South Africa’s Proteas cricket team survived a concerted attack from Zimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya to win their one day international by 61 runs, their second win in the triangular series that also includes Australia.
South Africa went in to bat first and were doing well as they cruised to a comfortable one hundred and forty two runs after twenty four overs when things, or more specifically runs, began to fall apart, literally! The Proteas test cricket captain, Hashim Amla who, on Friday was the stand in captain for the One Day International as incumbent captain, AB Devilliers was down with a viral infection, was the first of Utseya casualties. He was stumped for 66 if Utseya.
Immediately, Quinton de Kock also had to leave the crease, having been caught as he tried a reverse sweep after an Utseya delivery. He had amassed 76 runs for the same number of balls faced. From his next delivery, Utseya managed to have Rilee Rossouw caught at first slip. Responding very well to the pressure of the ball that follows two wickets, Utseya went on to trap the aggressive left hander, David Miller lbw after an attacking line delivery. As if that was not enough, Prosper Utseya also managed to trap JP Duminy to reach a total of five wickets on the day and add to the collapse of the Proteas. This did not stop and, at regular intervals, the Protea wickets continued to fall until they got to a total score of 195 runs with only one wicket remaining and seven overs to go. However, the last partnership produced 36 runs to place the world champions at a respectable final score of 231 with one ball to spare and Imran Tahir ending up with 23 not out.
With the game as good as in the Zimbabwean bag, it was theirs to lose and they did try to rise to the challenge with big hitting from bulky Hamilton Masakadza and Sikandar Raza to give Zimbabwe a respectable start. However, spinner, Aaron Phangiso would have non of that. With his fourth delivery, he managed to dislodge the experienced Masakadza before also accounting for the dangerous Brandon Taylor for a duck. That, however, did not signal the end of Zimbabwe as Sean Williams and Malcolm Waller put up a spirited performance to come up with a 46 run fifth wicket partnership before succumbing Dale Steyn and Ryan McLaren deliveries. Williams was to be the top scorer for the Zimbabwean team with 46 runs off 79 balls. It was the last tour wickets that were to be the demise of the Zimbabwean squad as they all fell for only 17 runs. They were bowled out for 170 runs with 11.3 overs to spare.
Commenting on the match, Zimbabwean captain, Elton Chigumbura conceded that his team did not want to win enough for them to perform as required. He added that they work hard in the nets but come short when it came to the real game.