Tatenda Taibu clearly enjoys the challenge of competing against the South Africans. He was the only Zimbabwe batsman to make the most of another flat track in the second ODI, scoring 78 out of a total of 268, but his one-day record against Zimbabwe's southern neighbours is one that any international batsman would envy: in 13 matches against South Africa he has scored 499 runs at an average of 49.90, including two unbeaten hundreds and two half-centuries.

"I thought there was enough time to get another hundred against South Africa," Taibu said after the game. "I always cherish my innings that I play against south Africa, because they are one of the best teams so if you play well against them it's always an innings to cherish. There was definitely enough time for me to get a hundred so I was a little disappointed not to get there."

This is Taibu's third tour of South Africa, and despite his record against them he is yet to taste victory in the country. Zimbabwe have performed admirably on their most recent trip, but the gulf between the two sides remains a wide one and it will take a special effort to register a consolation victory in the final match of the series in Benoni on Friday. Taibu, however, urged his teammates to remain positive.

"We have to carry on being positive, we shouldn't lose that," insisted Taibu. "We should keep our shoulders high and our chins up and play as positively as we can because that's our only chance to beat South Africa. We obviously have a lot of work to do on our bowling, and also with the batsmen. When they get starts they need to carry on and score big runs as the South Africans are doing.

"When you look at the two teams at the moment, you can see the intensity that the South Africans have and we have to emulate that as we try to become a recognised team."

Liam Brickhill is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo