CRICKET / Zimbabwean batsmen come a cropper against an incisive seam attack
Openers Richard Levi and Hashim Amla made light of a small target to steer South Africa to a convincing 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in their ICC World Twenty20 match here on Thursday.
Set a score of 94 to win, the hard-hitting Levi, who carved out an unbeaten 50 (43 balls, 6x4), and the prolific Amla (32, 33 balls, 3x4) knocked off the runs in the 12.4 overs to help South Africa get off to a flying start in the tournament, while a second successive defeat saw Zimbabwe make its exit.
Earlier, Zimbabwe came up with a poor batting display and could muster only 93 in its allotted 20 overs.
The team batting first had won three of the three T20 internationals played here, but that did not seem to bother South Africa after it asked Zimbabwe to bat.
With less than half the number of overs bowled in Zimbabwe’s innings, it was clear who the victor would be in the first world T20 meeting ever between the two sides.
Vusi Sibanda (0) started the procession. He missed an off drive against Morne Morkel to be bowled through the gate. Captain Brendon Taylor (4) seemed to be in a hurry and reached with difficulty to a ball wide outside off, only to nick it to to wicket-keeper A.B. De Villiers.
Albie Morkel then joined the party and accounted for Hamilton Masakadza, the only batsman who looked like making a decent score. He gave Albie the charge and ended up scooping a catch to mid-on.
At three down for 16 runs, it appeared that Zimbabwe would do badly then they did against Sri Lanka. The Zimbabwean 50 came in 59 balls coming, thanks to some sensible batting by Craig Ervine and Stuart Matsikenyeri (11).
In a bid to force the scoring, Matsikenyeri came down the track intending to punch Kallis through extra cover. The ball bounced a little more than the batsman expected and the full- blooded drive ended up in Peterson’s hands in extra cover.
The next ball, Elton Chigumbura (0) who went deep into the crease saw the ball miss his bat and the pads low. Alexander Cremer played the next ball to mid-on to avert a hat-trick.
But Zimbabwe did try hard. Craig Ervine’s desperate dive, running back for a second run, exemplified the effort that the team is capable of.
Keywords: ICC World Twenty20