Zimbabwe 210 for 5 (G Flower 22*, Whittall 5*) lost to South Africa (363 for 3) by 153 runs
So it was as it was always going to be, a massive victory for South Africa. Zimbabwe’s batsmen just didn’t have the tools to chase such a mammoth total, especially against bowlers of the calibre of Shaun Pollock.
Hope finally pranced away when a sweep from Craig Wishart (45) was caught by Jacques Kallis, running in from backward point, off Claude Henderson (189 for 6).
There was just time for Grant Flower to be dropped by Pollock at midwicket off Makhaya Ntini, and for some joke bowling by Neil McKenzie and Jonty Rhodes, before the 50 overs were up. The Zimbabweans weren’t smiling very much though – this was humiliation.
The South Africans had earlier smashed their way to 363, a new record for them in one-day-internationals (328 was their previous best, against the Netherlands in the 1996 World Cup), led by Herschelle Gibbs, who was Man of the Match for his magnificent 125. His hundred, off 84 balls, was the quickest by a South African in one-day internationals. When he bats like this, Cronjegate is forgotten.
But all the South African top order contributed, as did all the Zimbabwe bowlers – who won’t want to read their figures to their children tonight. They have just under a week to get over their pummelling before the next encounter at Harare on Saturday.
40 overs – Zimbabwe 176 for 4 (Wishart 34*, G Flower 5*) need 188 runs with ten overs left
It was looking impossible for Zimbabwe as the mathematics failed to add up at Bulawayo. They needed more than 18 runs an over to overtake South Africa’s mammoth 363 – and with Alistair Campbell out, the signs weren’t good.
Campbell was bowled by the fourth ball of Shaun Pollock’s second spell – caught and bowled for 81, off 118 balls (157 for four).
South Africa’s bowlers have been the biggest difference between the teams, despite Herschelle Gibb’s 125. Where Travis Friend and even Heath Streak fell to pieces under the batting onslaught, Andre Nel and Shaun Pollock have kept things as tight as the laces on a proud new schoolboy’s shoe.
Craig Wishart has taken on the mantle of slogger-in-chief, but despite a lovely on-drive or two, he wasn’t convincing anyone that he had a chance of leading Zimbabwe to an unlikely victory.
30 overs – Zimbabwe 133 for 3 (Campbell 67*, Wishart 15*)
Everything rested with Alistair Campbell, as Zimbabwe’s required run-rate rose rapidly to 11.5 an over. He and Andy Flower had put on 54 before Flower was run-out by a typical piece of Jonty Rhodes magic from backward point (97 for 3).
Flower, still in magnificent form, cutting Makhaya Ntini for four in successive balls and then lolloping him over long off for six, made 34 – and all but eight of them came in boundaries.
As the overs ticked away Campbell took six and four off Claude Henderson, and then Craig Wishart gave Jacques Kallis a taste of his own medicine by pulling him to the boundary. But you couldn’t help thinking that it was too little too late.
15 overs – Zimbabwe 49 for 2 (Campbell 31*, A Flower 3*)
Things couldn’t really get much worse for Zimbabwe after their record pummelling, so it came as little surprise when Dion Ebrahim edged to Lance Klusener at slip off the bowling of Andre Nel, in only the second over of their reply (6 for one).
Ebrahim made a third ball duck, setting the tone for a funereal response. Alistair Campbell and Hamilton Masakadza, making his one-day-international debut, were plodding along at three runs an over when an over-ambitious piece of tip-and-run from Masakadza resulted in a direct hit by Boeta Dippenaar, swooping in from mid-off.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Much now rests, as ever, on Andy Flower. With the run-rate in excess of eight an over, even he will be hard-pushed to change the course of this match.
50 overs – South Africa 363 for 3 (Rhodes 54*,Klusener 10*)
And it ended with a four, as Lance Klusener blasted Travis Friend for the 37th boundary of a tearaway South African display. Not a batsman failed as Zimbabwe were made to suffer for panicking under strokeplay straight out of the multiplex.
Despite losing the unstoppable Herschelle Gibbs for 125 in the 35th over, Jacques Kallis, Jonty Rhodes and Klusener managed to bludgeon their way to another 92 in the final ten.
Kallis and Rhodes had put on 102 for the third wicket when Kallis, who had just swatted Friend over the long-on boundary for six, top-edged him to Andy Flower for 83 off 86 balls (346 for 3). He was out, for the first time on the tour, but he had made many more friends than during the Tests. His reverse-sweep of Grant Flower for six will still be tantalising tastebuds when his Harare forward defensives are long forgotten.
Jonty Rhodes pulled and drove with gusto, keeping up the tempo, and went to his fifty off 37 balls. The Zimbabwean bowlers were bowed, especially the faster men, more especially Friend. His initial four overs had gone for 47, his last three, bowling at the death, went for 26. A triumph of sorts.
40 overs – South Africa 271 for 2 (Kallis 52*, Rhodes 12*)
Eventually the knockabout fun had to end and Herschelle Gibbs was dismissed, lbw to a legcutter from Heath Streak for 125 (244 for 2). He and Jacques Kallis had put on 91. It was an awe-inspiring innings stuffed with 15 fours, two sixes and bagful of spine-tingling star-quality.
With Gibbs’s departure went the passion, with the incoming Jonty Rhodes came placement and tip-and-run. Kallis, despite hitting only three boundaries in his fifty (off 55 balls), had second-fiddled to Gibbs with aplomb, playing with adeptness and skill.
The Zimbabwean bowlers had fought back from the demoralising position of going at more than ten runs an over to peg the South Africans back to just over six. Paul Strang deserved a big pat on the back for his ten over stint for a relatively cheap 56. Will Heath Streak dare bring back Travis Friend (four overs for 47) in the final ten?
20 overs – South Africa 162 for 1 (Gibbs 84*, Kallis 3*)
The run-rate slowed slightly – from ten to eight an over – as the fielding restrictions kicked in, but South Africa were still lording it over Zimbabwe in front of a large crowd at Bulawayo.
Gary Kirsten, who had been lucky to get away with an lbw shout from Paul Strang when 47, moved to his fifty with a sweep – off a relatively stately 41 balls (Herschelle Gibbs needed only 30). He moved smoothly onward until he misjudged a flipper from Strang and was this time given lbw for 66 off 59 balls (153 for 1).
Meanwhile Gibbs continued to mix invention with convention, whalloping 56 of his 84 runs to the boundary. Zimbabwe must hope that Jacques Kallis will pick up where he left off in the last Test – slow, unadventurous and dull – rather than join in the fun.
10 overs – South Africa 104 for 0 (Kirsten 43*, Gibbs 53*)
And the carnival continued at Bulawayo with both Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs partying as if this was their day off.
After they’d seen off Travis Friend (four overs for 47 runs), they tucked into the rest of the bowling with even more relish. Kirsten smashed Mluleki Nkala for three successive fours in his first over – including two dismissively dispatched from over his own head.
Gibbs sped to his fifty with his third four off an over from Heath Streak – it had taken him just 30 balls and included nine fours and two sixes.
The run-rate was ten an over and rising and Streak was forced to bring on Paul Strang in the 11th over in an attempt to stem the unstoppable flow. You didn’t fancy his chances.
4 overs – South Africa 33 for 0(Kirsten 14*, Gibbs 15*)
South Africa made a rollicking start to the first one-day international after winning the toss at Bulawayo. And Travis Friend bore the brunt of their batting ardour.
His first over went for eight runs, but that was a sweet nothing compared to his next offering. His second over contained one no-ball, two wides, a huge six off the front foot followed by an electric four, care of Herschelle Gibbs. After two overs his figures were 0 for 25. Not exactly what Heath Streak was looking for.
Zimbabwe have given a one-day debut to Hamilton Masakadka and South Africa one to Claude Henderson.