Amla laments poor fielding
Captain Hashim Amla was again left to rue a substandard day in the field after South Africa slumped to a 29-run defeat to Zimbabwe in game three of the unofficial Twenty20 series at the Harare Sports Club.
While Wayne Parnell and Dan Vilas' dropped catches and a string of misfields ultimately didn't prove costly in Tuesday's win over Bangladesh, Wednesday brought more shoddy fielding in the deep and another dropped catch - this time from Richard Levi.
Seamer Parnell was also under par with the ball and his seven overs in the series so far have fetched all of 94 runs. Spinner Justin Ontong, meanwhile, was smashed for 14 runs in his sole over of the match.
"I think in the field we weren't at our best," lamented Amla, who is leading the side in the absence of the rested AB de Villiers and injured Johan Botha. "We leaked about 20 runs through the bowling and the fielding, which probably made the difference."
Amla's unbeaten 88 was the mainstay in the triumph over the Tigers, but he fell for just 11 against the hosts. Only Colin Ingram's 48 and Levi's 40 succeeded where the captain failed, with batsmen four through nine managing just 36 runs between them.
"Batting-wise, we could have done a bit better, I think we were still in the game at 13 overs. We just lost a lot of quick wickets. Our all-round performance was not up to scratch," added Amla.
Earlier, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor's choice to bat first after winning the toss delivered a victorious total of 176 for four. Hamilton Masakadza weighed in with his second half-century of the tournament, while Vusi Sibanda went three runs better than his opening partner en route to 58 in their 114-run stand inside 14 overs for the first wicket.
"Zimbabwe played really well, the partnership at the front was key. They batted very well and they kept the momentum going throughout the plays in the game," concluded Amla.
Game four is on Thursday, when Zimbabwe will look to trump Bangladesh again after beating them in the series opener.