Hamilton: David Miller and JP Duminy each scored an unbeaten century to help South Africa recover from a top order collapse to put a big 339-4 total and eventually record a 62-run victory in their opening World Cup match against Zimbabwe here at Seddon Park.
Batting first, Zimbabwe reduced one of the top title contenders South Africa to 83-4 before Miller and Duminy anchored Proteas inning.
Miller scored unbeaten 138 runs off 92 balls. His inning included nine sixes and seven boundaries. Duminy scored unconquered 115 off 100 balls, which included three sixes and nine boundaries. The two players scored 256 runs for the fifth wicket stand.
Earlier, South African top order comprising of dangerous Quinton de Kock (7 runs), Hashim Amla (11 runs), Faf du Plessis (24 runs) and skipper AB de Villiers (25 runs) were removed cheaply by Zimbabwean pacers.
Tendai Chatara, Tinashe Panyangara, Elton Chigumbura and Tafadzwa Kamungozi took one wicket each.
Zimbabwe, in response, started the run chase surprising well and at one stage it even seemed Zimbabwe could pull a sensational upset with team’s score of over 200 with seven wickets in 35th over.
But then onwards, Zimbabwe started to lose wickets regularly and finally South Africa bundled Zimbabwe out in 48.2 overs with after they had scored 277 runs.
Hamilton Masakadza batted impressively and scored 80 off 74 balls. Opener Chamu Chibhabha (64 runs) and Brendan Taylor (40 runs) batted well for the side.
South Africa must thank spinner Imran Tahir, who took important wickets of Masakadza and Chibhabha and returned with impressive match figures of 3-36 in ten overs.
Vernon Philander took two wickets in his eight overs and conceded 30 runs. Morne Morkel also took two wickets and conceded 49 runs in 8.2 overs.
South Africa’s top pacer Dale Steyn looked out of touch as he conceded 64 runs in nine overs and claimed only a single wicket. Duminy also took a wicket while conceding 45 runs in eight overs. All-rounder Farhaan Behardien conceded 40 runs off five overs.