Williams’ effort in vain as Zimbabwe go down in ODI series to South Africa

The hosts were set a manageable target of 258 to square the three-match series, but their batsmen again let them down to be 196 all out.

Wayne Parnell’s all-round performance for South Africa won him the man of the match award. Jekesai Njikizana / AFP
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South Africa comfortably wrapped up a one-day international series victory over Zimbabwe with a 61-run win in Bulawayo.

The hosts were set a manageable target of 258 to square the three-match series, but their batsmen again let them down to be 196 all out.

Ryan McLaren and Wayne Parnell each took three wickets as South Africa took a 2-0 lead with one match to play. The Proteas also triumphed in a one-off Test match against Zimbabwe last week.

The tourists lost the toss yesterday and were put into bat. Quinton de Kock drove the opening ball through the covers for four, and he and Hashim Amla looked comfortable in a 47-run partnership for the opening wicket.

They then lost three wickets for 13 runs, with Amla departing after being bowled by John Nyumbu, who then claimed De Kock’s wicket for a run-a-ball 38 when he heaved a drive straight to Elton Chigumbura at long off.

AB de Villiers was next to go, run out in bizarre fashion.

South Africa’s captain thought he had clipped Prosper Utseya down the leg side and set off for a run, only for the ball to hit wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami, who promptly whipped the bails off with De Villiers in no man’s land.

At 60 for three, South Africa were in danger of collapsing until Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy steadied the ship with a 69-run partnership that ended when Duminy was bowled by Utseya for 36.

Du Plessis had looked assured, if unspectacular, in reaching his 50 off 65 balls, with three fours, but he went for 55 after chipping Utseya to midwicket.

David Miller was another to make a start but he was given out lbw to Brian Vitori five short of a half-century, while McLaren drove the left-arm seamer straight to cover point.

Zimbabwe limited the visitors to 211 for seven and applied pressure through its three-man spin attack.

A late partnership of 41 between tail-enders Wayne Parnell and Kyle Abbott took South Africa to 257 all out in 49.4 overs, a below-par score on the batting-friendly surface.

Any thoughts Zimbabwe had of overhauling the total were undone by a top-order collapse that left them on 59 for five.

Mutumbami was the first to go when he was trapped in front by Aaron Phangiso, while Zimbabwe had lost both openers inside eight overs when Hamilton Masakadza was bowled by Parnell.

Sikandar Raza was dismissed for a duck after being cleaned up by McLaren, key man Brendan Taylor thumped Duminy straight to long-off for a disappointing 14 off 28 balls and Chigumbura tamely struck Parnell to mid-on.

Only Sean Williams offered any resistance, his defiant innings of 55 coming to an end when he holed out to mid-off to give McLaren his third wicket.

Williams hit three fours and two sixes and No 11 Brian Vitori launched two big sixes over midwicket at the very end, but it was in a lost cause for the home team.

Tenth-wicket pair Neville Madziva and Nyumbu added 41, the biggest partnership of the innings, but it mattered little as Zimbabwe fell some way short.

South Africa maintained its record of winning every one of its ODI series against its African neighbours ahead of the last game tomorrow.