JOHANNESBURG – The Proteas, led by their seamers, produced a dominant display with the ball in Potchefstroom on Friday night to claim the T20 International series against Zimbabwe with one match left to play.
Dane Paterson (2/22), Rob Frylinck (2/20) and Andile Phehlukwayo (0/15) kept the Zimbabweans tied down - especially Phehlukwayo in the ‘middle overs’ - with clever changes in pace, but more important deadly accuracy.
Their lengths, on a slightly slower pitch than is normally the case at Senwes Park, were consistent too and Zimbabwe, who’d won the toss, weren’t able to impart any pressure as they reached just 132/7 in their 20 overs.
Sean Williams top scored with 41 off only 28 balls, taking advantage of a loose final over from left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi but there was little else from the touring team’s batsmen who have struggled throughout the tour.
Paterson, one of three changes to the South African side that won comfortably in East London on Tuesday, produced a performance akin to those that have proved so effective at domestic level for the Cobras.
His line was straight and both his wickets were bowled, the first thanks to a bit of help from a dreadful shot by Solomon Mire, and the second when Williams played around one which hit his leg-stump.
SERIES VICTORY! 💚
That’s it at Senwes Park, as the Proteas seal a six-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the 2nd KFC T20 International. JP Duminy finishes unbeaten on 33 off 26 balls.
The Proteas take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series. #SAvZIM #ProteaFire #KFCT20 pic.twitter.com/1u977Tqy5O
Phehlukwayo, who can often try too many variations, kept things relatively simple Friday night, also targeting the stumps and not giving the Zimbabwean batsmen room.
He conceded just one boundary - a fine straight blow from Brendan Taylor - and the pressure he created led to errors from the visitors.
Frylinck followed suit, again demonstrating why he is such an effective bowler in this shortest format.
Shamsi very much under the spotlight following a poor display in East London - and in the last ODI in Paarl last Saturday - had an improved showing.
Besides a silly ‘stutter step’ a couple of times in his approach to the crease - for which he appeared to be warned by umpire Shaun George - he maintained discipline of both line and length, until his final over.
He was unlucky to see Rassie van der Dussen drop Williams over the boundary rope, but then it all went awry as he seemed to panic, conceding a further 18 runs in the over, which saw his figures badly damaged. He finished with 1/37 in four overs.
South Africa’s chase was not without a few hiccups as they lost three wickets inside the first eight overs.
But they kept finding the boundary, with JP Duminy, playing some elegant strokes in his innings of 33 not out, which came off 26 balls and included three fours and a six.
The final match of the series will be played in Benoni on Sunday.
Result from Senwes Park:
South Africa 135/4
South Africa won by 6 wickets