 32 before Miller caught him off Rossouw (1/17), who thought it a good day to take his first ODI wicket to boot.
A 46-run stand followed between Taylor and Malcolm Waller but it came to an end when Phangiso (1/38) dismissed Waller for 17 caught behind by De Kock. Prosper Utseya lasted three balls without troubling the scorers before he was bowled by Dale Steyn (1/24).
As if the writing was not already on the wall Madziva was run out by Miller for 3 and Zimbabwe were 166/8. On a positive note Taylor brought up his half-century but there was no other real resistance. The ninth wicket partnership ended Taylor was bowled out by Duminy for 79 after hitting five fours and two sixes in his 96-ball innings.
Chatara and Nyumbu were the last men standing for the Zimbabweans but the hosts were eventually all out for 208 when Nyumbu was trapped LBW by Duminy (3/35) with 2.4 overs still to be bowled. South Africa will face Australia in Saturday’s final at the Harare Sports Club.