3rd match, Hamilton

South Africa v Zimbabwe

At Hamilton, February 15, 2015 (day/night). South Africa won by 62 runs. Toss: Zimbabwe.
The result might suggest a straightforward victory, but Zimbabwe were in contention for much of the match. When de Villiers departed to an acrobatic left-handed catch at long-off - Ervine clasped the ball, tossed it up while he stepped over the rope, and caught it again once safely back - South Africa were wobbling at 83 for four. But Miller and Duminy piled up a world-record fifth-wicket stand of 256, beating the 226 of Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara for England against Ireland at Malahide in 2013. Their attitude was confident, their running precise, their hitting clinical. But the bowling lacked thought: Zimbabwe's Plan A - a good length outside off stump - became as much of a liability in the closing overs as it had been an asset early on. Panyangara (6-2-17-1) and Chatara (5-1-13-1) had produced tight opening spells, but they were hammered at the death - though not quite as badly as Mire, whose final over cost 30 (644646), all to Miller, who ended up with nine sixes from 92 balls and a second one-day international century two matches after his first. Duminy reached his fourth hundred with a cheeky paddle-flick from the first ball of the last over, bowled by Panyangara; he rounded off the fun with a six and a four. After 28 runs off the opening powerplay, South Africa had thundered 146 off the last ten overs. Despite all this, Zimbabwe were on course at 191 for two, with their best batsmen in control. But Imran Tahir found Masakadza's leading edge in the 33rd over, Taylor slapped Morkel's slower ball to midwicket - and the initiative lurched back South Africa's way. Mire defiantly smashed Steyn and Morkel for six, but there was too much to do. NEIL MANTHORP
Man of the Match: D. A. Miller.

© John Wisden & Co