ODI tri-series 6th Match: Du Plessis’ third century sets up Australia South Africa final

Du Plessis celebrates after bringing up his third ODI century

Du Plessis celebrates after bringing up his third ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis scored his third century of the ODI tri-series to not only help his side beat Zimbabwe by 63 runs in Harare, but to also set up an Australia vs South Africa final.

Du Plessis was brilliantly supported by all-rounder Jean Paul (JP) Duminy, who scored 51 and took three wickets as well.

However, Zimbabwe batsman Brendan Taylor deserves a lot of credit as he smashed a valiant 79.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura would have been thrilled with his decision to bowl first after South Africa opener Quinton de Kock was caught behind for two runs off the fourth ball of the innings.

Hashim Amla only made 14 runs before he was caught by Chigumbura at mid-off off the bowling of Neville Madziva.

Du Plessis and Rillee Rossouw stabilised the innings with a 70-run partnership before Rossouw was clean bowled by Sean Williams for 36.

South Africa skipper AB de Villiers scored 16 runs before he was run out by John Nyumbu in one of the most bizarre ways possible. Nyumbu initially dropped a caught and bowled chance from du Plessis, but the ball ended up hitting the stumps at the non-strikers end, where de Villiers found himself short of the crease.

Du Plessis and Duminy steered the innings back in the right direction with a 103-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Duminy was caught and bowled by Madziva for 51, which came off 62 balls and included three boundaries.

Du Plessis ended up making his third ODI century before he was caught by Chigumbura at midwicket off the bowling of Nyumbu.

Du Plessis’ superb knock of 121 came off 140 deliveries and included five boundaries and four sixes.

Thanks to Du Plessis and Duminy, South Africa finished on 271/6 off their 50 overs.

Madziva was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Nyumbu, Williams and Tendai Chatara chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 272 to win in 25.2 overs if they were going to have any chance of making it to the final, Zimbabwe got off to a poor start as opening batsman Vusi Sibanda was run out by de Villiers for 11.

Sikandar Raza managed to make 29 runs before he was caught by David Miller at deep point off the bowling of Wayne Parnell.

Hamilton Masakadza scored 26 runs before he was caught by de Villiers at cover off the bowling of Morne Morkel.

Williams only made three runs before he was caught by Amla at first slip off the bowling of Duminy.

Chigumbura failed to save his team as he was caught by Miller at deep midwicket for 13 to give Rossouw his maiden ODI wicket.

Malcolm Waller fared no better as he was caught behind off the bowling of Aaron Phangiso for 17.

Prosper Utseya failed to trouble the scorers as he was brilliantly caught by Amla at slip off the bowling of Dale Steyn.

Madviza mustered two runs before he was run out by Miller when attempting a third run.

Taylor was the top-scorer and only Zimbabwean batsman to put up a fight as he scored 79 off 96 balls, which included five boundaries and two sixes, before he was cleaned up by Duminy.

Taylor made a gutsy 79

Taylor made a gutsy 79

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 208 when Nyumbu was trapped lbw off the bowling of Duminy for four runs.

Duminy was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Steyn, Rossouw, Phangiso, Parnell and Morkel claimed one wicket each.

Duminy excelled with both the bat and ball

Duminy excelled with both the bat and ball

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chigumbura was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “It was a different wicket, a lot drier and was easy to bat on. In the afternoon it became diffuclt for us with their changes of pace. It wasn’t too much, not really. The guys batted themselves in but gave wickets away cheaply. There’s a lot to take from the series, the bowlers bowled great, but we have to put in performances together as a group.”

De Villiers was pleased to have made it to the final, and said: “Losing a bit of control [with the ball]. I was a little kid with the ball and saw an opportunity to bowl. The bowlers set the trend up, I thought they were out of the game after 20 overs. Well played by Brendan though. I wont say it’s a problem [on turning pitches], it is something we’re working on. But we had enough firepower to look after the game today and then in the next. We have to perform better in all three departments. Faf was there at the end, we want the top guys to be there at the end.”

Du Plessis was named Man of the Match, and said: “Just fortunate it’s coming my way, got dropped when AB got run out. Bit of a purple patch and I want to cash in. Thought JP played really well today, the pitch was really tough and definitely much harder than the one against Australia. His intensity helped me sit back and it helps us. I’m looking forward to Australia. From a bowling point of view, I can give a lot of information about what Australia do. They only got one spinner with a few part-timers and spin will play a big part in the final.”

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