Zimbabwe vs South Africa 1st ODI: Amla leads South Africa to easy win

Amla scored his 15th ODI century

Amla registered his 15th ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa opening batsman Hashim Amla scored a breathtaking century to lead the Proteas to a comfortable 93-run win over Zimbabwe in the first ODI in Bulawayo.

Amla was well supported by fellow opener Quinton de Kock and batsman Faf du Plessis as they both made half-centuries.

However, Zimbabwe’s batting duo of Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Williams both deserve some credit as they scored valiant half-centuries.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura would have been regretting his decision to bowl first after de Kock and Amla amassed a 109-run partnership, during which de Kock brought up his half-century, before he was caught by Brendan Taylor at point to give debutant John Nyumbu his first ODI wicket.

De Kock’s fantastic knock of 63 came off 68 ball and included eight boundaries and a six.

De Kock gave South Africa a strong start

De Kock gave South Africa a strong start

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Amla and du Plessis kept the runs flowing with a 123-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before du Plessis was brilliantly caught by Vusi Sibanda at mid-off off the bowling of Prosper Utseya.

Du Plessis’ brilliant innings of 59 came off 77 deliveries and included four boundaries.

Du Plessis hit four boundaries during his knock of 59

Du Plessis hit four boundaries during his knock of 59

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa captain AB de Villiers made a quickfire 21 before he was caught by Williams at deep midwicket off the bowling of Nyumbu.

South Africa ended up finishing on 309/3 off their 50 overs thanks to Amla’s 15th ODI┬ácentury and Jean Paul (JP) Duminy’s rapid 22.

Amla’s outstanding knock of 122 came off 132 balls and included six boundaries and three sixes.

Nyumbu was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Utseya chipped in with one.

Chasing 310 to win, Zimbabwe got off to a poor start as Sibanda was caught behind off the bowling of Wayne Parnell for seven runs.

Richmond Mutumbami scored 13 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Ryan McLaren.

Taylor only made six runs before he was caught by David Miller at long-off off the bowling of Aaron Phangiso.

Masakadza and Williams stabilised the innings with a 100-run partnership, during which Masakadza brought up his half-century, before he was caught by du Plessis off the bowling of Parnell.

Masakadza’s lovely knock of 61 came off 75 balls and included six boundaries and a six.

Masakadza scored his third consecutive ODI half-century

Masakadza scored his third consecutive ODI half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Williams went on to score 51 off 46 deliveries, which included three boundaries and a six, before he was caught by du Plessis at point off the bowling of Imran Tahir.

Williams made a gutsy 51

Williams made a gutsy 51

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Debutant Luke Jongwe accumulated 19 runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Tahir.

Debutant Neville Madziva failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught by Duminy at long-on off the bowling of Tahir for just two runs.

Shingi Masakadza made six runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Phangiso.

Utseya fared no better as he was clean bowled by Duminy for five runs.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 216 when Chigumbura was caught by Miller at mid-on off the bowling of Phangiso for 36.

Tahir and Phangiso took three wickets apiece, while Parnell snapped up two and McLaren and Duminy claimed one wicket each.

Chigumbura was disappointed with the loss, and said: “We did well, but maybe our bowlers gave 20 runs extra. In batting, we lost too many wickets early on so it was also hard to come back. Yeah, I’ve hurt my quad but I think I’ll be fine for the next game. Wickets in hand was the key to win this game.”

De Villiers was pleased to have taken a 1-0 lead, and said: “Very happy. Zimbabwe is a dangerous team at home. Hashim played an amazing knock and Faf played well around him. The target in our mind was about 250 so we were very happy with 300+ especially with the last 10 overs. Special congratulations to Hashim. Nice to see that we can win games without Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, it shows our depth in bowling. Most important for me is to get results and field our best XI in every match, we have a lot of talent.”

Amla was named Man of the Match, and said: “It was difficult to bat today and it’s always nice to get runs. First thing to do was to assess conditions and then score a few boundaries which helped him [de Kock] and settled him. I kind of played the anchor role. He doesn’t listen to me [laughs]. He’s a fantastic player, not many youngsters do what he has been doing. We were trying to score at a run-a-ball and then AB and the others came in so they got us past 300.”

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