Zimbabwe v South Africa, 1st ODI, Bulawayo August 16, 2014

Neighbours resume contest in shorter format


Match facts

Sunday, August 17, 2014
Start time 0930 local (0730 GMT)

Play 02:01
Important World Cup preparation - de Villiers

Big Picture

If South Africa thought they could simply hop the border and have their way in Zimbabwe, the one-off Test would have changed that. Although they won with a day to spare, they were made to work for their victory and they expect the toil to get tougher in the ODIs, especially based on recent history.

Two years ago, a South African second-string side visited Zimbabwe for an unofficial T20 tri-series which also included Bangladesh and was beaten by both so-called minnows. Zimbabwe defeated them twice. That visit was part of South Africa's preparation for the 2012 World T20; this one kicks off their plans for next year's fifty-over World Cup and they will not want to repeat the results.

At least South Africa's elephant has left the room. Jacques Kallis' retirement from ODI cricket ended a period of uncertainty for their structures in which they struggled to find room for him almost as much as he battled with own form. Now that the line has been drawn under the need to accommodate him, South Africa can focus on future plans. In this series, they are doing that by resting the frontline fast bowlers to assess which of the fringe ones could book a World Cup spot.

Zimbabwe's planning is also in full swing with the appointment of a new ODI captain. Elton Chigumbura has been re-entrusted with the job he did at the 2011 World Cup and will want to improve on the record he had there. Sorting out a middle-order combination will be his most pressing task but a few upset wins for good measure will not go unnoticed either.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Zimbabwe LLWWL
South Africa WLWWW

In the spotlight

Although he is only 28, Elton Chigumbura has been an international cricketer for a decade so is not short on experience, but will need to call on all of it as he begins a second stint as captain. The responsibility on the allrounder has increased significantly as it will be up to him not just to lead but to produce in all departments. He will have to play the role of batting finisher and strike bowler. Chigumbura also has a personal milestone to aim for. He is five away from 100 ODI wickets.

A South African attack without Dale Steyn is like a braai without the boerewors but a South African attack without Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander is like a braai with just the salad - it could be limp but it may be healthy. The trio needed some rest after playing in almost every match of the last month so the focus will be on South Africa's reserve fast bowlers. Wayne Parnell is the most experienced and will hope to find consistency while Kyle Abbott and Marchant de Lange will look to build on their promising starts to international cricket.

Teams news

Elton Chigumbura could start his second stint in charge buoyed by the news of Brian Vitori's return. The left-armer was ruled out of the one-off Test against South Africa with an ankle niggle but should be fit for the ODIs. Similarly, Sikandar Raza's broken thumb may have healed sufficiently for him to slot in at the top. Zimbabwe could face a conundrum in bowling as they decide how many spinners to make room for and whether to give 19-year-old seam allrounder Luke Jongwe an ODI debut.

Zimbabwe (possible) 1 Vusi Sibanda, 2 Sikandar Raza, 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor (wk), 5 Sean Williams, 6 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 7 Timycen Maruma, 8 Shingi Masakadaza/Luke Jongwe, 9 John Nyumbu/Prosper Utseya, 10 Tinashe Panyangara, 11 Brian Vitori

With Beuran Hendricks ruled out of the series with a back injury, South Africa's choices of which fast bowlers to use are narrowed to four. Parnell, Abbott, de Lange and uncapped Mthokozisi Shezi will compete for three places with Shezi likely to be made to wait to make his debut. The same could go for Rilee Rossouw, who will likely carry drinks while Faf du Plessis bats in the position left vacant by Kallis.

South Africa (possible) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 JP Duminy, 5 AB de Villiers (capt), 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Kyle Abbott, 10 Marchant de Lange, 11 Imran Tahir

Pitch and conditions

As the one-off Test showed, Zimbabwean surfaces coming out of a mild, dry winter are starved of life which plays well into the home side's hands. Bulawayo's track will be no brute apart except when it wakes up in the morning but can be expected to flatten out as the day develops. Spring has just about sprung and temperatures will reach 20 degrees with plenty of sunshine.

Stats and trivia

  • Zimbabwe last played fifty-over cricket against South Africa in 2010. Overall, they have met 32 times and Zimbabwe have won just twice, including a shock victory at the 1999 World Cup
  • Chigumbura previously captained Zimbabwe between May 2010 and March 2011. Under him, they won eight matches and lost 12


"Now that Dale and Morne are gone for a while, that will give us some confidence. But it's a new challenge. I guess we're more comfortable with the one-day format. Bulawayo is also a slower pitch so it will suit our style of play."
Brendan Taylor is relieved to see the back of South Africa's frontline quicks for now

"They are a very competitive one-day side. We came here two years ago for some T20s and they whipped our socks."
Russell Domingo was the assistant coach then and remembers the drubbing South Africa suffered

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khehla on August 17, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    That's a good one Greatest Game... Mbalula might give Juju a run for his money as an all-rounder though. Coming "with that tendency" to undermine Zimbabwe on the pitch could backfire.

  • John on August 17, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    Unfortunately plenty of sunshine doesn't look like happening! We have an unseasonal English-type cold overcast day in Bulawayo at 8 a.m., as it was yesterday.

  • Paul on August 17, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    This is surely shaping up as a big series for David Miller, who, in all honesty, has flattered to deceive in Proteas colours. I believe he has what it takes to become a dominate force in the lower middle order, but the waiting is over. Time to deliver...or make way.

  • Android on August 16, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    amla/QDK/faf/ABD/miller/JP Duminy/mclaren/Parnell/steyn/morkel/philander for WC

  • Tapiwa Philani on August 16, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    Its quite a great decision by Mangongo to give back Vusi his spot.But seing Maruma in the team and sitting out Mutumbami is a bit unfair...Mutumbani should get a his chance ahead of Maruma who has been consistantly dissapointing ever since he started his ODI carrier....My XI would be: 1)V.Sibanda 2)S.Raza 3)H.Masakadza 4)B.Taylor 5)S.Williams 6)E.Chigumbura 7)R.Mutumbami 8)L.Jongwe 9)P.Utseya 10)T.Panyangara 11)B.Vittori

  • David on August 16, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    I like ZCFOutkast's proposal of giving Julius Malema a run as the Proteas captain in all formats. Malema would bring some fire and aggression to the SA sides, & an end to this plague of slow batting that has infected the recent Saffa games. His domestic form has been strong After his split with the dominant franchise he was quickly back on the attack, leading his new franchise with his familiar blazing, no holds barred aggression, & turning unknowns into overnight challengers for the top spot.

    Malema is a powerful all rounder, with few apparent weaknesses. Once in he is unmovable, & his record shows it requires a determined & lengthy effort to dismiss him. He wields the willow with the same flamboyance he does the knobkierrie or sjambok in other sports, & the ball is as deadly as an assegai in his hands. He would be particularly useful for SA against the Aussies & Jimmy Anderson: nobody in cricket today could outsledge Julius Malema, thats for sure.

    Good thinking @ ZCFOutkast.

  • Andrew on August 16, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    Difficult to predict how this series will go for Zim. SA will take it overall no doubt, the difficulty is predicting the type of fight we will put up.

    Our top 3 all struggle at this level- though are capable of an occasional good knock. Taylor and Williams have a better record, but will like to see some runs on the board before they come in. Chigumbura and/or Jongwe might bring useful runs at a good rate later on, but the first struggled horrendously when captaining last stint, and the second is new at this level. Pity Mutumbani - he's been looking good.

    Toothless but tight probably describes Utseya and Panyangara next, so expect e other bowlers to be targeted. Difficult to predict how they will perform, if. Vitori starts well he could go on strong - if not....

    Good luck Zim!

  • Sam on August 16, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    ZIM XI: 1 H Masakadza 2 Raza 3 Taylor 4 Williams 5 Waller 6 Chigumbura (C) 7 Mutambami (WK) 8 Utseya 9 Nyumbu 10 Panyangara 11 Vitori

  • Kendal on August 16, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Quite excited to see what Parnell, de Lange, Abbott and McLaren can do as a quartet. While not quite as intimidating as Steyn, Morkel and Vern, there is some natural gas and serious skill in the 'replacements.' If this is our second string pace attack (not counting McLaren) then fast bowling is quite healthy in SA. But good luck to Zimbabwe, give them a serious run for their money...

  • ZCF on August 16, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    I know Taylor is the weakest filder in the side, but to leave Mutumbami out and give the gloves to Taylor is unfair. Maruma can miss out and only come in if Raza hasn't healed completely, but Mutumbami must play, even if he must open the batting with Vusi while Taylor keeps. In fact if that's what the coaching and selectors are thinking to hide Taylor behind the stumps, then this order makes more sense with Raza&Mutumbami all guns blazing from first ball:

    Mutumbami, Raza, Vusi, Hami, Taylor(wk), Williams, Chigumbura, Jongwe, Utseya, Panyngara, Vitori

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