South Africa recorded a convincing victory by 61 runs against Zimbabwe in the second match of the three-match one-day international series at the Queen Sports Club in Bulawayo on Tuesday.
The Proteas headed into the match as firm favourites, and they showed why, as they put in yet another clinical performance to come up trumps against the home side. Batting first, they were bowled out for 257 as right-hander Faf du Plessis top scored with 55.
Left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell was the star for the South Africans, as he was adjudged the man of the match for a fine all-round performance, after he made 27 in 24 balls and picked up three wickets. Interestingly, it was the first time since their momentous victory in the 1999 World Cup that Zimbabwe bowled out South Africa in an ODI.
Zimbabwe did put up more of a fight in this game than they did in the last one as they restricted South Africa to 257 with the Proteas, at one point, looking like they would get a bigger score. It was while batting that the Zimbabweans faltered.
In the last match Zimbabwe were chasing in excess of 300 and therefore were in need of a quick start. Here though, even 258 was a stiff score to chase, they could have settled down and then gone after the bowling.
Zimbabwe, however, lost early wickets and this in the end hurt them. Opener Richmond Mutumbami was the first one to go as he was trapped leg-before by left-arm orthodox bowler Aaron Phangiso in over number six. His partner Hamilton Masakadza followed soon after as Parnell cleaned him up.
This brought their best batsman Brendan Taylor to the crease. A lot rested on his shoulders if Zimbabwe were to get anywhere near the total, which with two down for 21, looked daunting. Taylor had right-hander Sikandar Raza for company. Raza, however, was clean bowled with Zimbabwe's score on 26 to put more pressure was on Taylor.
A good partnership was needed as Sean Williams came to the crease, however, it was not to be as Taylor tried to go after JP Duminy, but instead holed out at long on for 14. With Taylor gone the game already looked out of Zimabwe's hand. Williams did put up some resistance with his second fifty in two games. He made 55, but had no support. In the end the Zimbabweans folded up for 196 as Ryan McLaren and Parnell took three wickets each.
Earlier, batting first, the Proteas, propelled by left-hander Quinton de Kock's quick 38, got off to a breezy start as they reached 47 in eight overs before Hashim Amla got out for 15.
Thereafter they slowed down as de Kock was caught by Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura off John Nyumbu, the off-spinner. AB de Villers soon went for one. Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy ensured there wouldn't be a collapse with a 69-run partnership.
Du Plessis went to make 55 as the right-hander, with the support of David Miller and Parnell, saw to it that South Africa got to 257. In the end the score the proved to be more than enough.