Going into the final Twenty20 in Kimberley, South Africa look good to wrap up the series with their superior batting, but they'll be wary of the lack of depth in their seam attack. Zimbabwe's major worry is their bowling.
Sunday, October 10, Kimberley
Start time 2:30pm (1230 GMT)
The Big Picture
Zimbabwe showed plenty of promise in the first Twenty20 international against their neighbours, with their batsmen setting up the prospect of a competitive game. But, in the battle of the bats, it was South Africa who came up trumps, and by a comfortable margin, to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Going into the second and final Twenty20 in Kimberley, South Africa look good to wrap up the series with their superior batting, but they'll have a couple of factors to be wary of. Their seamers, Wayne Parnell, Rusty Theron and Ryan McLaren, were targeted by Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha to steer Zimbabwe to a challenging score after a cautious start. The fielding left a lot of be desired with dropped catches and misfields enabling the Zimbabwe batsmen to ward off any pressure. And most importantly, South Africa's attack, already missing Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis who've been rested, is weakened further by the absence of Morne Morkel, who bowled just two overs in Blomfontein, and left the field due to an ankle injury. He is certain to miss Sunday's encounter and remains in doubt for the ODI series that follows.
Zimbabwe's major worry is their bowling. Barring opening seamer Chris Mpofu, all the other bowlers were taken for more than ten an over. While South Africa's lack of depth in their attack was a reason for its ineffectiveness, the utter ruthlessness of the defeat inflicted upon Zimbabwe's bowlers leaves them in need of an urgent turnaround.
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Watch out for...
Prosper Utseya had often brought himself on to open the bowling with his offspinners when captain, a strategy that worked for a good part. A change in strategy is what his team needs after the mauling at the hands of South Africa's batsmen in Bloemfontein and experimenting with Utseya up front is worth an attempt.
Colin Ingram's last domestic season in South Africa was a hugely successful one, as he topped the 2009/10 MTN40 scoring chart with 600 runs at an average of 60, with one century and five half-centuries, and a strike-rate of 103.62. He followed that up by topping the 2010 Pro20 scoring chart as well, making 283 runs at 47.16 and a strike-rate of 144.38. His team, the Warriors, won both tournaments. He made just 3 in the first Twenty20 while his team-mates cashed in, and the second game hands him an opportunity to make up.
The injury to Morkel means Lonwabo Tsotsobe could be drafted into the playing XI.
South Africa: 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Loots Bosman, 3 Colin Ingram, 4 JP Duminy, 5 David Miller, 6 Ryan McLaren, 7 Johan Botha (capt), 8 Heino Kuhn (wk), 9 Rusty Theron, 10 Wayne Parnell, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Zimbabwe could turn to one of Shingirai Masakadza or Ian Nicolson to alter the fast-bowling department at the expense of Ed Rainsford.
Zimbabwe: 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Brendan Taylor, 3 Chamu Chibhabha, 4 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 5 Charles Coventry, 6 Keith Dabengwa, 7 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 8 Prosper Utseya, 9 Andre Cremer, 10 Ian Nicolson/Shingirai Masakadza, 11 Chris Mpofu.
Stats and trivia
Zimbabwe's 168 for 4 in the first Twenty20 is their highest total against a Test-playing nation
"If things get tough, he's always available for me, so as far as I'm concerned it's a good thing he didn't just stop and go away."
Johan Botha knows the importance of having his predecessor Graeme Smith in the team.