Zimbabwe v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Bulawayo August 20, 2014

World Cup audition for South Africa reserves


Match facts

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Start time 0930 local (0730 GMT)

Big Picture

There are times when a couple of days can make a difference but the ODI series between Zimbabwe and South Africa is an example of how breaks can have no effect.

The first and second matches were near carbon-copies of each other, with the only real difference being the margin of Zimbabwe's defeat. Although their bowling improved, particularly at the death, they made the same mistakes with the bat. Soft dismissals and lapses in concentration led to their unravelling and have left Sean Williams stuck with the tail, twice. Temperament is the missing ingredient but whether that can be found in such a short space of time remains to be seen.

South Africa do not have many areas to tweak despite being bowled out by Zimbabwe's hard-working but limited attack. Hashim Amla earns himself a rest, but the likes of AB de Villiers, JP Duminy and David Miller may want to improve on their returns but for the rest, the final match will simply be more of the same: an opportunity to get match time and with a World Cup looming. There is depth in bowling resources, but with the return of the first-choice trio of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander for the upcoming tri-series, competition for a place in the final XI is still high.

The people to whom this final match might mean most to are the Bulawayo fans. This will be their last sighting of international cricket for at least another 12 months and as the crowds have shown, it is something they treasure watching.

Form guide

(last five completed games, most recent first)

Zimbabwe LLLLW
South Africa WWWLW

In the spotlight

Zimbabwe's top order slumped to 34 for 3 and 45 for 4 in the first two matches and will want to avoid another repeat. They have already changed their opening pair and might shuffle it again with Hamilton Masakadza dropping to No.3 and Sikandar Raza fronting up first. Brendan Taylor will also be under pressure after only 20 runs from two outings.

The strength of South Africa's top order did not allow David Miller to be a factor in the opening match. Miller had similar issues in Sri Lanka and is realising the better the top four get the less time he may have at the crease. He will have to make an impact in short and sharp bursts while finishing an innings. If Miller gets it right, South Africa could mount totals too large for Zimbabwe to scale.

Team news

Zimbabwe are still struggling to find a bowling combination that works and may want to look to one of the Test seamers, if the management feels they have had enough downtime. Tinashe Panyangara or Tendai Chatara could come in for Luke Jongwe or Neville Madziva. They don't have too many options in the batting department besides Timycen Maruma and may have to opt for the same top-order and hope they can produce better results. Legspinner Tafadzwa Kamungoz is also in with a chance to play.

Zimbabwe: (likely) 1 Sikandar Raza, 2 Richmond Mutumbami (wk), 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor, 5 Sean Williams, 6 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 7 Luke Jongwe/ Tinashe Panyangara 8 Neville Madziva/ Tendai Chatara, 9 John Nyumbu, 10 Prosper Utseya, 11 Brian Vitori

Having won the series, South Africa might indulge in making use of all their reserves. Rilee Rossouw is expected to take Hashim Amla's place at the top of the order. Marchant de Lange and Mthokozisi Shezi could replace Kyle Abbott and one of the spinners respectively.

South Africa: (likely) 1 Rilee Rossouw, 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/ Marchant de Lange, 10 Aaron Phangiso, 11 Imran Tahir/ Mthokozisi Shezi

Pitch an conditions

With quick turnaround between matches, the surface is not expected to play too differently to the first two, which were dry and slow. Some turn will be on offer as well but so are runs with proper application. The weather in Bulawayo has warmed up significantly from the first match and is expected to reach 27 degrees on Thursday.

Stats and trivia

  • This is the sixth three-match ODI series between South Africa and Zimbabwe. South Africa have whitewashed Zimbabwe in all of the previous five.

  • Brendan Taylor is the only Zimbabwe batsman among the top 50 in the ODI rankings. He is 24th.


"We have to improve on our batting. This is the last chance in the series for all departments to play well. Giving early wickets away is criminal, especially on a wicket that is batting friendly. We will have to re-strategise."

Elton Chigumbura wants more from his top-order in the final match

"We will definitely make a few changes. We came here to win the series and we still want to win the last ODI but we will see about a few changes."

South Africa's time to experiment has arrived as AB de Villiers confirmed

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy on August 21, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Lots of people are putting abott on,but he hasnt done anything spectecular since his 1st test match. One comment said drop philander and put in abott as philander isnt taking wickets,but neithet us abbot. Everyone is also forgetting parnell,the last match man of the match. So bowling there will be steyn, morkel, tahir and parnell or philander with part-timers of jp

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    south africa is playing a very weak team in preparation for world cup.

  • Cliffontong on August 21, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    @ZFCOUTCAST TERRIBLE SQUAD - Seriously, Farhaan? Did you watch him bat in international cricket? I think a 12 year old off spinner would clean him up. He is terrible. Bavuma? The guy has potential but hasn't played international cricket now you want him in the WC? Anyway he's not an ODI batsman, is your plan to have him be designated 12 man for the tournament? Cause that's transformation right? ps: How come Thami isn't in your squad?

  • Dummy4 on August 21, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    INSHA ALLAH ziM best of luck taylor 100 today

  • Justin on August 21, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    The author of this article should realise that Zimbabwe failed in the batting department in the 2nd ODI not the bowling department. Their bowling, with the exception of the inexperienced Jongwe and the part-time Raza, was very good. It was Zimbabwe's batting that let them down. SA can get away with playing two keepers because they are both world-class batsmen in their own right. The same cannot be said of the two keepers in Zimbabwe's team. Taylor needs to be given the gloves with Mutumbani out of the side to be replaced with Sibanda. Sibanda is a hit and miss player but he has too much talent to be ignored and when he comes off he makes a huge difference to the outcome of the match he fires in. I would also drop Raza. He was woeful with the bat and poor with the ball. Malcolm Waller, like Sibanda, is a very talented batsman and a positive strokeplayer. Jongwe should also make way for either Chatara or Panyangara. To say Zimbabwe don't have options with the bat and ball is inaccurate.

  • Android on August 20, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    South Africa squad for WC (my choice): H Amla, de Kock, AB(c), F plessis, JP, D Millęr, R Rossouw, Dave Jacobs, J Botha, R McClaren, D steyn, M Morkel, K abbot, Mbani, I Tahir.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2014, 20:31 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa While generally I appreciate your understanding and comments on SA cricket I found it somewhat off the mark that Amla be replaced from the opening slot. Happily, however, you corrected yourself in your latest comment. Amla-De cock-De Villers-Faf/Rossow/Duminy-Rossow/Duminy-Miller-Mc laren-Parnell/Abbot-Steyn-Tahir-Morkel.

  • greig on August 20, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    Sorry, I forgot to add - AB has gone on record saying that he would like to bat at 3 in ALL formats.

    "Faff will play the Kallis Anchor role and bat at 3..." Well one of them has an average of 45 in ODIs and the other has an average of 28. Lets not kid ourselves here gentlemen....

    1.Amla 2.De Kock 3.AB 4.RILEE 5.Duminy 6.Faff/Miller 7.McLaren 8.Steyn 9.Abbott.10.Morkel 11.Tahir

  • greig on August 20, 2014, 19:15 GMT

    Why are we trying to re-create a Kallis strategy when he has retired? Why are we trying to turn Faff into the Kallis - when clearly he isnt? Just play your best 6 batsmen best suited for ODI cricket (Faff does not make this list on paper) and be done with it. I am against this 1 batsman attacking and the other batsman 'holding'. Its too predictable for the opposition.

    I think Faff is a great Test batsman. I think people who play well in domestic cricket (Van Zyl, Bavuma, Rossouw) should be rewarded. I think consistent under-achievers, should be dropped. Faff is now 49 ODI matches, 30 years old with an average of 28......for me, that's not good enough to warrant selection. Lets not be blinded by the level of opposition we are currently playing too. Oz will be a sterner tests.

  • Android on August 20, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    I agree with most of AB team selection. I prefer Abbot over Philander since he can bowl at death and with new ball. Philander is not taking lots of wickets anyway. Tahir is a must for middle overs. Conservative approach hasn't won us a world cup yet, fax should be replaced by an aggressive player like Russow. as it stands Proteas will not be able to chase big totals with players like faf

  • No featured comments at the moment.