South Africa v Zimbabwe commentary

Last updated: 20th September 2012  

South Africa v Zimbabwe commentary

South Africa Win By 10 Wickets That's 14 consecutive T20I defeats Zimbabwe, who exit the 2012 World Twenty20. South Africa will advance to the Super Eights stage whether or not they win their next Group C encounter against Sri Lanka. This was a quite thorough performance from AB de Viliers' men, who remain one of the favourites to win the tournament. Tomorrow brings New Zealand v Bangladesh and England v Afghanistan. Catch you then. Cheers.

Over 12.4 - SA 94/0 (Levi 50, Amla 32) Matsikenyeri gets a belated bowl, affording Levi the single that brings the brutish left-hander his half-century - 43 balls, six fours. Amla then swats a straight single to seal the deal. So ends Zimbabwe's plighted WT20 campaign.

Over 12 - SA 91/0 (Levi 49, Amla 30) Jarvis back into the attack for one last roll of the dice for consolation. DROPPED! The change of bowling almost works a treat, but instead Sibanda grasses a sharp chance offered by Amla at backward point. England will know all about dropping Amla, they did so about three times during the recent Tests.

Over 11 - SA 88/0 (Levi 47, Amla 29) Levi darts to the leg-side, creaming four through the off-side. Cover put in the dive, but that really sped past him. Price then tries to beat the left-hander with a quicker delivery, but his right arm slumps - and drags down a leg-side wide in turn.

Over 10 - SA 78/0 (Levi 42, Amla 26) The leg-spinner continues. Less than 20 runs to win, and still South Africa won't rush it, instead just keeping the ball along the ground. This is nothing more than a burst of practice for them now, with much bigger fish to fry - in much more trying circumstances - to follow across the next 10 days.

Over 9 - SA 73/0 (Levi 38, Amla 24) Vintage Levi this, heaving the turn across mid-on for a flat, one-bounce for. That's the stuff we saw in New Zealand, and that's the stuff fans want to see across the rest of this tournament. Amla, meanwhile, will be the first to admit that his timing hasn't been the best on this pitch, which has proven a touch two-paced.

Over 8 - SA 64/0 (Levi 31, Amla 22) Time for some leg-spin. Cremer put in a good individual performance against Sri Lanka, and a strong finish amid impending defeat will do his confidence the world of good. For now, Levi and Amla are content to just milk him for the singles on offer.

Over 7 - SA 60/0 (Levi 29, Amla 20) Utseya into the attack now. Defeat impending, so Zimbabwe might as well rotate their spinners. Levi reverse-sweeping and Amla advancing down the track for respective singles, and there is really very little troubling these two now.

Over 6 - SA 56/0 (Levi 27, Amla 18) Vitori's back and he gets some late swing, Levi punching forward to mid off for one. The bowler then gets whacked on the shin off a ricochet as a direct hit is scored, but Amla is safe. Levi plays a good shot rather than a bludgeon that races to the ropes through cover as they move past 50, and does the same thing off the final ball, punching it with great timing for four.

Over 5 - SA 44/0 (Levi 16, Amla 17) Price continues, and they can only push him around for singles, until the last ball, when Amla plays a proper classy shot, driving off the back foot through the off side for a boundary. Fifty runs to go.

Over 4 - SA 38/0 (Levi 15, Amla 12) Jarvis is back into the attack and Levi top edges him but it falls short of third man for a single. Jarvis sends down a lovely ball that jags back and beats Amla's inside edge, and he looks much better in this over... until the final ball, where Levi swings him to long on for a one-bounce four.

Over 3 - SA 31/0 (Levi 10, Amla 11) Ray Price replaces Jarvis and the batsmen don't take the attack to him straight away, getting used to the reduction in pace. Amla has to put a dive in to avoid being run out, and then is nearly bowled while giving himself room to cut. It beats the keeper too though and they get three byes.

Over 2 - SA 24/0 (Levi 8, Amla 9) Brian Vitori is on at the other end, and is far more economical, though Levi bags a boundary with a swing to the leg side, adding some valuable runs for his confidence. It's nine off the over and South Africa are a quarter of the way there already.

Over 1 - SA 15/0 (Levi 1, Amla 8) Kyle Jarvis opens the innings as Zimbabwe look to defend what will surely be too small a target. He starts well as Levi swings at a wider one, missing it. The second ball goes off Levi's hip guard and runs away for four leg-byes, before getting off the mark with a pull to square leg. Jarvis adds to the Proteas tally with a wide, trying too hard for pace and bounce. Amla then adds a cracking cut off the slower ball for a boundary,before sending the final ball to third man to make it 15 from it. A wayward over from the youngster, and not helping his side's cause.

Zimbabwe Ended On 93 For Eight This is Zimbabwe's second-lowest T20I total, and surely won't trouble the South African batsmen. The African minnows talked a big game in the build-up to the tournament, but haven't followed through, first against Sri Lanka and now against the Proteas. Their seamers and bowlers are going to have to bowl out of their socks in order to win this match. When/if they lose, that's the end of their campaign - and the South Africans and Sri Lankas will graduate to the Super Eights stage from this Group C.

Over 20 - Zim 93/8 (Price 7, Jarvis 9) Jarvis swinging away now, finding the middle on occasion and missing others. Kallis, searching for a maiden T20I five-for, doesn't fetch the feat. He does, however, keep the final total to under 100 despite a late four swatted past mid-off by Price.

Over 19 - Zim 86/8 (Price 3, Jarvis 6) That's the third or fourth direct-hit of the match, but again it can't beat the batsman to the line. Later - Jarvis, the recipients of three ducks in his previous three T20I innings, finally gets off the mark. Price, meanwhile, rides his luck, plugging a couple into no-man's land on the on-side. De Villiers doesn't like that, he reckons the fielders converging on the potential catch could have done so in quicker fashion. So concludes Albie Morkel's decent spell.

Over 18 - Zim 80/8 (Price 1, Jarvis 3) WICKET! Fourth wicket for Kallis, fourth catch for de Villiers. Ervine, like Utseya and Cremer before him, can't successfully negotiate the additional bounce, instead cramped by the line from the hand and elevation from the deck. The edge of Zimbabwean bats seeing plenty of leather today. Jarvis to the crease now. De Villiers, by the way, is the sixth wicketkeeper to achieve four dismissals in one T20I innings. No man has fetched five. Maybe AB will do that in the next two overs.

Over 17 - Zim 75/7 (Price 0, Ervine 36) Favour/disservice returned as Steyn replaces Morkel. On the brink of recording the most economical figures in the history of T20I cricket, he can't complete the job, instead conceding a four past thirdman from the bat of Ervine. So ends the drought of boundaries, which spanned as long as 8.2 overs. WICKET! A breakthrough quickly consoles Steyn, who welcomes his captain's acrobatic catch down the leg-side to get rid of Utseya. The batsman was caught off guard by the big bounce, which followed him to an extent. Trying to shoulder arms at the last moment, the right-hander couldn't avoid the ball glancing the shoulder of the bat. Price in now.

Over 16 - Zim 69/6 (Utseya 4, Ervine 31) Another change of bowling. Botha back, and back with a couple of lame full tosses at that. Utseya refuses to take on the substandard deliveries, instead just punting a tame single down the ground.

Over 15 - Zim 65/6 (Utseya 2, Ervine 29) Morne Morkel replaces Steyn - and immediately settles into a string of short balls to test Utseya. One of 'em is pretty rogue, sliding down the leg-side and called wide. Zimbabwe are going nowhere slowly here. Someone needs to tee off. Rather slog and get to 120 than defend out a total of under 100...

Over 14 - Zim 61/6 (Utseya 1, Ervine 28) Change of ends for Kallis. And more success. WICKET! Cremer went for the pull, the bounce got big on him, the pace was too quick for him. Just glove on that, and de Villiers pockets the catch down the leg-side. That's three wickets for Kallis, answering all the critics who say T20I cricket his not his forte. Utseya is the new man in.

Over 13 - Zim 58/5 (Cremer 4, Ervine 28) Just the one over for Kallis, who surely warranted a second after his double strike? Anyway, Steyn to continue. The over starts with a near run-out. Not for the first time today and maybe not the last, a direct-hit can't beat, marginally so, the batsman en route back to the crease. The pace ace, later, keeps his lines tight and his lengths effective throughout. We haven't had a boundary since the first ball of the eighth over.

Over 12 - Zim 57/5 (Cremer 3, Ervine 28) This ship is sinking, and a period of settling is in order. Cremer and Ervine, well aware of the need for an extended patch without further loss, duly drop anchor - across this tight over from Albie Morkel, at least.

Over 11 - Zim 51/5 (Cremer 0, Ervine 25) Kallis - and his veteran right-arm seam - into the attack. Notoriously good as a partnership-breaker, the Proteas need him to end this blossoming alliance. WICKET! Right on cue, he does just that, with Matsikenyeri flat-batting one straight to cover, where Peterson hangs onto a good catch. That's the end of a fine 35-run partnership. Chigumbura in now, and his stay lasts all of one delivery. WICKET! The right-hander is out lbw as plumb as they come. He had no idea about that one, caught on the backfoot when he should have been forward. The full length strikes him on the front pad dead in front of the stumps. The appeal is lodged in a flash, and the umpire's finger raised equally as quickly. Cremer in now, surviving the hat-trick ball. For the record, only one man has taken a WT20 hat-trick - Australian speedster Brett Lee.

Over 10 - Zim 51/3 (Matsikenyeri 11, Ervine 25) Albie Morkel back into the attack - and really puts his back into the third delivery of the over, finding some big bounce from this Hambantota pitch. Lucky not to have it called wide, actually, as Ervine really wasn't going to reach that aboveh his head. The next delivery, though, is a wide - correctly so, it slipped down the leg-side. So arrives the halfway mark of the innings, with Zimbabwe crawling along at a fraction more than five runs per over.

Over 9 - Zim 43/3 (Matsikenyeri 9, Ervine 21) Additional flight from Botha, but driven to the deep cover fence by Ervine, who then turns a single to midwicket. Wise rotation of the strike, indeed. Matsikenyeri later rides an appeal for lbw, surviving as umpire Davis deems the angle to be too wide of leg-stump. Right choice, attested to by a quick television replay. Nine runs off the over - the most expensive of the innings so far.

Over 8 - Zim 34/3 (Matsikenyeri 6, Ervine 16) Spin at both ends now. Left-armer Peterson into the attack. Ervine remains determined to advance down the track, while Matsikenyeri preffers the sweep. That said, Ervine - out of the blue - whips out a cheeky reverse-sweep, all the way to the fence for for. Peterson won't like that one bit. Nor should he. Oh the audacity of it all...

Over 7 - Zim 26/3 (Matsikenyeri 4, Ervine 11) Time for some spin, in the form of Botha's right-armers. Immediately in the channel, he lures the right-handed Matsikenyeri into a false shot. No harm, though. Ervine won't stay rooted to his crease, however, quickly dancing down the track to meet the ball at its pitch - duly caressing it through the on-side for a couple.

Over 6 - Zim 21/3 (Matsikenyeri 2, Ervine 8) A third over on the trot for Morne Morkel. Unlike his predecssor, no intent to swing for the fences from Matsikenyeri, who is intent on merely milking the odd single to the inner-ring fielders. Neither of these batsmen are genuine big-hitters, and that'll suffice for now. Zimbabwe need a period of calm. Chigumbura and the like can resume the punches later. So marks the end of the Powerplay.

Over 5 - Zim 17/3 (Matsikenyeri 1, Ervine 7) Change of bowling as Albie Morkel replaces Steyn, and is quickly welcomed into the attack by Ervine, who clobbers a poor length through cover for four. Television commentators Bishop and Mbangwa reckon Morkel is the weak link in this attack, but that's quite a preposterous suggestion. WICKET! And he proves stronger than suggestion, forcing Masakadza to hole out at mid-on. The awkward length undid the batsman, who was blindly determined to swing at anything put in front of him. Zimbabwe, again, in all sorts of trouble. An entirely flat campaign from them, indeed. Disappointing. Matsikenyeri, picked ahead of Waller, at the crease now - and plenty to prove.

Over 4 - Zim 11/2 (Masakadza 10, Ervine 1) WICKET! Taylor offers himself room to the leg-side, swiping for two but then edging the next. His intent was obvious but his technique lacking, and that's an easy catch behind the wickets for de Villiers and a second scalp for Morkel. Just two runs in two matches, and probably the end of his tournament, from the Zimbabwean captain. Ervine to the crease now, watching from the safety of the non-striker's end as Masakadza swats four down the ground to close the over with disdain.

Over 3 - Zim 4/1 (Masakadza 1, Taylor 2) De Villiers gives Steyn a second slip when Taylor is on strike. Rightly so. For Masakadza, though, just the one. In the end, and entirely tight over from Steyn despite Masakadza's finest effort to wield on the cut and heave on the slog. The right-hander swung at 'em all, missing both.

Over 2 - Zim 3/1 (Masakadza 2, Taylor 1) Morkel, Morne not Albie, to share the new ball with Steyn. His approach is a lot shorter than his fellow fast bowler, with Masakadza happy to take the attack to the bowler on the pull. WICKET! Morkel's double-bluff later gets rid of Sibanda, who plays right over a delivery he perhaps thought was going to be pitched short. The length crashes through the gate, with Sibanda's drive missing anything and everything. Bowled is the result. Taylor, eager to avoid a repeat of the first-ball duck he suffered against Sri Lanka, in now. And he does just that, sneaking a single behind square on the leg-side to get off the mark - and breathe a sigh of relief. Meanwhile, I'm fielding your thoughts on South Africa's decision to drop Faf du Plessis and bring in Farhaan Behardien. It's a travesty, in my humble opinion. Contact me at this email address.

Over 1 - Zim 1/0 (Masakadza 1, Sibanda 0) Pace ace Steyn gets first use of the new ball, enjoying some away swing at the start, which Masakadza is happy to leave alone. The seamer is happy to accrue this slew of dot balls, which ends when the right-hander charges the bowler, adjusts to the line, and punts a single to the covers.

Zimbabwe's Innings Handshakes, national anthems and other such pleasantries done and dusted, batsmen Sibanda and Masakadza, umpires Davis and Kettleborough and the South African XI head out to the middle for the start of play in front of a disappointingly small crowd.

Conditions Former West Indies fast bowler and pseudo pitch pundit Ian Bishop surveys the playing surface, finding plenty of grass cover for the seamers to take advantage of. There is bound to be swing on offer too. The weather, meanwhile, is a humid, sweaty 33 degrees Celsius. There was a bit of rain earlier, so that has cooled conditions down, but only a bit.

Zimbabwe have dropped Chris Mpofu in favour of Ray Price, while Stuart Matsikenyeri is in the middle order. Malcolm Waller is dropped, much like the catches he let go to ground in the first game.

Zimbabwe need to win this to stay in the tournament, while the Proteas have yet to play. They will want to win well here, given their failings in the unofficial series against the Zimbos in Harare earlier in the year. Richard Levi is getting another chance to show he's not a one-innings wonder, while Behardien plays only his second T20I.

South Africa have left Faf du Plessis out of the side. Here's their line-up: Levi, Amla, Kallis, AB, Duminy, Behardien, Albie, Botha, Robbie P, Steyn, M.Morkel.

Toss! South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl, looking at the grassy surface for the seamers.

Greetings Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of the World Twenty20 Group C clash between South Africa v Zimbabwe at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.

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