South Africa

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SA U19 Defeat Zim by 3 Wickets

SA made sure that Zim U19's woeful run in the U19 Tri-series continued, inflicting a 3-wicket defeat on this side in Somerset West. Zimbabwe, batting first, were bowled out for 171 - although Campbell Light's unbeaten 59 did a lot to secure him the man of the match award - but while South Africa didn't exactly race away with the run-chase, Zimbabwe weren't able to claim enough wickets to really put the pressure on, and SA reached the target in the 43rd over. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 171 (43.3 overs; Light 59*, Ngoepe 3/38), South Africa 172/7 (42.1 overs; Bowes 50*, Bowie 3/50). South Africa U19 win by 3 wickets.

Zim U19 Fall to 3rd Successive Loss

Another tri-series match, another defeat for Zimbabwe U19, this time falling to South Africa U19. Choosing to bat first, they posted a below-par 176, only completing 38 of their 50 overs and giving the hosts an easy chase. James Bruce was the pick of the bunch for the Zimbabweans, top scoring with 45. Zim's bowlers took a few early wickets in the South African innings, reducing them to 39/4 in the 13th over and giving themselves a chance, but no further wickets fell as Shaylin Pillay (91*) and Murray Coetzee (51*) completed the chase with 4 overs to spare. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 176 (38.2 overs; Bruce 45, Nqweni 3/40), South Africa 177/4 (45.4 overs; Pillay 91*, Bowie 3/25). South Africa U19 win by 6 wickets. (Match report & scorecard)

South Africa Claim First Win in U19 Tri-Series

The U19 Tri-Series between South Africa, Pakistan and Zimbabwe opened with the meeting of Zimbabwe and South Africa in Cape Town, with a poor start to the game setting the tone for Zimbabwe. Batting first, their top order failed to produce anything useful, as the side was reduced to 73/6 before the lower order found some staying power and launched a late fightback that saw the side to 197/8 at the end of their allotted overs. Travis Muller (3/37) and Rabian Engelbrecht (3/33) did the damage with the ball. In reply, South Africa never struggled, losing just one wicket - Chad Bowes (12) on the way to the target, which they reached in the 33rd over. Full scorecard below the cut. Zimbabwe will meet Pakistan in the tournament's second match on Thursday.
Zimbabwe 197/8 (50 overs; Burl 59, Engelbrecht 3/33), South Africa 202/1 (32.4 overs; de Kock 123*, Bowie 1/44). South Africa U19 win by 9 wickets.

South Africa Women Trounce Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe finished off the group stage of the Womens' World Cup Qualifiers in Bangladesh with yet another loss, this time a thumping 10-wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa. Zimbabwe posted 103/8 during a rather sedate innings, at a rate of just over 2/over; South Africa, scoring at nearly 9/over, took only 12 overs to reach the target, for the loss of no wickets. Full scorecard below the cut.

Zimbabwe now go on to face Japan in the 9th-place playoff om 22 November (Tuesday).
Zimbabwe 103/8 (50 overs; Ndiraya 22, Loubser 5/9), South Africa 106/0 (12 overs; Fritz 69*, Chetty 25*). South Africa win by 10 wickets.

South Africa 'A' Sail Through To Finals

Rilee Roussouw's 90 off 93 balls sealed a place for South Africa 'A' in the finals of the Coca-Cola Challenge Triangular "A" Series, after they beat Zimbabwe XI by 17 runs at the Harare Sports Club (HSC) on Wednesday. The victory means South Africa 'A' will meet Australia 'A' in the final match at HSC on Friday.

Zimbabwe made three changes in the squad which left Vusi Sibanda in charge of the team. Brendan Taylor, Raymond Price and Keagan Meth were replaced by Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller and Natsai Mushangwe. South Africa made one change of Rusty Theron replacing Ethy Mbalathi -this move eventually proved to be very fruitful for the visitors as he played a major role in the victory.

Roussouw came in at number three and top scored for South Africa, scoring his 90 with five boundaries and two massive sixes. His 78 run partnership for the fifth wicket with Vaughn van Jaarsveld (38) rescued the batting side from collapsing as they were 127 for four in just 32.5 overs. Zimbabwe managed to prevent the South Africans from repeating Tuesday's 298 target against Australia 'A' and kept them at 171/4 until the 40th. The tables turned as the South Africa scored 73 runs in the last ten overs and finished at 244/8 after 50 overs.

Brian Vitori was the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers with figures of three wickets for 35 runs in nine overs. Former national team captain, Elton Chigumbura, also chipped in with 2/38 off his allotted ten overs.

Zimbabwe, though forming milestone partnerships, was bowled out for 227 runs after 43 overs. Vusi Sibanda (22) and Hamilton Masakadza (47) started the pursuit firmly with a 66 run opening stand. Regis Chakabva top scored with 50 from 54 deliveries and formed the highest partnership of 72 runs with Foster Mutizwa (39) for the third wicket.

Death bowl specialist Rusty Theron and fast bowler Craig Alexander demolished the Zimbabwean batsman sharing seven wickets between them, the bulk of the damage coming from their second spells that ripped Zimbabwe's middle order to undo the benefits of the two top order partnerships. The pair bowled their allotted ten overs and Alexander took 3/38 while Theron was the highest wicket taker of the match with 4/43.

Friday's game will be crucial for Jacques Rudolph and his men, as they go out to avoid a third consecutive defeat against the unbeaten Australian outfit. Full scorecard below the cut.
South Africa A 244/8 (50 overs; Rossouw 92, Vitori 3/35), Zimbabwe XI 227 (43 overs; Chakabva 50, Theron 4/43). South Africa A win by 17 runs.
[Match report via ZC]

Zimbabwe XI Narrowly Lose to South Africa A

It was a glorious case of two skippers and their wicket-keepers leading from the front in a heavily matched final ball decider between Zimbabwe XI and South Africa 'A' in the third match of the Coca Cola A series triangular challenge at Harare Sports club. South Africa left a crowd of well over 8,000 fans gusted in awe after Rusty Theron sealed the one run victory after dismissing Foster Mutizwa on the final ball.

South Africa 'A' won the toss and decided to bat first. Once again the Zimbabwean opening bowlers restricted the batting side to a low run rate, almost making ill of Jacques Rudolph's decision to bat first.

The remainder of the South African had the visitors submitting to the bowlers, three wickets fell for 52 runs by the 16th over; Prosper Utseya and Meth were at the forefront of the onslaught. Meth removed Loots Bosman (2) two balls after he had been dropped at mid on. A smart bowling change of introducing Utseya in the 12th removed Rilee Roussouw (5 and Justin Ontong (5) soon followed after a leading edge went back to Utseya.

Captain Jacques Rudolf was the star of an almost ordinary batting side as he patiently steadied the innings with a patient knock with his wicket-keeper Heino Kuhn. Rudolf finished off with 98 runs from 125 deliveries and only featured two boundaries from the knock. The pair built a 116 run partnership for the fourth wicket from 130 deliveries. Zimbabwe tightened the bowling only allowing for the odd boundary past the fielders. Rudolf was dropped at 31 but recovered and battled his way to his 50 which came off 71 deliveries with only one boundary. Utseya broke the partnership as Kuhn attempted to clear Craig Ervine at long off in the 36th over. South Africa was now in a more secure position at 168 for four.

Rudolph was unable to find another partnership with anyone in the middle order but South Africa managed to reach 238 runs for the loss of eight wickets. Utseya and Meth remained the pillar of Zimbabwe's bowling taking seven wickets between them, Utseya taking four for 49 in ten overs while Meth took three for 36 in ten overs.

Zimbabwe was previously struggled with a fragile top order but the last two matches have seen a turn of events and now the top order now has a knack for building decent partnerships. Vusi Sibanda (11) and Brendan Taylor (98) made on opening stand of 44 runs broken in the 12th over. Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza making 53 for the second wicket then Regis Chakabva (47) and Taylor made 65 for the third wicket.

Taylor led the chase in a mature and steady fashion similar to the South Africans' innings. His wicket-keeper, Chakabva, played a major supporting role as well rotating the strike while slowly piling the runs. Both teams looked at par for most of the match until the last ten overs when Zimbabwe was 154 for two -South Africa were 184 for four at the same stage thereby placing Zimbabwe in a precarious position where 8.5 runs were needed per over.

Much of the match's drama unfolded when Zimbabwe took the third power play in the 43rd over at 162 for three needing 77 to win from 48 balls. Former captain Elton Chigumbura hit two exquisite fours from the last two balls of the first over of the power play off Vernom Philander. He continued the onslaught in the next over by Rory Kleinveldt's, smashing him over the top for four. Chigumbura raced to 20 0ff just 12 deliveries in a knock that brought back memories of what he is capable of doing when he is at his best.

Craig Ervine (12) clouted a vital six in deep for his brisk 11 ball knock. The final episode to Zimbabwe's defeat came in the final over when ten runs were required in the final over with prosper Utseya and Foster Mutizwa in the middle and Rusty Theron bowling form the City End. Mutizwa took a single from the first ball, Utseya swung and missed the next ball and made up with a single on the third. The fourth ball gave Zimbabwe a glimpse of hope as Mutizwa cleared mid on with a pull shot. Theron placed the next ball in the block hall but Mutizwa managed to run two off it. Zimbabwe needed a single to tie the match and two to win. Theron bowled the same delivery this time a fraction more outside off stump and Mutizwa opened his stumps, strut forward swinging and missing giving Kuhn the easiest of stumpings. Full scorecard below the cut.
South Africa A 238/9 (50 overs; Rudolph 98, Utseya 4/49), Zimbabwe XI 237/7 (50 overs; Taylor 98, Philander 2/40). South Africa A win by 1 run.
[Match report via ZC]

Full 2011 International Fixtures List

Just done a monster update to our Fixtures page, with full schedules for the following series:

Triangular 'A' Series (Australia 'A', South Africa 'A', Zimbabwe XI)
Australia 'A' in Zimbabwe
Bangladesh in Zimbabwe
Pakistan in Zimbabwe
New Zealand in Zimbabwe

That list includes three Test matches - 2 in Bulawayo, 1 in Harare - and I have to say it felt good typing them in.

Zimbabwe Off to a Sluggish CWC Start Against South Africa

Zimbabwe's cricketers made a sluggish start to their Cricket World Cup campaign on Indian soil when they slumped to 152 all out and lost by eight wickets to a rampant South African team at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk just outside the coastal city of Chennai on Saturday evening.

Despite the apparent gravity of the defeat there were several mitigating factors to consider as well as positives to emerge from the contest.

The first is that it was a 14-a-side match and thus very much a training exercise in which both sides were more concerned with individual performances rather than the team result. The second is that no team in the world is more efficient and ruthless than the Proteas in a pressure-free environment. Add an element of 'match situation' - not to mention pressure - and the Proteas can look a very different team.

The match looked very different indeed for the first 10 overs when the experiment of partnering Charles Coventry (21) with Brendan Taylor at the top of the order produced an opening stand of 49 and good reason to be optimistic. But a miscued drive to mid on ended Coventry's promising innings and wickets fell regularly thereafter.

The key wickets of Tatenda Taibu and Elton Chigumbura lasted just one and four balls respectively, the former caught at slip off the explosive Morne Morkel and latter trapped lbw by spinner Robin Peterson, neither troubling the scorers. While Taibu's form is of little concern, captain Chigumbura's slump has lasted too long for comfort. His team desperately need him to be at his best with bat and ball to make an impact during the tournament.

When Taylor edged a ripping leg spinner from Imran Tahir into the right glove of 'keeper AB de Villiers the team's innings had crashed to 82-5 and was all but unsalvageable. Sean Williams (35 from 59 balls) pushed cleverly for singles and ran hard between the wickets until he chanced his luck once too often against the arm of Faf du Plessis and was run out and Reggie Chakabva (18) kept him company during a seventh wicket stand of 46 which briefly promised a revival. Morkel (3-16) and debutant Tahir (3-35), however, were too strong for the tail-enders and quickly brought an end to proceedings.

Ray Price and Greg Lamb claimed the consolation wickets of openers Hashim Amla (45) and Graeme Smith (41) but nothing troubled Jacques Kallis (49) and AB de Villiers (41) as they completed victory with 26.5 overs to spare.

Zimbabwe play their second warm-up game against Ireland in Nagpur on Tuesday before the tournament gets under way with their first official match against Australia on February 21 in Ahmedabad. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 152 (41.5 overs; Taylor 40, Morkel 3/16), South Africa 153/2 (23.3 overs; Kallis 49*, Price 1/19). South Africa win by 8 wickets.
[Match report via ZC]

South Africa U19 v Zimbabwe U19: 2nd Youth T20I

Presented without comment, below the cut you'll find the scorecard for the 2nd Youth Twenty20 between South Africa U19 and Zimbabwe U19.
Zimbabwe 151/8 (20 overs; Kaia 60*, Williams 2/28), South Africa 155/2 (15.5 overs; de Kock 102*, Mapala 1/33). South Africa U19 win by 8 wickets.

South Africa U19 v Zimbabwe U19: 1st Youth T20I

Presented without comment, below the cut you'll find the scorecard for the 1st Youth Twenty20 between South Africa U19 and Zimbabwe U19.
South Africa 184/8 (20 overs; de Kock 49, Chari 2/5), Zimbabwe 145/6 (20 overs; Kasuza 68, Engelbrecht 2/13). South Africa U19 win by 39 runs.

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