168-4 - Too short and too much toward the leg-side from McLaren, who fetches four across fine-leg courtesy Dabengwa, who then goes quite huge over Cow Corner for six. McLaren's line and lenght all over the place, here. Last-gasp, scrambled byes end the innings.
154-4 - Theron resigns Masakadza to the floor with a yorker before rubbernecking to see a rank full-toss sail over Cow Corner for six. Smith couldn't be bothered with trying to pull off some acrobatics inside the ropes. Wicket! Utlimately, it takes a direct-hit from debutant Ingram at mid-on to send the big-hitting half-centurion packing. South Africa happy to eventually have someone strike the stumps. Dabengwa in now. Collective 150 up for Zimbabwe.
142-3 - Masakadza seems a goner at the striker's end in the quest for a quick single but, not for the first time today, South Africa are found wanting on the direct-hit front. Happy to cash in on another lifeline, Masakadza pulls for four to go to his half-century from 55 balls, five fours included. Hammering Hamilton keeps going, powering four across the off-side and slog-sweeping six through Bosman's hands at midwicket. Meanwhile Chibhahba, from the sidelines, reveals that Zimbabwe are aiming for a tally in excess of 165. That's well above the 150-odd average at this ground.
124-3 - Renowned for his prowess at the death of the innings, Theron returns to the attack. Wicket! A horrible wide down the leg-side is quickly made up for by a cracking yorker, which is all too much for Chigumbura to handled as the leg-stump cartwheels toward fine-leg. Coventry in now, quickly getting into the thick of things by muscling a slower ball over long-on for six.
113-2 - Fat swat outside the off-stump from Masakadza, but no connection time and time again as McLaren undoes the right-hander with a sly change of pace. Chigumbura, meanwhile, can hardly get the ball of the square despite his attempts to go big over midwicket.
110-2 - Chigumbura goes inside-out over cover for four, then leaving Masakadza to replicate the result with a single as the opener obliges with four squeezed past backward point. With wickets in hand, the Zimbabweans can really look to swing for the fences from here on in.
100-2 - Wicket! Parnell's return to the attack works a treat for the hosts, as a short ball gets too big on the half-centurion, who holes out at square-leg, where Botha shows his team-mates how to hang onto a skyer. Big-hitting captain Chigumbura in now. Collective century up for Zimbabwe. Great return over from the southpaw seamer.
96-1 - Chibhaba now has his highest Twenty20 International score as he cranks six more over long-on and then goes to his half-century with a four through mid-off. Just 29 balls to get there, six fours and two sixes included. Great going from the 24-year-old right-hander, who now holds the record for the fastest Twenty20 International half-ton by a Zimbabwean.
83-1 - Not much flight from the South African captain for now, with a couple of darters keeping Chibhaba and Masakdza to singles. Then, Chibhaba opts for a massive slog-sweep, which he hardly middles, bat it has enough on it to sail over midwicket for the first six of the match. Underdogs on the top, here.
74-1 - Third bowler today to kick off their spell with a boundary, as spinner Duminy coughs up a rank full-toss, which Chibhaba hammers through midwicket. He follows that up with four more savaged through the covers, which brings up the half-century partnership off just 34 balls. Wicketkeeper Kuhn forced to be very vocal from behind the stumps in a bid to keep his lazy team-mates on their toes.
63-1 - Chibhabha really looking to free his arms here, but Botha pegs him back, for now, with deception in pace and flight. Botha's charges, meanwhile, are enduring a pretty sluggish day in the field, with far too many singles turned into twos but the Zimbabwean duo. The tourists going at 6.3 to the over at the halfway mark of their innings.
59-1 - Aggression on ZImbabwe's part kicking in now, with Chibhabha tonking four down the ground and then bobbling four more over short thirdman's head - not quite a dropped catch, but Parnell could've done a better job in clasping that from the sky. Collective half-century up thanks largely to the 15 runs off this over.
44-1 - Spin into the attack for the so-called middle overswith the batsmen ajusting their sights across a couple of singles before Chibhabha planks respective twos over point and square-leg. Dropped! Then, Botha appears have had the last laugh, but Miller drops a slog-swept sitter at midwicket. Straight down his throat, that, and he couldn't even take it at second grab.
36-1 - Change of ends for Theron too. Chibhaba finding the middle plenty of times, but unable to pierce the covers for anyhting else but a single. Meanwhile, news from the Proteas camp, namely Albie Morkel, reveals that his brother won't be taking the field again today. His crocked ankle is now strapped up. News on the severity of the injury to follow.
30-1 - Much like Theron, McLaren kicks off his spell with a horrid leg-side half-volley, which Masakadza is entirely happy to oblige to the long-on fence. Botha, meanwhile, is warming up and should enter the attack for his four overs on the trot at the culmination of the mandatory Powerplay.
22-1 - Change of ends for the left-armer, with a single stolen to mid-on giving Taylor some due strike. The right-hander looks to cash in with a cracking square-drive, but can't puncture the gap at cover. Wicket! That turns out to be the last time the ball meets Taylor's bat today, as a masterful slower ball traps him on the front pad dead in front of the stumps. Plumb as they come, really, with the batsman found wanting on the back foot. Chibhabha in now, who squeezes a couple through mid-on to get off the mark. Morkel falls on it in a very hackneyed manner and had gone and rolled his ankle in the process. 12th man and physiotherapist rush onto the oval to help him hobble off the field. Short on fast bowlers as it is, the Proteas hardly need this injury worry.
19-0 - The debutant's first delivery in international cricket is an awful one, too pitched and angled into the pads, with Masakadza powering it through backward square-leg for four. Getting very close to the stumps in his delivery, is Theron, who rattles the non-striker's off-stump twice on the trot. Very Shaun Pollock-, Glenn McGrath-esque.
14-0 - Good going from Morkel for the first half of the over before a rank half-volley affords Masakadza for on the straight drive. Some over-correction in length then sees the right-hander go on the pull, which is hardly middled and plugs to the deep for three. Second-fiddle Taylor, scraping for strike, then digs out a yorker to close the over.
7-0 - Straight back to new-ball duty for the southpaw seamer after a long lay-off due to injury, starting well in forcing Masakadza's edge and then going up for an lbw shout, which is halfhearted at best as the ball was clearly sliding down the leg-side. Then, four - without reaching the fence - for Masakadza, whose drive and hard running alongside Taylor bring the anomaly.
2-0 - No width whatsoever to work with for the right-handed Masakdza, with Morkel sticking to a lovely line and length outside the off-stump. That's all out the window, though, when one screams down the leg-side and another is far too wide of the right-hander's off-stump for umpire Jerling's liking.
Zimbabwe openers Masakadza, Taylor, umpires Cloete and Jerling and the Proteas out in the middle and good to go.
Pretty hot in Bloemfontein today, with the temperature sitting around 29 degrees Celsius. All the boundaries are 70-odd metres away from the square, which is "full of runs," according to resident pitch pundit Robin Jackman.
The Proteas forgo Robin Peterson and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, while red tape has held up Grant Flower's arrival for Zimbabwe.
News from out in the middle reveals Elton Chigumbura has won the toss and Zimbabwe will bat first.
South Africa: Graeme Smith, Loots Bosman, Colin Ingram, David Miller, JP Duminy, Ryan McLaren, Johan Botha, Heino Kuhn, Wayne Parnell, Morne Morkel, Juan Theron. Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Justice Chibhabha, Tatenda Taibu, Charles Coventry, Elton Chigumbura, Keith Dabengwa, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Ed Rainsford, Chris Mpofu.
"South Africa have, for many years, been defined by the captaincy of Smith. When he is in the right frame of mind, the team generally win. If he has an off day, then the team loses. During yhe small amount that Botha has captained the side, he has shown that he is a lot more consistent on a mental front thanSmith. I'm glad he is finally at the helm of the Twenty20 side. He surely get the ODI leadership at the turn of the World Cup. Today, though, I'm pretty sure Smith will lead the side without the official tag as captain. Botha will do well not to be Smith's pawn," insists Matthew Knight.
Meanwhile, get in touch with us. Kicking things off with a bit of debate around the Proteas' captaincy, a bit of banter around Graeme Smith versus Johan Botha's leadership style is in order. Your opinions on this and that to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good day to South Africans, Zimbabweans and all the other cricket fans dotted around the globe, and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of the first - of two - Twenty20 Internationals betwwen the two African nations. It's the first time ever they'll battle it out across this format, so stick around for the groundbreaking theatre of it all.