Proteas complete Zim whitewash

BULAWAYO - South Africa completed a three nil whitewash of Zimbabwe when they cruised to an emphatic seven-wicket win in front of an impressive Thursday afternoon crowd here yesterday.

Both teams made three changes to their starting line-ups.

Captain AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir sat out while Rilee Rossouw, who made his debut, was joined by speedster Marchant de Lange. Left-arm seamer Nthokozisi Shezi also earned his first ODI call-up.

Zimbabwe opted to leave out Brian Vitori, Neville Madziva and for reasons best known to themselves, also excluded kingpin Brendan Taylor.

South Africa won the toss, and elected to bowl, and struck with the second ball of the day when Hamilton Masakadza was trapped in front off the bowling of Kyle Abbott.

Richmond Mutumbani followed in the next over to leave Zimbabwe in disarray at 4-2.

Elton Chigumbura promoted himself up the order, and he and Sikandar Raza Butt then staged a mini fightback with some positive stroke play.

But the fightback was ended when Raza But fell into a carefully prepared trap when he carelessly pulled a Ryan McLaren short ball straight into the waiting hands of Aaron Phangiso for a bright and breezy 30.

In form Sean Williams was next to go when he was deceived by left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso and was bowled playing his normally successful and favourite sweep shot for a scratchy 15.

The home side then slumped from 89-4 to 119-9, losing five wickets for just 30 runs.

Chigumbura, who had suffered a torrid time ducking bouncers from Marchant de Lange stuck to the crease like glue, and showed great determination and fight, despite the onslaught by the South African quicks.

The newly appointed one-day skipper reached his 16th ODI 50 off 102 balls, showing restraint and composure as wickets tumbled around him.

With last man Tinashe Panyangara at the crease, Chigumbura then decided to up the tempo in a desperate attempt to try and get some sort of total for his bowlers to bowl to.

The growing crowd were then treated to a flurry of boundaries, as Chigumbura plundered 40 runs off 22 balls with an extra five fours and two sixes, before de Lange finally had the last laugh when he shattered Chigumbura's stumps, but not before the Zimbabwean skipper had scored a career best 90.

Chigumbura faced 121 balls and his innings included 10 fours and two consecutive sixes of Ryan McLaren, as the hosts made a slight recovery to be dismissed for 165 all out in 39-5 overs.

De Lange was a true delight to watch, and deserved his figures of 3-31 from 7.5 overs of fast and hostile bowling.

South Africa got off to a shaky start when Malcolm Waller took advantage of a mix up between Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw.

Waller sprinted in from mid-of, and under armed the ball onto the stumps to send the unfortunate Rossouw back to the change rooms without scoring.

Man-of-the-match de Kock and Faf du Plessis played with freedom and authority before du Plessis was bowled by Sean Williams for a quick fire 40.

De Kock continued to keep the scoreboard ticking as he passed 50 for the second time in his series, and then once again unleashed his impressive array of strokes before holding out to Sean Williams in the deep for an entertaining 84.

The left-handed de Kock faced 75 balls and struck seven fours and two sixes.

JP Duminy 28* and David Miller 13* then sealed the deal for the Proteas, when Duminy finished the game and series in style with a towering six over long on to secure victory for South Africa in 27.2 overs.

Many questions will be asked about this third and final ODI.

The main talking point will undoubtedly be the exclusion of Brendan Taylor, as well as Elton Chigumbura's decision to give Sean Williams two overs, which also included a maiden before removing him from the attack.

The two teams now head back to the capital city where they will join Australia, who have already arrived in the country for a triangular series which starts on Monday.

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