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Ken Borland

Taylor & Masakadza power Zim to title 0

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Ken

Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza powered Zimbabwe to an emphatic nine-wicket victory over South Africa in the final of the Pran RFL T20 Triangular Series at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.


While South Africa rested four key players in AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, the result was still a shock as Zimbabwe marked themselves as far more than just minnows in this version of the game.

Masakadza finished with an industrious 58 not out off 50 balls, with two sixes, while Taylor hammered an excellent 59 not out off 41 balls as Zimbabwe handed their big-brother neighbours a thorough hiding with 17 balls to spare.

South Africa clearly have a lot of work to do in the months remaining before the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka, with more being expected of the support players to their quartet of stars.

Chasing a competitive 147 for victory, Vusi Sibanda bashed 23 off 16 balls before 12th man Farhaan Behardien took a sensational catch at cover-point to dismiss him off Chris Morris.

But there was far more punishment to come as captain Taylor took advantage of a liberal supply of poor deliveries to race to a 32-ball half-century.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe travelled for 20 runs in his first two overs and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson was brought on in the sixth over.

But Taylor swept his first ball for six with superb timing and then hit fours through extra cover and backward point. Masakadza then launched the last ball of the over into the crowd beyond long-on and 21 runs had come from the over.

Masakadza and Taylor brought up their fifty partnership off 32 balls and Zimbabwe’s hundred took just 69 deliveries.

Tsotsobe, purportedly a definite for South Africa’s T20 squad, had a dreadful afternoon, conceding 43 runs in his four overs, but new-ball partner Morris looked dangerous and finished with a commendable one for 24 in his four overs, half of those runs coming from three edged boundaries off his bowling.

Wayne Parnell needs to sort out his no-ball problem in the practices between now and September in Sri Lanka, conceding 27 runs in 3.1 overs, which included another two no-balls.

The hapless Peterson, who had been the most consistent bowler heading into the final, had 35 runs taken off his three overs as the Zimbabweans clearly targeted the experienced spinner.

Then again, the home side played with the intensity and confidence normally associated with the South Africans and were clearly the better side throughout the final.

Faf du Plessis and Albie Morkel had earlier combined to lead South Africa to a comfortable 146 for six.

South Africa had won the toss and elected to bat first, but there were nervous times for the first half of the innings as six for two in the second over became 67 for five in the 12th.

But Du Plessis worked the ball around beautifully to score 66 off 57 balls, while Morkel smoked three fours and a six in his 34 not out off 23 balls, sharing a crucial sixth-wicket stand of 60 in seven overs.

Zimbabwe made a change to their bowling strategy by giving paceman Kyle Jarvis the new ball and he struck with the first ball of the match, an inswinger trapping a flatfooted Richard Levi lbw for a duck.

The start then became disastrous for South Africa when captain Hashim Amla (3) swung a short delivery from Christopher Mpofu to Malcolm Waller running round the square-leg boundary.

Du Plessis and Colin Ingram then added 39 for the third wicket, but it was hard work as Jarvis and Mpofu conceded just 15 runs in the first four overs and spinners Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer were as tight as ever.

There was also a crucial let-off for South Africa as Du Plessis, on 12, sliced Richard Muzhange into the covers but Stuart Matsikenyeri made a stupid mess of the catch.

Ingram fell for 19 when he edged an unsteady cut shot off leg-spinner Cremer to Utseya at short third-man, and Utseya then managed to remove Justin Ontong (5) by clasping a return catch between his legs.

Dane Vilas (2) was also off-balance while trying to cut and was caught behind off Waller to leave South Africa on a decidedly shaky 67 for five.

But the Titans pair of Du Plessis and Morkel, also IPL teammates at the Chennai Super Kings, batted with authority to stabilise the innings and seemingly give South Africa a good chance of avoiding another embarrassing defeat to their neighbours.

Morkel’s hitting power is known worldwide, but the left-hander faced only 23 balls in eight-and-a-half overs, collecting successive boundaries off Cremer at the start of the 13th over and then ending the innings with a majestic six over long-on off Muzhange.

Jarvis put a clamp on the scoring at the death though, and was rewarded with the wicket of Du Plessis, who hit a booming drive down the throat of long-on in the penultimate over.

Parnell hit a couple of clever boundaries in the final over as he finished on 12 not out off six balls.

The Zimbabwe bowlers, barring Muzhange, were all pretty much on target, with Jarvis the pick of the attack as he returned a superb two for 22 in four overs.

Proteas sent home with tails between their legs 0

Posted on June 29, 2012 by Ken

Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza blasted unbeaten half-centuries to send the Proteas back to South Africa with their tails between their legs as Zimbabwe won the Pran RFL T20 Triangular Series final by nine wickets at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

18th over – Zimbabwe win with 17 balls to spare as Wayne Parnell dishes up a horrible full toss and Taylor pulls it to the boundary for four.

17th over – Masakadza completes a great tournament by notching his fourth half-century, off 48 balls, pulling a feeble long-hop from Lonwabo Tsotsobe to the midwicket boundary. Masakadza celebrates by bashing the next two balls over mid-on and then mid-off for further boundaries.

15th over – Brendan Taylor completes a blazing 32-ball half-century in extraordinary fashion with six runs. He mistimes a pull off Tsotsobe into the leg side and the batsmen want to steal a second run. Tsotsobe is unable to gather the shy at the stumps, deflecting it past Robin Peterson, who is backing up rather tardily and Taylor gets a bonus four overthrows!

13th over – Masakadza neatly glances Wayne Parnell for four past fine leg.

12th over – Zimbabwe’s hundred is up off just 69 balls, but in fortuitous fashion as Masakadza edges the unlucky Chris Morris through the vacant slip for four.

11th over – Peterson delivers a long-hop which Masakadza massacres into the stands beyond midwicket.

9th over – Taylor brings up the fifty partnership with Masakadza off just 32 balls as he sweeps Peterson fine, with lovely timing, for four more runs.

7th over – Brilliant batting by Taylor as he ramps a Parnell bouncer over the slips for four!

6th over – Carnage as Peterson comes on to bowl and concedes 21 runs in his first over! Taylor greets him with a sweetly-struck sweep for six. The Zimbabwe captain then drives the left-arm spinner powerfully through extra cover for four, before Peterson’s third delivery is dropped a fraction short and Taylor cuts firmly for four more. Masakadza then adds to the pain by launching the last ball of the over for a massive six over long-on.

4th over – Vusi Sibanda is lucky as he top-edges a hook off Morris over the wicketkeeper for four, but is unlucky off the next ball as Farhaan Behardien, substituting for Albie Morkel, takes a brilliant catch at cover-point, snatching a full-blooded slash out of the air. WICKET – Sibanda is out for 23 off 16 balls, with three fours and a six. Zimbabwe captain Taylor comes to the crease and gets a friendly full toss from Morris first ball, stroking it through the covers for four.

3rd over – Tsotsobe starts his second over with a shortish, leg-side delivery and Sibanda flicks it over square-leg for six. Masakadza adds a second boundary in the over as he drives Tsotsobe crisply through mid-off.

2nd over – Another boundary to Vusi Sibanda in the second over as he top-edges a slash off Morris over the slips for four.

1st over – An eventful start to the Zimbabwe innings. Tsotsobe’s first ball straightens into the pads of Masakadza, who is trying to work the ball to leg, but a confident lbw appeal is turned down. The left-arm seamer’s next ball is a horrible wide down leg, followed by a no-ball. Sibanda bashes the free hit through the covers for four.

South Africa innings

South Africa finished around par thanks to Faf du Plessis’ half-century as they scored 146 for six against Zimbabwe in the Pran RFL T20 Triangular Series final at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

20th over – Wayne Parnell collects two boundaries in Richard Muzhange’s final over as he flicks a low full toss past the unfortunate Stuart Matsikenyeri at backward square-leg and then times a clever little chip shot to perfection to collect a one-bounce four over midwicket. Albie Morkel ends the innings in style as he shuffles down the pitch on off-stump, making the last ball a half-volley which he launches majestically over long-on for six.

19th over – WICKET – Du Plessis’ determined innings comes to an end as he opens his shoulders and aims a massive drive down the ground off Kyle Jarvis. Unfortunately it is higher than it is long and Du Plessis is caught by Hamilton Masakadza at long-on for 66 off 57 balls.

18th over – Wonderful batting by Du Plessis as he steps outside off stump again, goes down on one knee and scoops a full toss from Muzhange over his shoulder and the wicketkeeper for six!

17th over – Du Plessis scoops a low full toss from Jarvis just over a leaping short fine-leg for four runs.

16th over – South Africa’s hundred is up off 91 balls as Du Plessis steps across his stumps and flicks a full ball on leg stump from Muzhange fine for four.

15th over – Morkel ends a very tidy over with a short-arm pull off the hip for four as Christopher Mpofu drops short and on the pads.

13th over – Leg-spinner Graeme Cremer switches ends but Morkel collects boundaries off the first two balls of the over. The first delivery is short and Morkel leans back and pummels it through midwicket; the second is pitched outside leg stump and the left-hander paddles it fine for four more.

12th over – WICKET – An inspired bowling change as part-time off-spinner Malcolm Waller snares the scalp of Dane Vilas, who tries to cut on the move and ends up getting a thin edge, to be caught behind by Brendan Taylor for two.

11th over – WICKET – Justin Ontong (5) clips a low return catch to Prosper Utseya, the ball going through the off-spinner’s hands, but he completes the catch by trapping the ball between his legs!

8th over – WICKET – Leg-spinner Cremer comes on and takes a wicket with his second ball as Colin Ingram top-edges an off-balance cut to short third-man. Ingram is out for 19 off 20 balls.

6th over – Swashbuckling batting by Du Plessis as he dances down the pitch to new bowler Muzhange and slams him through the covers for four. Two balls later, Du Plessis is down the pitch again, meeting the medium-pacer on the full and square-driving him for four more. The over gets worse for Muzhange as Du Plessis is down the wicket again to the next ball, but this time it’s short and an attempted swing to the leg side is skied into the covers, but Stuart Matsikenyeri puts down the catch, reprieving Du Plessis on 12.

5th over – The introduction of spin in the form of Utseya finally brings the first boundary after four-and-a-half overs as Ingram skips down the pitch and launches the off-spinner high and handsome over long-on and on to the clubhouse roof. The second boundary follows two balls later as Ingram edges a slash for four runs to third man.

2nd over – WICKET – Oh no, this is a disastrous start now for South Africa as Hashim Amla (3) swings a short ball from Mpofu to Malcolm Waller running round the square-leg boundary.

1st over – WICKET – What a start for Zimbabwe as Richard Levi is out to the first ball of the match! Levi’s flatfooted prod is beaten by a fine inswinger from Jarvis and is trapped in front of middle stump, lbw for a duck!

SA thrash Zimbabwe & reach final 0

Posted on June 28, 2012 by Ken

South Africa thrashed Zimbabwe by six wickets with 14 balls to spare on Saturday and qualifed for the final of the Pran RFL T20 Triangular Series at Harare Sports Club.


Zimbabwe also made the final as both they and South Africa ended with two wins and a better nett run-rate than Bangladesh, but the hosts could only post 124 for six after winning the toss and batting first, and South Africa cruised to their target in the 18th over.

Hashim Amla was out first ball, brilliantly caught down the leg side by diving wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor off Christopher Mpofu, but Richard Levi and Faf du Plessis then added 55 for the second wicket in five overs.

Although Zimbabwe were able to get Du Plessis (14) out, also caught behind as he edged a lovely Kyle Jarvis away-swinger, in the sixth over, it was Levi who was doing most of the damage.

Hitting four fours and four sixes, Levi was able to get to his half-century off just 27 balls as Zimbabwe’s lack of firepower was exposed.

Anything remotely short was severely punished by the beefy opener as he made his way to 54 off 30 balls. Levi then drove a delivery from Richard Muzhange crisply to long-off and wanted a second run, but Mpofu fired in a superb throw to Taylor to catch him well short of his ground.

But Levi’s onslaught had left South Africa needing just 37 runs off 58 balls, providing the ideal platform for fringe batsmen Justin Ontong and Farhaan Behardien to get some time out in the middle.

Ontong scored 24 off 32 balls before he provided an easy wicket for part-time off-spinner Malcolm Waller by holing out at long-off, but Behardien finished on 19 not out off 27 balls, a morale-boosting innings for the Titans star.

Albie Morkel came in and hit his second ball over midwicket for six to clinch the victory.

Captain Taylor surprisingly only turned to leg-spinner Graeme Cremer (4-0-20-0) in the eighth over and Muzhange (3-0-20-0) in the 11th over, and they were Zimbabwe’s best bowlers.

Zimbabwe had earlier paid the price for losing wickets in pairs as they struggled to 124 for six.

It was always going to be a tough total to defend and, if South Africa had cruised to victory with a handful of overs to spare, it could have cost Zimbabwe a place in Sunday’s final. South Africa, who were bottom of the standings, had to win to progress.

Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first and the in-form Hamilton Masakadza got an early move on as he struck 36 runs off 30 balls.

But the non-support at the other end proved costly as Vusi Sibanda (9), Taylor (1), Waller (0) and Elton Chigumbura (5) all failed, Zimbabwe plunging to 60 for five in the 11th over.

Sibanda hit a wonderful six over backward square-leg off Lonwabo Tsotsobe in the third over, but the rest of his innings was a non-event and he was trapped lbw by Chris Morris, walking across his stumps and missing a swing to leg.

Zimbabwe ended the fifth over by losing their captain Taylor, caught off left-arm spinner Robin Peterson, and their nerves just got worse as Masakadza’s hot streak ended as he drove Wayne Parnell to extra cover, Behardien plucking a low catch off the turf in expert fashion.


Parnell, who started the tournament so disastrously, came out smoking on Saturday and once again took two wickets in an over, removing Waller two balls later, wicketkeeper Dane Vilas showing that he can pull off the tough catches as he dived low, one-handed to his right, to snap up a flatfooted drive.

Chigumbura can hit a long ball, but he managed just one four on Saturday before Parnell showed that he can bowl the unplayable delivery, getting one to just nip away from the batsman, who was on the drive to a good-length delivery, Vilas taking his second catch.

Parnell’s awesome burst of three for seven in three overs, including a double-wicket maiden, derailed the Zimbabwe innings and leg-spinner Du Plessis also bowled very well in the middle overs, conceding just 22 runs in four overs.

Stuart Matsikenyeri scored 22 to lift Zimbabwe to 92 for six, and Cremer also made valuable runs in the closing stages to lift the hosts to a competitive, if mediocre, total.

Paceman Morkel struck in his first over to have Matsikenyeri well-caught on the boundary by Du Plessis, but Zimbabwe will be grateful for Cremer, who played sensibly but struck the ball cleanly in amassing 36 not out off 27 balls, with four fours.

While Parnell won the man of the match award after finishing with three for 16, South Africa will be pleased that Morris looked the part, bowling an excellent last over to finish with one for 26 in his four overs. They will also be delighted with the work of their spinners – Du Plessis and the consistent Peterson (3-0-17-1).

SA thrash Zimbabwe, into final 0

Posted on June 27, 2012 by Ken

South Africa thrashed Zimbabwe by six wickets with 14 balls to spare on Saturday to reach the final of the Pran RFL T20 Triangular Series at Harare Sports Club.

18th over – Albie Morkel ends the match as he launches his second ball from Stuart Matsikenyeri over midwicket for six, South Africa reaching their target with 14 balls to spare.

17th over – WICKET – Justin Ontong gives his wicket away as he heaves a wide off-spinner from Malcolm Waller to long-off, Vusi Sibanda taking a running catch. Ontong scored 24 off 32 balls.

11th over – WICKET – A magnificent piece of fielding by Christopher Mpofu has run out Richard Levi! Levi drives Richard Muzhange crisply to long-off, Mpofu is in quickly from the boundary and unleashes a superb throw back to wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor that has Levi well short coming back for the second. Levi has once again produced the perfect start though, his quickfire 54 off 30 balls, with four sixes, all but settling the result.

10th over – A powerful sweep shot – well-placed too – brings four runs for Ontong off leg-spinner Graeme Cremer.

9th over – Six more runs to end the over for Richard Levi via a well-struck slog-sweep off Prosper Utseya.

6th over – WICKET – Kyle Jarvis makes a fine return as he has Faf du Plessis caught behind for 14. The batsman makes room for a big drive, but there is a bit of away swing and he edges an easy catch to wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor.

5th over – The introduction of spin – in the form of Utseya – proves disastrous as the off-spinner dishes up three short balls that are dispatched through the leg side for boundaries, one by Du Plessis and two by Levi.

4th over – Elton Chigumbura comes on but drops short and Levi dispatches the ball behind square-leg for four. The next delivery is in the arc and Levi shows magnificent timing as he just flicks the ball over midwicket and out the ground for six! The over costs 15 runs as Levi edges the last ball to third man for four.

3rd over – Du Plessis waltzes down the pitch to Christopher Mpofu and lashes him over wide mid-off for four.

2nd over – Levi ends the over with successive sixes off paceman Jarvis! The first is beautifully walloped over long-on, the second just flicked over square-leg.

1st over – Levi gets off the mark with a single off the second ball of the over, but Hashim Amla is then out first ball! WICKET – Amla tries to glance a short ball from Mpofu down the leg side, but there is some extra bounce and wicketkeeper Taylor takes a superb catch, diving low to his left as the edge made the ball die on him.

Zimbabwe innings

Zimbabwe posted 124 for six – a tough total to defend – in the decisive Pran RFL T20 Triangular Series match against South Africa at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

19th over – The superb Wayne Parnell bowls the penultimate over but his first ball is too short and Graeme Cremer smashes a pull in front of midwicket for four.

17th over – Cremer expertly paddles Lonwabo Tsotsobe from outside off stump, past short fine leg for four.

16th over – Albie Morkel is introduced into the attack and claims a wicket with his fourth delivery. WICKET – Stuart Matsikenyeri skies a slog to long-on and is out for 22 off 29 balls as Faf du Plessis judges the steepling catch very well. Morkel ends the over with a short delivery which Cremer hits for four with a crunching pull shot.

15th over – Cremer leans back and cuts Robin Peterson with such force he loses his balance and topples over! But he’s made good contact and Tsotsobe can’t stop the ball crossing the point boundary.

14th over – Well-struck by Matsikenyeri as he bashes Du Plessis through mid-off, beating long-off to the boundary.

12th over – A good sweep shot by Matsikenyeri brings him four runs off leg-spinner Du Plessis.

11th over – Elton Chigumbura lashes a shortish delivery from Parnell through backward point for four. But the left-arm paceman responds with an excellent delivery, perfect length and just nipping away a touch, and Chigumbura’s flatfooted drive edges a straightforward catch to wicketkeeper Dane Vilas. Chigumbura took 12 balls to score five runs.

9th over – Just like he did yesterday, Parnell takes two wickets in an over! WICKET – The in-form Hamilton Masakadza drives at a full delivery, but is a bit cramped and Farhaan Behardien scoops up a fine catch low at extra cover. Masakadza looked set for his fourth successive half-century but his innings ends at 36 off 30 balls, with four fours and a six. WICKET – Two balls later, Malcom Waller edges a flatfooted drive at a full, wide delivery, and is out for a duck as wicketkeeper Vilas dives low to his right to take a brilliant one-handed catch.

6th over – Two boundaries for Masakadza in the Tsotsobe over as he backs away and gets a shortish delivery up and over cover-point and then dispatches a short ball that sits up through midwicket.

5th over – WICKET – Peterson strikes at the end of his first over as Taylor tries to flick the left-arm spinner through midwicket, but gets a leading edge and Tsotsobe runs round from mid-on to take the catch. The Zimbabwe captain is out for just a single.

4th over – Chris Morris comes back well as he removes Sibanda for nine and just five runs come from the over. WICKET – Sibanda steps right across his stumps and misses a swing to leg, and is plumb leg-before-wicket.

3rd over – Too straight and in the slot from Tsotsobe and Sibanda flicks the ball elegantly over backward square-leg for another six! Masakadza then hops down the pitch and flat-bats Tsotsobe just past Sibanda for a brutal boundary.

2nd over – Masakadza takes 10 runs off the last two balls of Morris’s opening over. He flicks a leg-side delivery off his pads, straight past Lonwabo Tsotsobe at short fine leg for four, and then hops down the pitch outside leg-stump and slaps Morris over the covers for a stunning six.

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