An unbeaten century by Theunis de Bruyn helped South Africa ‘A’ make a strong start to their tour of Zimbabwe as they comfortably beat their hosts by six wickets in Harare on Saturday.
Batting first, the tourists conceded a hefty 319 for nine at the Harare Sports Club, but they then delivered an authoritative response by charging to the target with 43 balls to spare.
De Bruyn was at the forefront of the chase – smashing six sixes and seven fours in an unbeaten 113 off just 64 deliveries – while Janneman Malan (82 off 76 balls, 11 fours, 2 sixes) and Reeza Hendricks (52 off 56 balls, 6 fours) also recorded half-centuries.
Together with 49 from captain Zubayr Hamza, they gave Malibongwe Maketa’s side a good start to the series, which is made up of four one-dayers and two four-day encounters, all in the capital.
The South Africans would not have been too happy with the way they bowled, though, as they were punished by Tadiwanashe Marumani (82 off 73 balls, 9 fours, 3 sixes) initially and then the excellent Dion Myers (96 off 91 balls, 5 fours, 4 sixes).
There were also handy contributions by Chamu Chibhabha (37) with Zimbabwe, at one stage 270 for three, looking set for an even bigger total.
But they were then pegged back as Dwaine Pretorius (3/39) and Lutho Sipamla (3/40) ended with three wickets apiece.
The visitors lost Ryan Rickelton (4) early in the chase, but Malan and Hendricks put on 115 for the second wicket, before both fell in quick succession.
Hamza and De Bruyn then took over, though, combining for a rapid 124-run stand that came in just 14 overs for the fourth wicket. After the skipper fell, Senuran Muthusamy (12*) joined De Bruyn to complete the job.
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