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One-off Test: South Africa thump Zimbabwe by 9 wickets

The South Africans easily chased the 41-run target they needed in their second innings, finishing on 44-1 to seal the victory at Harare.

Associated Press |August 12, 2014, 8:54 PM IST
One-off Test: South Africa thump Zimbabwe by 9 wickets

South Africa beat Zimbabwe by nine wickets inside four days in the one-off Test at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday to reinforce their position as the top-ranked team.

The South Africans easily chased the 41-run target they needed in their second innings, finishing on 44-1 to seal victory and follow up a series win over Sri Lanka last month under new captain Hashim Amla.

South Africa earlier bowled Zimbabwe out for 181 in their second innings after offspinner Dane Piedt took 4-62 to increase his match haul to eight wickets on debut. Fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel picked up three wickets each in the second innings, as Zimbabwe's initial resistance was swept away and it slumped from 98-2, losing eight wickets for 83 runs on the final afternoon.

Steyn, the top-ranked bowler in tests, finished with match figures of 8-84 and South Africa was seldom in trouble on a slow, lifeless pitch in Harare that the visiting batsmen and bowlers both took a little time to work out.

"Very satisfied with the win, we played well through the day," South Africa's AB de Villiers said. "Test cricket is all about playing well away from home."

Zimbabwe fought hard and had their own offspinner making a successful debut. John Nyumbu took 5-157 in South Africa's telling first innings of 397 to give the strugglers a positive outlook despite their batting collapse on the last day.

"We were competitive for three days and were blown away after lunch today," Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor said. "A lot of positives for us. Nyumbu has been in first-class form for a number of years. Full credit to him."

Playing their first Test in a year and first against South Africa in a decade, Zimbabwe made 256 batting first, relying heavily on Taylor's 93. South Africa's Piedt returned 4-90 in his first bowl in tests and was an instant success when he removed Mark Vermeulen with his first ball, a delivery that turned sharply from outside the off stump on a pitch that helped the spinners more than anyone.

Steyn had enough pace and skill to trouble the Zimbabweans despite the pitch to take 5-46 in the first innings, his 24th career five-wicket haul.

South Africa replied with 397, with Faf du Plessis making 98, Quinton de Kock 81, and JP Duminy 55.

Opener Vusi Sibanda gritted his way to 45 as Zimbabwe held off the South Africans at the start of the second innings, but he and Vermeulen fell in successive overs to start the collapse.

Steyn had 3-38 and Morkel 3-15 to back up Piedt, who won the man of the match prize.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9349 260
see more