Proteas end series with record win: Match Review

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South Africa wrapped up a 3-0 series sweep over Zimbabwe after a massive 272-run victory, their biggest ever in one-day internationals.

AB de Villiers (109) and JP Duminy (129) starred with the bat in Benoni, sharing a record 219 partnership to help the hosts set 400 for victory.

The visitors struggled from the outset in their response, with Juan Theron grabbing three for 18 and two wickets each for Albie Morkel, Johan Botha and Wayne Parnell bowling them out for 127 in just 29 overs - Tatenda Taibu top scoring with 28.

It helped Graeme Smith's side seal their most emphatic win in ODI cricket, surpassing the 221-run margin again the Netherlands in 2007.

Both sides made two changes to their line-up for the clash at Willowmoore Park - Hamilton Masakadza and Ian Nicolson in for the visitors ahead of Grant Flower and Sean Williams.

The home side opted to rotate their bowlers, leaving out Charl Langeveldt and Robin Peterson with Botha and Morkel coming in, but it was their batsmen that again shone up front.

The visiting bowlers continued their struggles as Smith and Hashim Amla took 49 runs in the first five overs.

But the introduction of spin in the form of Prosper Utseya did find the breakthrough when the skipper was drawn down the wicket and stumped by Taibu for 26.

The persistent Shingirai Masakadza then enticed an edge to the wicketkeeper from Amla (24) to make it 59 for two.

But from that point on it was all South Africa as Duminy and De Villiers tore into the bowling.

After steadily taking the Proteas past 100 in the 16th over, they soon raced past the 100 stand in 102 balls, with their own half-centuries coming in 50 and 54 balls respectively.

Both had settled nicely by then and their attacking intent took their side to 199 after 30 overs.

De Villiers, who hit an unbeaten 101 in the last game, was first to bring up his ton from 91 balls in the 36th over, hitting five fours and four sixes along the way.

Duminy's followed two overs later from 96 deliveries before he lost his partner, who was caught at deep mid-wicket by Shingirai Masakadza off the bowling of brother Hamilton.

Morkel came in next and provided good support for the well-set Duminy as the 300 was raised in the 42nd over, with the latter then miscuing Nicolson to Keith Dabengwa.

But Morkel (37), Colin Ingram (20) and David Miller (33 not out) took them to an imposing 399 for six, their third highest score in 50-over cricket.

For the first time in the series Zimbabwe's opening partnership was broken early with Brendan Taylor (five) dismissed by Lonwabo Tsotsobe thanks to a well-judged catch by Theron on the third-man fence.

That left them at nine for one and they lost another wicket nine runs later - Hamilton Masakadza (five) mistiming Morkel to Theron.

The same bowler then dismissed Chamu Chibhabha (16) for his 50th ODI wicket - Amla playing his part with a fine diving catch at mid-off.

Taibu and Craig Ervine tried to rebuild with a 47-run stand, but the introduction of Botha in the 16th over spelt the end for the Zimbabweans.

With his first delivery he bowled Taibu for 28 and with the final one of the over did the same to Ervine for 24, meaning both set batsmen were gone with their side reduced to 80 for five.

One ball later captain Elton Chigumbura (one) was removed by Theron and Parnell then cleaned up the tail to dismiss the visitors with 21 overs to spare.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Bristol City
Graeme Smith (Footballer)

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