Zimbabwe v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Bulawayo August 19, 2014

Zimbabwe suffer another big defeat

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South Africa 257 (du Plessis 55, Utseya 2-39) beat Zimbabwe 196 (Williams 55, McLaren 3-21) by 61 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Not even Zimbabwe's most successful performance in the field against South Africa in 15 years could change the inevitable. Despite bowling their big brothers out for the first time since the 1999 World Cup, and just the third time in their 34-ODI history, Zimbabwe could not avoid a series defeat.

After stemming South Africa's speedy start and punctuating their progress by plucking through their middle and lower order, Zimbabwe gave themselves the best chance of levelling the series and then squandered it. Their batting proved brittle with only Sean Williams and the tail mounting any resistance. The rest engineered their own downfall against a disciplined but not overly dangerous South African attack. 

Zimbabwe would have known there were no demons in the pitch when they watched South Africa bat. Apart from the usual sluggishness and a small amount of turn, South Africa found runs with nothing more than old-fashioned digging in and that it was possible to play with relative freedom in parts. 

Quinton de Kock breezed to a sprightly 38, helped by Brian Vitori's struggles to find a strangling line as he made his return from an ankle niggle, and became the join fastest to 1000 ODI runs. De Kock shares the record with Jonathan Trott, who also reached the milestone in 21 innings. 

De Kock only added one run to the landmark figure before becoming the second of three quick wickets, as Zimbabwe wrested control of the innings. Both he and Hashim Amla fell to John Nyumbu and AB de Villiers was run out freakishly after thinking he had paddled the ball past wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami, when in fact it had stopped at the wicketkeeper's feet. 

South Africa lost three wickets for 13 in the space of 26 deliveries to land Faf du Plessis in a familiar rebuilding role. With JP Duminy, du Plessis negotiated Zimbabwe spinners, Sikandar Raza included, with care. For seven overs they could not find the boundary and had to be content with 26 runs in ones and twos before Duminy was bowled around his legs. 

David Miller failed to take advantage of the more than 20 overs he had in front of him until the latter stages of his innings, when he was the key protagonist in South Africa's most profitable over. Luke Jongwe was taken for 18 runs in the penultimate over of the Powerplay, a period in which South Africa scored 43 runs but lost both du Plessis and Miller. 

Du Plessis was their only half-centurion, proof that watchfulness can go further than all-out aggression on occasion. His enterprising innings meant that by the time South Africa entered the final fifth of their innings they were in almost exactly the same position as they were in during the first ODI, at least in runs terms. On Sunday, South Africa had been 208 for 1. On Tuesday, they were 206 for 6.

The wickets were testament to Elton Chigumbura's more creative captaincy - he rotated bowlers with more thought and set better fields - and the spinners' stranglehold. But South Africa's lower middle order was still capable of mounting a surge. Wayne Parnell and Kyle Abbott put on 41 runs for the eighth wicket to take the score past 250 and leave the contest well-balanced at the halfway stage.

Zimbabwe would have been pleased with their last 10-over squeeze of 51 for 4, until their own first 12 were complete. As was the case in the first ODI, Zimbabwe lost the match in the space of 22 overs when the chase was crippled in its infancy. 

Mutumbami was dropped on 3 by de Villiers at second slip but added just nine more before being trapped lbw by an Aaron Phangiso arm ball. Hamilton Masakadza left a gap between bat and pad, which Parnell snuck through with a good-length ball, and Raza left a Ryan McLaren ball that angled into him. 

At 26 for 3, Brendan Taylor was considered Zimbabwe's last hope but he disappointed again when he hit Duminy straight to Miller at long-on. Williams held together the middle order but found few allies as McLaren and Parnell, who picked up his 50th ODI wicket when Chigumbura top-edged a short ball that got big on him to mid-on, sliced through. 

The margin of defeat was cut by a stubborn ninth-wicket stand of 41 in 5.3 overs between Neville Madziva and Nyumbu, who thrilled his home crowd with his shot-making, and lusty blows from Vitori, who took 20 runs off Duminy's last over. That will come as scant consolation for Zimbabwe. They were mostly bossed by a South African side that has both a trophy and a cupboard full of reserve bowlers with a game to go before this series is officially over.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Greatest_Game on August 20, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    @ Marktc, Excellent observations about Faf and Abbot.

    I completely agree. The couch critics who live to bash the flavour of the week really have no understanding of the game. The the validity of your points is illustrated by the fact that Faf made the most runs, & Abbott conceded the least, & scored 23 too. In ODI's, runs win matches. If the margin of victory were 10 runs, who would be responsible for the win? Faf, Abbott, and to slightly lesser degree, McLaren & Tahir.

    How people ignore the fact that AB dropped a sitter off Abbott is explained only by ignorance or malice. Abbot bowled tight lines, pinned batsmen down, & ratcheted up pressure. He really has been unlucky compared to Parnell who sprays the ball all over the place & picks up wickets off poor shots by batsmen desperate to score when they cannot take runs off Abbott or McLaten, another good bowler.

    To those other commenters - yes, this was not a BIG DEFEAT. A big defeat was India's capitulation to Eng.

  • dummy4fb on August 20, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    Firdose Moonda articles rock!!!

  • wapuser on August 20, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    This wasnt a big defeat.. Zim actually did alrite..

  • Marktc on August 20, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    Two points...Faf prefers to bat at three, so let's see how he goes with a long run at three. As for the anchor role, this was the perfect game to show how important it is to have somebody who can hold things together. 50 overs is a long time....and if everybody came out to play flashy and aggressive shots, the entire team would be out by 30 overs. Also, if Faf played flashy and went out, his anti-fan club would bash him for that as well. Second point..Abbott did not take wickets, but bowled brilliantly. Sadly most people will just only on the wickets taken column, but it is usually more to to it than that.

  • Sexysteven on August 20, 2014, 3:55 GMT

    To me 61 runs in a odi for the zimbos isn't Abig defeat I thought they prob would be beating by more so to me that's adecent performance by the zimbos as good as they could prob hope for in my view

  • Greatest_Game on August 20, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    @ SripriyaReddy claims "To say he was anchoring the innings is just an excuse by Faf for batting slowly."

    Rubbish. That is just an excuse to bash Faf. Today he held the innings together while batsmen failed around him, from 1/47 to 5/165. He scored the most runs for SA. WHO ELSE IN THE TEAM DID BETTER? Who else held the innings together - no one. Who stayed around to build a platform for scoring at the end of the innings? Only Faf. Before du Plessis was dismissed, Miller scored 13 off 31 balls while Faf scored at a run a ball! Miller consumed 35 balls before he got going, but he's a hero I suppose?

    SA's top order fell, but Faf kept the innings alive, setting up Miller, Parnell & Abbott to freely hit out & score a total of 98 off the tiring bowling. Hash, QdK, AB, Duminy left SA hanging.

    Give credit where credit is due. Partnerships build runs, & Faf 's partnerships took SA from 47 to 169. He did the job SA NEEDED - not the flash, but the hard graft. Hard graft wins matches.

  • dummy4fb on August 19, 2014, 23:04 GMT

    Abbot isn't getting wickets, but he isn't going for runs easily either. He's keeping the pressure up and allowing the other bowlers to take wickets due to that pressure. I remember that saying where bowlers bowl in partnerships. Though I do hope they give some of the players that missed out a shot at the international stage.

  • dummy4fb on August 19, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    It is Zimbabwe! Terrible team with every ounce of karma against them being played by a team that should not be playing them but has agreed to, IMHO, due to their own checkered past. Of course SA thrashed them.... the just result would have been an annoying draw in every match. Stop playing sport Zimbabwe... you are not a real democracy.

  • Dhutugemunu on August 19, 2014, 21:26 GMT

    Faf is stuck in the Test Cricket mentality. Somebody should let him know that this is limited over cricket.

  • android_user on August 19, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    Not too surprised about zim? if bowling performs well, batting fails and vice versa. Given that our players are average in both depts, its better to have 8 average batsmen and 3 bowlers so that at leat we post a good total amd leave it for the other team to bat well. Williams has proved to be a reliable batsman whi can bowl better than a specialist bowler if he gets his lines ok. Just my thoughts. We cant afford to have less than 7 average batters.

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