Faf du Plessis last played for the Proteas against Sri Lanka in August. Photo: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

He’s back! After sitting out the first two matches against Zimbabwe, captain Faf du Plessis is fit again and will lead the Proteas in the final ODI at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday.

Cricket South Africa announced on their Twitter account on Friday afternoon that Du Plessis has been cleared, having missed the 120-run victory in Bloemfontein on Wednesday and the five-wicket win in Kimberley last weekend.

Du Plessis has been nursing a shoulder injury that he sustained in a one-dayer against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in August, and was hoping to be ready for the Zim series after being named in the squad.

But it was not to be, and JP Duminy took over the captaincy.

The right-hander’s return comes at just the right time for a South African batting unit that have surprisingly failed to fire against the lowly-rated Zimbabwe attack.

They lost five wickets in chasing a modest 118-run target – which they wanted to reach in 20 overs – in Kimberley, and then needed fast bowler Dale Steyn to rescue the innings in Bloemfontein.

Steyn, playing in his first ODI after two years, scored his maiden half-century in the format and got to a vital 60 that laid the foundation for the Proteas to finish on 198 all out.

It will be interesting to see who coach Ottis Gibson and the selectors decide to leave out of the top-order, with Aiden Markram having partnered Dean Elgar in the openers’ slots as Hashim Amla (finger) is injured and Quinton de Kock has been rested, and Reeza Hendricks at No 3.

 

IOL Sport