South Africa secure series victory in Bulawayo
South Africa claimed the one-day international series against Zimbabwe on Tuesday (local time) after a 61-run victory in the second game gave the tourists an unassailable 2-0 lead.
South Africa made 257 after being put in at Queens Sports Club and Zimbabwe's batting lineup crumbled in pursuit of only an average score on a tame pitch to be bowled out for 196 in the last over.
Zimbabwe was 88-6 at one point before a minor flurry of runs down the order. Sean Williams provided the only prolonged resistance with his 55.
Seamers Ryan McLaren took 3-21 and Wayne Parnell 3-38 for South Africa, which clinched the series with a game to spare and without front-line fast bowlers Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel. They are being rested for the three matches.
Zimbabwe limited the visitors to 211-7 after winning the toss and applying pressure through its three-man spin attack. A late partnership of 41 between tailenders Parnell and Kyle Abbott took South Africa past 250, a below-par score on the batting-friendly surface but more than enough runs in the end.
Faf du Plessis made 55 for his second straight half-century of the series, while Quinton de Kock (38), JP Duminy (36) and David Miller (45) all contributed. De Kock became the joint-fastest batsman to reach 1,000 ODI runs, equaling the 21 innings it took the West Indies' Viv Richards and England's Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott to reach the mark.
Zimbabwe spinners Williams, Prosper Utseya and John Nyumbu all took two wickets each.
Zimbabwe's chase was effectively over inside 30 overs, however, as the top order collapsed. When Luke Jongwe edged to Hashim Amla at slip to be one of McLaren's three wickets and leave Zimbabwe 88-6, it left just Williams and the tail.
The left-handed Williams hit three fours and two sixes and No. 11 Brian Vitori launched two big sixes over mid-wicket at the very end, but it was in a lost cause for the home team.
South Africa maintained its record of winning every one of its ODI series against its African neighbors ahead of the last game on Thursday.
Steyn, Philander and Morkel will return for South Africa in an upcoming triangular series that also involves Australia.