Zimbabwe vs. South Africa, 2014 Triangular Series: Scorecard, Highlights, Report

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterSeptember 4, 2014

South African players celebrate the wicket of Zimbabwean batsman Sikandar Razar during the cricket One Day International in Harare Zimbabwe Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

South Africa warmed up for the triangular series final against Australia in Zimbabwe with a 63-run win over the hosts at the Harare Sports Club.

The Proteas went in to bat first on Zimbabwe's request, and with the exception of Faf du Plessis, who scored a scintillating 121, they laboured, eventually posting 271-6 in their 50 overs.

In response Zimbabwe fell behind and despite an impressive 79 from skipper Brendan Taylor, they ultimately fell well short.

Saturday's final will be no surprise, but could go either way with both teams winning and losing against each other in the round-robin stage.

South Africa looked as if they might struggle again on Thursday, with their opening duo of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock both out with 24 on the scoreboard.

Thereafter it was a slow repair job, with Rilee Roussouw finally scoring his first ODI runs after two ducks in his first two innings.

Elsewhere, there was another needless run out for AB de Villiers, while JP Duminy was the only player able to provide meaningful support with his half-century.

But this was, once again, the story of Du Plessis. His century was his third in four games, and oozed class and confidence while others struggled. His hot vein of form will surely be on Australia's minds going into the final.

By the time he'd fallen after five fours and four sixes, the total had been propped up into something more defendable, and so it proved.

Zimbabwe Innings
Sibanda run out (de Villiers) 11 22 15
Raza c Miller b Parnell 29 32 32
H Masakadza c de Villiers b M Morkel 26 38 33
Taylor b Duminy 79 156 96
Williams c Amla b Duminy 3 13 14
Chigumbura c Miller b Rossouw 13 31 32
Waller c de Kock b Phangiso 17 32 22
Utseya c Amla b Steyn 0 5 3
Madziva run out (Miller) 3 11 11
Chatara not out 10 34 20
Nyumbu lbw b Duminy 4 6 7
Extras 1nb 11w 0b 1lb 13
Total all out (47.2 ovs) 208
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Steyn 8.0 1 24 1
Duminy 8.2 0 35 3
M Morkel 8.0 0 41 1
Parnell 8.0 0 39 1
Phangiso 10.0 0 38 1
Rossouw 3.0 0 17 1
de Villiers 2.0 0 13 0
BBC Sport

Zimbabwe have talent, no doubt, but despite all the top four getting starts, only Taylor managed to go beyond 30.

Dale Steyn gave nothing away after getting some treatment from Mitchell Marsh in his previous outing, while the use of spinner JP Duminy as an opening bowler paid off, with his off-breaks picking up 3-35.

While Taylor stood firm there was a glimmer of hope, but the carnage around him told a different story. He came in at 46-2, exiting at 202-9, telling a story of a lack of support.

South Africa Innings
de Kock c Taylor b Chatara 2 3 4
Amla c Chigumbura b Madziva 14 31 22
du Plessis c Chigumbura b Nyumbu 121 188 140
Rossouw b Williams 36 54 39
de Villiers run out (Nyumbu) 16 22 18
Duminy c and b Madziva 51 71 62
Miller not out 10 17 9
Parnell not out 10 10 6
Extras 0nb 9w 0b 2lb 11
Total for 6 (50.0 ovs) 271
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Chatara 6.0 0 31 1
Madziva 6.0 0 53 2
Nyumbu 8.0 0 53 1
Williams 10.0 1 38 1
Utseya 10.0 0 55 0
Waller 10.0 0 39 0
BBC Sport

The hosts have had good exposure to two top sides during the tournament, and even stunned Australia earlier in the competition, but still seem some way off being able to compete against the best on a consistent basis.