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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP-South Africa vs Zimbabwe

ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP-South Africa vs Zimbabwe


De Villers’s side posts 339 for 4; Chibhabha, Masakadza lead spirited chase, but Zimbabwe falls short by 62


South Africa fended off a spirited Zimbabwe to notch up a 62-run win at the picturesque Seddon Park on Sunday (February 15).

South Africa, put in, rode on centuries from David Miller and JP Duminy to rise to 339 for 4 in its opening Pool B tie.

Chamu Chibhabha and Hamilton Masakadza made 64 and 80 respectively to give Zimbabwe hope of a successful run chase. That Zimbabwe was on 214 for 4 from 36 overs would have concerned AB de Villiers, the South African skipper. But soon enough, the bowlers were able to get their act together in getting Zimbabwe out for 277.

Coming into the tournament as top contenders for the crown, South Africa was expected to dictate terms, but that wasn’t the case until Miller and Duminy came on. Getting together at a precarious 83 for 4, the two added 256 runs in an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership – the best ever for the fifth wicket in One-Day Internationals. The previous record was held by Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara, who made 226 against Ireland in 2013.

Miller scored 138 from 92 balls with seven fours and nine hits over the fence. Duminy was the one playing second fiddle in the partnership, but even he picked up his scoring rate as the innings wore on, and ended with 115 from 100 balls with nine fours and three sixes.

Zimbabwe’s bowling attack, which showed a lot of promise early in the innings when it sent back Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and de Villiers, fell away once Duminy and Miller took charge.

South Africa had taken 24.1 overs to score 100 runs and 40.2 overs to get to 200, but with Miller and Duminy calling the shots after that, the runs came quick. It reached 300 from 47.5 overs, a feat made possible because Miller took on Solomon Mire in the 48th over, smashing 30 runs.

South Africa had the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Farhaan Behardien and Imran Tahir to quell Zimbabwe’s run chase. But, coming together after Sikandar Raza was sent back by Philander, Chibhabha and Masakadza, whose century helped Zimbabwe to a win over Sri Lanka in the warm-up fixture last week, added 105 for the second wicket to raise Zimbabwe’s hopes. Brendan Taylortoo pitched in with a run-a-ball 40, but the lower-middle order was unable to capitalise on the sturdy base. For Zimbabwe, there would be no repeat of 1999.

Steyn went for 64 runs from nine overs and grabbed one wicket, while Morkel was belted for 49 from 8.2 overs. Imran Tahir was the most successful bowler for South Africa. The spinner took three wickets for 36 runs from his 10 overs.

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