Zimbabwe vs. South Africa: Winners and Losers from Only Test

Antoinette MullerFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2014

Zimbabwe vs. South Africa: Winners and Losers from Only Test

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    Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

    South Africa beat Zimbabwe by nine wickets inside four days in Harare on Tuesday. Test cricket definitely was not the winner this time around as a stodgy pitch and slow scoring all conspired to make observers feel dozy.

    There were plenty of winners otherwise, however, and we've picked out some of the best here. 

    Add your thoughts in the comments as to who the other winners and losers were in the only Test between the two teams. 

     

    All stats via ESPNCrcinfo.

    All quotes obtained first hand.

Winner: Zimbabwe Cricket Fans

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    Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

    While the cricket itself might have left a few dozing off, the fans at Harare Sports Club were awesome.

    Pictures of them dancing, cheering and generally having a great time warmed the cockles of even the coldest hearts.

    It's such a pity Zimbabwe don't get to play more cricket because their fans certainly make it worthwhile, no matter who they are playing or what the end result is for their team.

Winner: Dane Piedt

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    Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

    Dane Piedt finished with the best figures for a South African spinner on debut, taking eight for 152 in the match.

    He spent the first night of being handed his cap sleeping in it and the rest of the time taking wickets.

    Whenever a new slow bowler emerges from South Africa, there is always an initial hype which often dies down, but Piedt has offered much for South Africans to be excited about.

    He is the first South African tweaker to turn the ball in a very long time and he has a big arsenal of variation. Of course, he still has a lot to learn and was significantly aided by conditions in Zimbabwe, but for now he, and South Africa, can enjoy his success.

Winner: South Africa's Test Record Away from Home

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    Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

    The victory over Zimbabwe means South Africa's unbeaten run in Test series away from home will extend to 2015 and tick over to nine years.

    Overall, in the last five years, South Africa have lost just two Tests away from home, winning 10 and drawing nine. That is a phenomenal record of which they can be very, very proud.

Winner: Richmond Mutumbami

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    Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

    Richmond Mutumbami got hit right on the toe by a Morne Morkel yorker. Despite looking in some serious pain and needing to remove his shoe and get some magic spray on, he battled and batted on.

    The extent of his injury is not yet known and could be anything from a bit of bruising to a fracture, but he continued and scored 43 runs before being dismissed.

    It might have been a losing battle in the end, but it is always endearing to see players crack on when they are up against it.

Loser: Test Run Rates

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    Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

    Observers of the Test would be forgiven for dozing off during parts of the Test because things were so terribly slow most of the time.

    This year, there have been just 11 completed innings out of 89 in which the overall run-rate was below 2.50. Two out for four innings in this match earned that dubious honour and South Africa appear on the top 11 list four times in total.

    In a press release sent out by Cricket South Africa, they admitted that it looked unattractive. However, you don't have to be pretty to be effective and South Africa were certainly effective in the end.

    It didn't do much good for winning over fans, though, and the attrition in their last few outings will have left a few fans fuming, despite it being necessary.

Loser: Alviro Petersen

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    Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

    Alviro Petersen is a man under pressure. He has struggled for big scores lately and has not scored a hundred for more than a year and a half.

    It’s not so much that Petersen keeps getting out, it is how he keeps on getting out. Against Zimbabwe in the first innings, after looking settled and getting comfortable, he played a bit of a silly shot and got a thin edge which saw him dismissed thanks to a great catch from the 'keeper.

    While any other player would probably be allowed to get away with that, Petersen's place is increasingly under scrutiny and his outing against Zim would not have done much to change that.