South Africa triumphed by four wickets in the final ODI at Paarl, comprehensively sealing a 3-0 ODI series win against Zimbabwe.
A combined bowling effort from the hosts restricted Zimbabwe to 228 before half-centuries from Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen guided their chase. Though they stumbled in sight of the finish line, the result was never truly in doubt.
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For Zimbabwe, there were some small signs of improvement. They had totalled up just 195 runs across the first two ODIs in some tricky batting conditions. Today, on a more benign surface, they managed to pass 200 in one go.
Sean Williams was the mainstay, helping his side recover from 44/3 after Solomon Mire was bowled by an Imran Tahir beauty, Craig Ervine nicked a quick, rising, seaming delivery from Dale Steyn to the keeper, and captain Hamilton Masakadza gloved a Kagiso Rabada short ball, Heinrich Klaasen again claiming the catch.
Williams’ 69 was Zimbabwe’s first half-century of what has been a torrid series with the bat, and it was a sprightly knock, containing 10 boundaries. He and Brendan Taylor, who made 40, briefly threatened to put on a sizeable total, but it always felt likely that Zimbabwe would fall away once they were dismissed.
Taylor was first to go, brilliantly stumped by Klaasen with his back foot just briefly in the air, before PJ Moor and Williams both fell in soft fashion, the former ramping a catch into Hendricks’ hands at slips as if offering catching practice, and the latter popping a chance back to Rabada.