ODI tri-series 3rd Match: De Kock and Amla help South Africa cruise past Zimbabwe

De Kock hit seven boundaries and a six during his knock of 76

De Kock hit seven boundaries and a six during his knock of 76

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa stand-in captain Hashim Amla and opening batsman Quinton de Kock both scored half-centuries to lead the Proteas to a comfortable 61-run win over Zimbabwe in Harare.

However, Zimbabwe spinner Prosper Utseya deserves a lot of credit for his hat-trick and ultimately taking his maiden five-wicket haul.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura would have been regretting his decision to bowl first after Amla and de Kock amassed a 142-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Amla was stumped by Brendan Taylor off the bowling of Utseya.

Amla’s excellent knock of 66 came off 80 balls and included five boundaries and a six.

Amla ensured South Africa got off to a strong start

Amla ensured South Africa got off to a strong start

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

De Kock ended up making 76 off 76 deliveries, which included seven boundaries and a six, before he was brilliantly caught by Tendai Chatara at short third man off the bowling of Utseya.

Utseya struck again the very next ball when Rillee Rossouw was caught by John Nyumbu at first slip for his second successive golden duck.

Unbelievably, Utseya became only the second Zimbabwean bowler to take a hat-trick when David Miller was trapped lbw for a golden duck.

Utseya’s brilliance with the ball continued as he recorded his maiden five-wicket haul when Jean Paul (JP) Duminy was also trapped lbw, but only for two runs.

Faf du Plessis only made 15 runs before he was caught by Sikandar Raza at midwicket off the bowling of Nyumbu.

Ryan McLaren fared no better as he was clean bowled by Nyumbu for six runs.

Dale Steyn scored 10 runs before he was also cleaned up by Nyumbu.

Kyle Abbott mustered six runs before he was caught by Chigumbura at mid-off off the bowling of Chatara.

South Africa were bowled out for 231 when Aaron Phangiso was caught behind off the bowling of Chatara.

Utseya was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Nyumbu snapped up three and Chatara chipped in with two.

Utseya finished with career-best figures of 5-36 off his 10 overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chasing 232 to win, Zimbabwe got off to an awful start when Tino Mawoyo was run out by de Kock for a duck.

Hamilton Masakadza managed to make 25 runs before he was clean bowled by Phangiso.

Taylor failed to trouble the scorers since he had his stumps shattered by Phangiso for a duck.

Raza struck 35 runs before he was caught by Miller at long-off off the bowling of Imran Tahir.

Malcolm Waller accumulated 20 runs before he was caught by Rossouw at deep square leg off the bowling of Steyn.

Sean Williams amassed 46 runs before he was caught by Amla at midwicket off the bowling of McLaren.

Utseya made five runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of McLaren.

McLaren struck again the very next ball when Nyumbu was also caught behind, but for a golden duck.

However, replays showed that Nyumbu should not have been given out since the ball flicked his arm guard instead of his glove.

Chigumbura scored a rapid 22 before he was caught by Rossouw at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Steyn.

Zimbabwe ended up being bowled out for 170 when Brian Vitori was caught behind off the bowling of Steyn.

Steyn and McLaren were the most successful bowlers with three wickets each, while Phangiso took two and Tahir claimed one.

Chigumbura was frustrated after having lost the match, and said: “We need to learn to win games. Only thing we need to learn. We are failing to do that despite working hard in the nets. It’s about how much you want it but today we didn’t show that. We were very happy with 230 and getting them all out but we are failing with the bat. It’s about the mindset.”

Amla was pleased to have won the match, and said: “We felt 231 was defendable. Huge credit to Tahir and Phangi for the last stand. It was below par after the start we had but we had the bowlers to defend it. Things like that [collapses] happen in the game and the way we reacted to reach 230 and defend it was great. We believed it was defendable. Our seamers set the tone upfront and Phangi bowled very well. We hung in there long enough and got crucial wickets later on to take us home. It’s both bitter and sweet. Bitter that we put on 230 but sweet that we defended it. Bowling them out was sweet as well.”

Despite being on the losing team, Utseya was named Man of the Match, and said: “Happy with the way I bowled but disappointed that we didn’t win. Spin department has been our strength and we knew pitch was going to turn. The captain took me off after three overs and later I decided to come around to de Kock and changed my field placings a bit. I was a bit of both – defensive and attacking. The conditions helped a lot to turn the ball.”

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