Cricket

South Africa outclass Zimbabwe to seal T20I series


ZIMBABWE TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA 2018

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Dane Paterson, on his return to the side, was adjudged Man of the Match for his bowling figures of 2 for 22 © Getty

South Africa showcased the difference in experience and quality between the two sides in a comfortable six-wicket win in the second T20I at Potchefstroom. The victory ensured that South Africa took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the T20I series against Zimbabwe. The victory required South Africa to counter challenging conditions as much as the opposition, but they proved to be several notches better at that.

Opting to bat, Zimbabwe’s was an innings starved of sustained momentum all through end. Finishing with 132/7, the visitors were done in by the sheer pressure of losing wickets regularly. Not enough of their batsmen were able to line up a tricky pitch, which offered some variable bounce and pace. Lungi Ngidi, opening the attack, tried one too many short balls even as he too was lining up the pitch but that period proved to be easier for hitting. Hamilton Masakadza picked the slower ones well and struck a couple of eye-catching sixes off Ngidi to get the innings going.

But the pacers at the other end, smartly rotated by the skipper, proved to be difficult to get off. Dane Paterson, Robert Frylinck (both of whom were brought in for this game) along with Andile Phehlukwayo stuck to a good length and tight stump-to-stump line with some change of pace to add to the confusion. The wicket was skiddy at times and Zimbabwe’s batsmen were guilty of misjudging the lengths. Both openers, Maskadza and Solomon Mire, were bowled playing across the line while Tarisai Musakanda’s attempt to stay put and swing resulted in a caught behind.

At 35/3 in the 7th over, Zimbabwe’s innings was crying out for some solidity and thankfully they had two batsmen best suited for the job. Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams added 29 steadily before the former fell in an effort to up the ante. Phehlukwayo’s unhittable spell of 4-0-15-0 during this period played a small part in Taylor’s dismissal, as he finally fell trying to hit Shamsi out of the ground. Williams’ calculated big shots though paid off, particularly against Shamsi after a bit of good fortune. The slog-sweep yielded three sixes for Williams in Shamsi’s final over but the first of which was a palm over the boundary at deep midwicket by Rassie van der Dussen. But his luck didn’t last long as Paterson got one more wicket through a skidder, sending back Williams for 41. With him ended Zimbabwe’s hopes of getting over 150, a total that was gettable had more of their batsmen resorted to a plan more suited to the conditions than what is usually the norm in T20s.

In contrast, South Africa were more clinical in the execution of their plans with the bat as well. After van der Dussen offered a simple return catch against another ball that stopped from a good length, South Africa became proactive in their batting. Quinton de Kock, in particular, moved around the crease and consistently put the bowler off their lengths and lines. A 20-run over from Kyle Jarvis ended the powerplay in South Africa’s favour as they raced away to 51.

But despite the dismissals of de Kock and Faf du Plessis in successive overs of spin, South Africa did not feel the pressure unlike Zimbabwe. JP Duminy showed his experience in valuing the runs between the wickets more than boundaries while Heinrich Klassen backed his power and placement to do the job. Together the duo added a quickfire 44 off 29 balls to negate the double blow while also taking South Africa within touching distance of the target. Duminy ensured that there were no further hiccups as South Africa won with 26 balls to spare.

Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 132/7 in 20 overs (Sean Williams 41; Robert Frylinck 2-20) lost to South Africa 135/4 in 15.4 ov (JP Duminy 33*, Sean Williams 2-25) by six wickets.

© Cricbuzz

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