South Africa claimed an unconvincing 45-run win against Zimbabwe in the first ODI in Potchefstroom.
Needing an improbable 296 to win, the visitors were in massive trouble at 44-4 in the 17th over, before an unbeaten 103 from Tatenda Taibu and 86 from Stuart Matsikenyeri saw them finish on a respectable 250-6.
Ryan McLaren, making his ODI debut, finished with 3-51 from his 10 overs with Dale Steyn taking 2-51 in his. While Charl Langeveldt (33 runs off eight overs) and Johan Botha (41 off 10) didn’t take a wicket, they were the hosts’ most economical bowlers.
Earlier in the day, Hashim Amla top scored for the Proteas with 80 off 96 balls, before hitting a short ball from Graeme Cremer down Mark Vermeulen’s throat. AB de Villiers (51 off 51 balls) and Albie Morkel (50* off 39) also made good contributions.
South Africa 295-5 (50 overs)
Hashim Amla 80, AB de Villiers 51, Albie Morkel 50*, Ray Price 3-44*
Zimbabwe 250-6 (50 overs)
Tatenda Taibu 103*, Stuart Matsikenyeri 86, Ryan McLaren 3-51, Dale Steyn 2-51
South Africa won by 45 runs
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