Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Dane Piedt has already gone down in history with the best bowling figures for a South African spinner on debut.
Piedt finished with figures of 8-152 to lead South Africa to a nine-wicket win over Zimbabwe in their one-off Test match in Harare.
Starting out the day on 28/1, Zimbabwe opener Vusi Sibanda and nightwatchman Donald Tiripano managed to convert their three-run partnership into a 33-run partnership before Tiripano was clean bowled by Piedt for five runs.
Mark Vermeulen made 21 runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Dale Steyn.
Sibanda went on to score 45 runs before he was caught and bowled by Piedt.
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught by Dean Elgar at short leg off the bowling of Piedt for five runs.
Regis Chakabva mustered 15 runs before he was cleaned up by Morne Morkel.
Sean Williams only made three runs before he was brilliantly caught by Jean Paul (JP) Duminy at point off the bowling of Morkel.
Richard Mutumbami and debutant John Nyumbu steered the innings back in the right direction with a 54-run partnership before Mutumbami was caught behind off the bowling of Steyn for 43.
Nyumbu ended up making 13 runs before he was caught and bowled by Piedt.
Tinashe Panyangara accumulated two runs before he had his stumps shattered by Steyn for two runs.
Piedt was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Morkel and Steyn snapped up three wickets apiece as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 181, which set South Africa a target of 41 to win.
Chasing 41 to win, South Africa got off to an awful start as Elgar was clean bowled by Tendai Chatara for 21.
Alviro Petersen and Faf du Plessis mopped up the rest of the runs to lead the Proteas to a convincing nine-wicket win.
Petersen finished on 17 off 30 balls, which included three boundaries, while du Plessis remained undefeated on five off six deliveries, which included one boundary.
Chatara was the only bowler to take a wicket.
Taylor lauded his team for putting up a great fight, and said: “We certainly tried to compete, it was challenging not getting enough cricket but no excuses there. We were competitive for three days and were blown away after lunch today. The wicket was slow and I don’t think we were sharp enough.
“They made it difficult for us which you expect from them. We did fight hard, soft dismissals from us including mine and we’ll learn from them. A lot of positives for us. Nyumbu has been in first-class for a number of years, full credit to him and he got a lot of support from our pacers and that made my job easier.”
South Africa captain Hashim Amla was pleased to have won the one-off Test, and said: “Credit to Zimbabwe for playing good cricket and I’m proud of my team. You have to encounter different wickets and they made a wicket that probably suited them more than us.
“Special mention to our batters for digging deep and getting that crucial lead. The ball was turning and they played really well. Piedt bowled exceptionally well, he stuck to his job and the pitch assisted him too. Hope he continues to grow.
“You don’t take any game for granted, Test cricket is always tough and I’m happy to get some wins under our belt. These ODIs are a build up to the World Cup and everyone is excited for that.”
Piedt was named Man of the Match, and said: “We did a couple of days at the national academy so a lot of preparation was done in Sri Lanka. It was really good and lot of things are yet to be done, I had to be patient on this surface. I learn everyday from my team-mates in the nets and the last month and a half has been amazing for me. Really happy with the performance and to get the win.”