Zimbabwe v South Africa, T20 tri-series, Harare June 23, 2012

Levi leads South Africa into final


South Africa 130 for 4 (Levi 54) beat Zimbabwe 124 for 6 (Cremer 36*, Parnell 3-16) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa's bowlers finally arrived in Harare, keeping Zimbabwe to a below-par total in a must-win encounter to book their place in the tri-series final. Zimbabwe, however, managed to delay defeat until the 18th over, which allowed them to qualify as well, pipping Bangladesh on net run-rate. Bangladesh needed the hosts to lose inside 15 overs.

An improved Wayne Parnell did the bulk of the damage on a sluggish pitch. His triple-strike midway through the Zimbabwe innings left South Africa with a moderate total to chase. Richard Levi took control of the reply and his half-century led South Africa to a relatively straight-forward win.

Zimbabwe had decided to bat and Hamilton Masakadza showed his intent early on, flat-batting Chris Morris for a stunning six over cover. He did not have much support, though, as Vusi Sibanda was out lbw to a full, straight ball from Morris, and Brendan Taylor holed out to mid-on.

Masakadza tried to rebuild the innings but became Parnell's first victim when he decided to accelerate. Masakadza cut towards cover, where Farhaan Berhardien took a low catch that had to be referred to the television umpire. It was shown to be clean and Masakadza's run of three fifties in as many matches, ended. Parnell struck again in that over to remove Malcolm Waller.

Both wicket-taking deliveries in Parnell's first over were fairly ordinary but he showed marked improvement from the previous matches through better lines and lengths. He claimed a third scalp when Elton Chigumbura edged a ball that moved away slightly.

When Chigumbura departed, Zimbabwe were only five down but their tail was already at the crease. It was up to Stuart Matsikenyeri to prevent a collapse and he did through his 32-run stand with Graeme Cremer. An Albie Morkel slower ball eventually accounted for Matsikenyeri, when he hit down the ground and du Plessis took a one-handed catch looking into the sun. Cremer stuck around until the end and showed good temperament to combine with Prosper Utseya and give Zimbabwe 124 to defend.

Zimbabwe's only real sniff at making things difficult for South Africa came in the first over of the chase. Hashim Amla tried to flick Chris Mpofu fine on the leg-side but got an edge that carried to Taylor.

Amla's dismissal allowed for the much-heralded pair of Richard Levi and Faf du Plessis to combine. Levi dominated the 55-run stand and muscled anything too full or straight, which all the Zimbabwe seamers were guilty of bowling, over the leg-side. Du Plessis was caught behind in Jarvis' second over but Levi powered on.

When Levi was run out in the 11th over, he had done enough to put South Africa on course. Richard Muzhange's yorkers and Cremer's googlies, however, kept South Africa at bay long enough to ensure Zimbabwe also qualified. Justin Ontong and Behardien could not find the boundary in their 34-run partnership but they secured South Africa's place in the final.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    Rahane-fan...lol meaningless and ridiculous comparisons? yeah mostly from you the facts are mate that we were providing evidence to counter your bold claims fair and square while you're desperately acting ignorant and silly here. Yes Bangladesh Cricket is not strong as India Cricket but we had full membership status for only 12 years where as India for than 70 years big difference plus you have more resources and one of the biggest populations in the world but still not dominant so that's why but its still you still don't like it pity :)))))

  • Deepak on June 25, 2012, 2:12 GMT

    Some people are still stuck on the good old Sri Lankan World Cup performance facts and the how-many-years-before-first-win stats. I'm sick of reading such ridiculous and meaningless comparisons. Maybe I will get a nice series whitewash fact in reply to this post! Just can't get over history and records, can they?

  • roket on June 25, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    @rahane_Fan: Want to discuss WC history?:-) Where do you want me to start? in 1975 IND won 1 game in WC, against do you know who? "East Africa", not South by the way!:-) India's greatest Gavaskar scored a whopping 36 N.O.at a super healthy SR of 20 and carried his bat with aplomb in a WC game, India lost by over 200 runs to ENG! LOL! In 1979, India lost all their games, including to SL who was not a full member at that time. Which make me believe India's win in 1983 was a fluke, they were a 66 to1 odd to win the cup. The fact that they failed to even reach the final of a WC for another 20 years proves my point, even though WC was played on Indian soil in 1987 and again in 1996. So let's not discuss WC history in the early days, India's record was far more bleak than BD's in their second WC apprearance!:-) BD beat PK full strength team in their first world cup appearance, IND in their first WC appearance beat East Africe (not South).!:-)

  • Sharif on June 24, 2012, 22:40 GMT

    @Rahane-fan: India lost to Kenya for twice times within 3 years interval!! LOL !! An 80 years old test Playing nation lost to an associate ICC member!! Thats really Great(!!) Job by India!! In 1998 India lost to Kenya by 69 runs at their own Indian home ground!! Kenya 265/5 and India 196/10. In 2001 India again lost to Kenya by 70 runs! Kenya 246/6 and India 176/10. Besides, India got eliminated from 2007 World cup at group stage by loosing to Bangladesh!! Bangladesh (192/5) beat India (191/10) by 5 Wickets!! Again, India got eliminated from 2012 Asia Cup by loosing to Bangladesh!! Bangladesh (293/5) beat India (289/5)!! LOL!! These are some Glorious (!!) moments for an 80 Years old cricket nation!! Carry On!! :D

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    @Rahane-fan...Most of your arguments are pretty useless yes these results back in 2003 was at a time where Bangladesh Cricket was a joke so not going to lie about that but you have to understand the fact that we're in 2012 so that was almost a decade ago lol but it was the same World Cup where Kenya got to the semi-finals and tell me who Kenya beat on their way there? exactly you're using DOUBLE STANDARDS so your arguments are INVALID always lose :)))))

  • Deepak on June 24, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    And not to forget the 32-run loss to Kenya in the same WC. Really looks great for Bangladesh!!

  • Deepak on June 24, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    @r0ketman : Bangladesh lost to Canada at the 2003 WC!! by 60 runs! CAN 180 all out, BAN 120 all out. That looks great for Bangladesh! :D

  • roket on June 24, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    @rahane_fan: The double standard shown here against BD is utterly ridiculous. India is "unlucky" when they lose, but BD is "Lucky" when they win? India lost to SA in the T20, fair and square. More than half the players on that team played against BD this week, but BD is playing against a C side? India's first test win against any team came against a fourth string England team in 1952 (a lot of those ENG players never ever played for ENG again), yet Indian fans claim IND won against "strong team", even when the cricket experts of Wisden called that ENG team Subpar! However, the Indian fans are quick to point out BD's first test win came against a weak Zim and WI team. Does anyone else not see the unfairnees and doubloe standards in these arguments?

  • roket on June 24, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    @rahane_fan: NZ has played all 10 WC, BD has played in 4. NZ has been playing international cricket since before India. Let's compare with SL shall we, so the comparison would be more accurate. BD reached second round in their 3rd WC apprentice (in 8 years). SL did not reach second round till their sixth WC appearance (21 years). SL did not win a test on foreign soil till 1995 (14 years after getting test status). So compared to SL, BD is doing much better in the same time frame . SL performance in their first 5 WC was dismal. BD has won against India, PK, SA, Eng in WC. SL did beat IND in 1979 though, that does look bad for your team!:-)

  • roket on June 24, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    @NP_NY: You said tournament of significance in your previous post, not Bi-lateral series. Let's not discuss NZ history, they took the longest to get to a test win. NZ has been playing cricket since 1842, International cricket since 1864. It took them 45 matches, and 26 years to get to their first test victory in 1956. They have played bi-lateral series for over 160 years, they better win some series away from home!! South Africa was a full member of ICC since 1889. How do you compare that with BD, who started playing international cricket seriously since 2000. And if you did not understand my argument, the warm-up mates do not go against win-loss records. This comparison is ridiculous, BD has played WC since 1999 (13 years). SL played WC since 1975, they have dismal records in EVERY world cup before 1996 where They did not go past 1st round (21 yrs). BD reached second round in 2007, within 8 years of playing first world cup. Why the double standard? Why?

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