All-round effort from Zimbabwe shocks the Proteas
THE Proteas were brought back down to earth yesterday by a 29-run defeat against Zimbabwe in the Twenty20 triangular series at the Harare Sports Club.
A gallant all-round effort by the Zimbabweans gave them the lead in the tournament's standings after wins over Bangladesh and SA.
The Proteas, who had won by 39 runs against Bangladesh on Tuesday, struggled to find their feet in yesterday's match.
The South African bowlers struggled to get a breakthrough against the opening partnership of Hamilton Masakadza (55) and Vusi Sibanda (58). The pair put together 114 out of 176/4. Wayne Parnell led the wicket-takers with 2/33 in three overs and Marchant de Lange and Robin Peterson took a wicket each.
The Proteas got off to a bad start with the bat and fumbled to 147 all out with four balls to spare.
Colin Ingram top-scored with 48 in SA's innings and his partnership of 54 with Richard Levi (40) was the only one that threatened the Zimbabwean score. The Zimbabwean attack was led by man-of-the-match Chris Mpofu (3/20) and leg-spinner Graeme Cremer (3/29).
"Both batting and bowling didn't work out," said Proteas skipper Hashim Amla. "We were not up to our best. We leaked about 20 runs too many and had no real partnerships. We know our performance can be better. We need to go back to the drawing board and iron out what needs to be rectified."
Proteas coach Gary Kirsten will want an improved performance tomorrow against Bangladesh. Kirsten is hoping to find some candidates to take to the World T20 Cup in Sri Lanka later this year. Zimbabwe take on Bangladesh today.