South Africa have a unassailable 2-0 series lead in their three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. The teams play the final ODI in in Bulawayo on Thursday.
Venue: Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Dates: Thursday, 21 August
Start time: 8:30 a.m. BST (9:30 a.m. local time)
TV and live stream: SuperSport (South Africa and Zimbabwe), PTV Sports (Pakistan), Ten Sports (India and others), Orbit Show Network (Middle East), WillowTV (USA).
Weather: It's going to be a hot day out in Bulawayo tomorrow. AccuWeather.com forecasts temperatures of up to 28 degrees Celsius with bright sunshine to sweeten the deal.
It’s game and set for South Africa after they won the second ODI against Zimbabwe by 61 runs. Although it wasn’t an overly dominant performance by the Proteas, they did enough to get over the line. The South Africans will now be looking to make it game, set and match in the third and final ODI, but they will have to do so without Hashim Amla.
Cricket South Africa confirmed in a press release that the opener will be rested for the final match. This opens the door for Rilee Rossouw to stake a claim for his international future. Rossouw is fresh off a good run with the A team in Australia and is the only other reserve batsman in the squad, making him the most obvious replacement.
The two other reserves in the team are Marchant de Lange and Mthokozisi Shezi. Both could be given a chance after also putting in solid performances on the A-team tour a few weeks earlier. With the series in the bag, the outcome of the ODI becomes far less important than time out in the middle for the rookies.
Still, the stats are very much in South Africa’s favour. The two teams have played six three-match ODI series before and South Africa have completed a clean sweep on all of the five previous occasions. Although Zimbabwe have fought valiantly throughout the series, the gulf in class has just been too wide.
Should South Africa opt to make three changes to the side, the pressure will really be on, especially on the batsmen who have not performed as expected.
By his standards, AB de Villiers has had a very poor series. He's scored just 22 runs in the two ODIs and added a comical run out to the list on Tuesday. He rarely fails for long and with no Hashim Amla round, his experience will be crucial.
Sean Williams has been the lower order warrior for Zimabwe with two half-centuries in the series. He's managed to keep his cool while his team-mates were losing theirs and while he'd be hoping the top order comes to the party this time, he has proven that he is reliable when the pressure is on.
Quinton de Kock (w), Hashim Amla, Rilee Rossouw, Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers (c), Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Ryan McLaren, Kyle Abbott, Imran Tahir, Marchant de Lange, Aaron Phangiso, Mthokozisi Shezi
Elton Chigumbura (c), Richmond Mutumbami (w), Luke Jongwe, Neville Madziva, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, Malcolm Waller, Prosper Utseya, John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Brian Vitori, Sean Williams
All stats via ESPN Cricinfo and all quotes obtained first hand, unless otherwise stated.
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