|Zim crush Proteas|
|Sunday, 24 June 2012 19:31|
Half centuries from Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza led Zimbabwe to a stunning nine wicket victory over South Africa in the tri-series final at Harare Sports Club this Sunday afternoon.
After winning the toss, South Africa captain Hashim Amla elected to bat.
Zimbabwe made a change to their bowling strategy by giving paceman, Kyle Jarvis the new ball and he struck with the first ball of the match, an in-swinger that trapped the dangerous Richard Levi lbw for a duck.
That was just the start Zimbabwe needed. An over later, the Proteas suffered another setback when Amla fell for Chris Mpofu's short-ball trap, as his pull shot was caught by Malcolm Waller at deep square leg.
The visitors then lost Colin Ingram, Justin Ontong and Dane Vilas cheaply to the Zimbabwean spinners and were in all sorts of dire straits at 67 for 5 in the 12th over.
With the outlook looking bleak for the Proteas, Faf du Plessis decided to take matters into his own hands and held the middle order together with some disciplined batting.
He was ably supported by Albie Morkel, who plundered 34 from 23 as the duo added 60 for the sixth wicket to rebuild the South African innings.
Zimbabwe were then given a huge lift when the defiant du Plessis lofted Jarvis to Hamilton Masakadza at long-on in the penultimate over of the innings to fall for 66.
South Africa however still ended on a high as some late resistance from Albie Morkel and Wayne Parnell set up a challenging total.
The responsibility of commencing Zimbabwe’ run chase rested on the shoulders of openers Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda.
Chasing a competitive 147 for victory, Sibanda struck 23 off 16 balls before 12th man Farhaan Behardien took a spectacular catch at cover-point to off Chris Morris’ delivery.
Sibanda’s departure then brought skipper Brendan Taylor to the crease.
Taylors’ arrival brought more punishment for the Proteas as he took advantage of some poor deliveries to race to a 32 ball half-century.
Masakadza was not to be outdone and soon followed suit as he reached his half century in impressive fashion.
Masakadza finished with a well worked 58 not out off 50 balls, while Taylor hammered a noteworthy 59 not out off 41 balls as Zimbabwe handed their neighbours a thorough 9 wicket beating with 17 balls to spare.
The two batsmen who played starring roles in Zimbabwe’s win - Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor - were duly rewarded for their enterprising display.
Taylor was voted man of the match for his explosive display, while Masakadza won the man of the series award for his consistent performances throughout the series.