South Africa v Zimbabwe ODI 3
The Saffa innings was about the longest 50 overs I have ever had to go through. Haven't counted the centuries this time, must have been approx. 28, even the tailenders made two each.... wait a minute. The tailenders were sitting on the balcony taking care of their tan. The target of 400 to win suggests that a Test match was being played, with a batting side Australia can only dream of, and some pretty uninspired Zimbabwean bowlers.
|Shingirai Masakadza's slower ball|
Well honestly I have no clue how the Saffas managed to pile up 399, it felt surreal. After Graeme Smith's and, unexpectedly, Hashim Amla's early departure they mercilessly exploited the inexperience of poor Ian Nicolson, who will need professional help now; the niceness of Graeme Cremer and the leakiness of Shingirai Masakadza. Shingi took two wickets, though, with some clever tricks, the pic on the right shows his slower ball, which lies in the air with near perfect seam position. Interestingly Hamilton Masakadza also got a wicket in collaboration with his little bro and took the crown as the most economic Zimbowler, with one over at 4.00 tehe. Well in all this chaos Prosper Utseya stood firm again and tried to hold the bowling together, but of course he can't bowl 30 overs.
The Zimbi batsmen then subsequently folded under the pressure of the huge target and got rolled by the South African attackers. Occasional outbursts of aggression got immediately punished with wickets. Rusty Theron was absolutely outstanding again, with two catches, one of which was a snorter at the boundary, and three wickets at 3.00. Uh. I think nobody doubts his permanent inclusion in the ODI side anymore, it will be funny to see how he fares against Pakistan in a few days. Johan Botha removed two in his opening over, and so forth and so forth... Zim were all out after 29 overs, they basically got run over by a truck. Hmmm.
What irked me as well was that "Craig Ervine" is obviously more difficult to memorise than Uda Walawwe Mahim Bandaralage Chanaka Asanga Welegedara. From "Sean Ervine" to "Craig Evans" to "Craig Irvine" every variation you could think of was on offer. Furthermore, Grant Flower had been dropped after just two matches, with hindsight one has to realise that the decision to bring Ian Nicolson in instead was a schnapps idea, as we say over here.
Let's quickly put the cloak of silence over the Zimbo mess and look at the whole story in funny Biffpics, starting with the Boofmeister getting stumped off a Utseya beauty:
Ah well. Despite all this hurt I still enjoyed watching the Zims a lot, it only happens every 300 years that you get to see them play and we must be thankful for every opportunity, especially as the number of possible appearances by Associate teams will be reduced by the ICC; you can read a very interesting and also maddening blog about it here. We have witnessed a lot of talent and the birth of the ginger Venus, what else could you want. And yeah Johan Botha is cool. Now we are looking forward to the clash between Pakistan and South Africa in the UAE... I bet the top of the back of my legs that these two opponents will entertain us royally. That's all for today, thanks for reading, don't forget to visit Zimcricketnews.com and follow @zimcricketnews on twitter.