The first T20I game once again proved to be one-sided affair as South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 34 runs.
Imran Tahir has been in splendid form and picked up a five-wicket haul to dismiss Zimbabwe for 126 runs in 17.2 overs. Leg-spinner was brought into the attack in the initial over of the innings and picked up wickets to see Zimbabwe in all sorts of trouble.
In pursuit of 161 runs, Zimbabwe got off to a worse possible start as Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda perished for low scores. South Africa’s premier spinner Imran Tahir picked up three wickets in his first two-over spell to see Zimbabwe reeling at 11 for 3 after 3.2 overs.
Brendan Taylor did all the hard to get off to decent start and away it while trying to go for a big shot. Pacer Junior Dala picked up his first wicket by removing Taylor in the seventh over of the innings. Sean Williams played well and added 25 runs with Peter Moor.
Imran Tahir once again struck immediately in his second spell and removed Williams and Elton Chigumbura in successive deliveries to see Zimbabwe reduced to 65 for 6 after 11.5 overs. Peter Moor produced a valiant display with the bat and scored 44 off 21 balls with the help of five sixes. South Africa dismissed the tail quickly to win the game and take 1-0 in the three-match T20I series.
Earlier in the game, South Africa got off to shaky start as Quinton de Kock and debutant Gihahn Cloete perished early in the innings. Debutant Rassie Van der Dussen came to the crease and formed 41 run partnership with Captain Faf du Plessis to put South Africa back on track to post a decent total on the board.
Du Plessis looked in nice touch with the bat and chipped in with 34 off 20 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes. He was dismissed by Brendan Mavuta while trying to go for big shot. Van der Dussen played sensibly in his debut game and rotated the strike beautifully to add 87 runs with David Miller.
Left-handed batsman David Miller also produced a brisk innings in his return to the national side and scored 39 off 34 balls with the help of two sixes. Van der
Dussen top scored for South Africa with 56 off 44 balls. His innings helped South Africa post 160 for 6 from their 20 overs. Kyle Jarvis and Chris Mpofu bowled well and picked up five wickets between them.
For his superb bowling performance, Imran Tahir was named man of the match. The second T20I game will be played at Potchefstroom on Friday.