Zimbabwe win tri-series final

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South Africa were hopeless in their demise as Zimbabwe capped a fine week to win the unofficial Twenty20 tri-series final by nine wickets at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

South Africa were hopeless in their demise as Zimbabwe capped a fine week to win the unofficial Twenty20 tri-series final by nine wickets at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

Beaten by the hosts and Bangladesh earlier in the tournament, the Proteas' corrective measures – at the crease and in the field – were entirely inadequate.

Faf du Plessis was the mainstay with the bat, while Chris Morris' right-arm seam proved solid. The rest, though, have plenty of questions to ask of themselves at the end of a poor tour.

Sure not to buck the norm after winning the toss, visiting captain Hashim Amla duly opted to bat first. The decision brought his side a total of 146 for six, but really they would have wanted considerably more on either side of du Plessis' half-century.

However, Richard Levi's duck and Amla's three didn't oblige. Neither did Justin Ontong's five nor Justin Ontong's two. Were it not for Albie Morkel's late-innings cameo of 34 not out from 23 balls, the final tally might not have reached much more than 110.

Either way, it was not enough.

Zimbabwe promptly backed a fine showing in the field with more dominance with the bat. Vusi Sibanda perished at gully for 23 to afford the South Africans momentary hope, but that ambition was ultimately stifled by Hamilton Masakadza (58 not out) and Brendan Taylor (59 not out).

Man of the Match Taylor and Player of the Series Masakadza had formed the backbone of Zimbabwe's batting in the build-up to the final, and Sunday was no different.

The duo were near faultless in their unbeaten 117-run alliance inside 14 overs that ensured victory with all of 17 deliveries to spare.

Taylor was particularly telling in his attack of spinner Robin Peterson, while Masakadza was happy to bid his time against Morris before attacking Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

The Proteas endured another substandard effort in the deep and, although they didn't drop any catches this time, will be questioned for their shoddy ground fielding.

While their preparations for the World Twenty20 were far from polished, Zimbabwe will feel pretty pleased ahead of September's limited-overs showpiece in Sri Lanka.

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