Proteas ready to bloom and boom against Zimbabwe
All signs point to a resounding Pro- teas victory in Potchefstroom this Friday night (12 October) when the Proteas face their cricketing neighbours, Zimbabwe, in the second KFC T20 international at Senwes Park.
One only has to take a quick detour into the record books to refresh the memory and realise that South Africa have never lost a T20 international against Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the Proteas have never lost a competitive match against Zimbabwe in Potchefstroom. They are looking to keep this record in tact against the Zimbabweans with a fervent Potch crowd fully behind them.
The atmosphere at Senwes Park is always special whenever the Proteas come to town and this Friday will be no different. Excitement is sure to bubble over in the form of patriotic flag waving and cardboard signs enshrining the heroes.
The Proteas arrived in Potch on Wednesday with a T20 side filled with both youth and experience as they look to clinch the T20 series with a win here. The return of Faf du Plessis is a great boost for the Proteas after an injury layoff kept him in the dressing room last month at the start of the ODI series. Likewise, the veteran guile of Imran Tahir, aggressive consistency of JP Duminy and the bludgeoning batting of David Miller will also be key to a South African victory.
SA will look to speedsters Lungi Ngidi, Junior Dala, Dane Paterson and Andile Phehlukwayo to get the breakthroughs in this series. The efficiency of this bowling attack will be tested against Zimbabwe, and if they perform, they will most definitely stake their claim as T20 regulars for the future.
Former Dragons batsman, Rassie van der Dussen, who scored a debut half-century in the first KFC T20 International will look to shine on familiar turf. Van der Dussen is renowned as a powerful hitter and locals will surely appreciate his inclusion. Christiaan Jonker is another new kid on the intrenational block who could show his talent if given the chance. Zimbabwe though will try their level best to place a few potholes in SA’s road to victory and a moment of bril- liance could be all it takes in the always unpredictable T20 format.
One thing that Zimbabwe can count on is experience in the middle with Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor, who will have to score big on a historically good batting track at Senwes Park.
If opener Solomon Mire gets a good start, Zimbabwe might fancy their chances too. Zimbabwe’s bowling lineup might well be a little thin to restrict South Africa, but the experience of spinner Sean Williams could be key to slowing things down if pace bowlers Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis leak some runs. Williams has also been due for a solid innings that does justice to his potential and he might show his worth this Friday with a solid knock. Simply put, Zimbabwe’s top players will have to fire on all cylinders, otherwise it could be a long night under floodnight skies for captain Masakadza and his men.
The T20 international between South Africa and Zimbabwe starts at 18:00 and promises to be a cracker of a match.
• South Africa win by 7 wickets. Bloemfontein October 8, 2010
• South Africa win by 8 runs. Kimberley October 10, 2010
• South Africa win by 10 wickets. Hambantota, September 20, 2012
• The Proteas have played against Zimbabwe in Potchefstroom on two occasions.
Both of these matches were One Day Internationals. The first match was on 20 September 2006, and SA won by 171 runs. This was a memorable match where SA wicketkeeper, Mark Boucher, smashed 147* from 68 balls.
• The second encounter came in 2010. SA once again beat Zimbabwe, this time by 8 wickets in a somewhat tighter encounter than the Proteas’ previous demolition job of the Zimbabweans.
• Zimbabwe has only beaten South Africa twice previously. The first was a 48-run defeat at Chelmsford during the 1999 Cricket World Cup. The second was a 2-wicket victory in a triangular series in Durban in 2000.
• The most successful bowler for SA in T20 internationals is Jacques Kallis with 4 wickets. Zimbabwe’s former spinner, Prosper Utseya, has taken the most wickets for Zimbabwe against SA with 4 as well.
• JP Duminy has scored the most runs in T20 internationals against Zimbabwe with 131 runs. Second on the list is Chamu Chibabha who has 111 runs to his name.
Lungi Ngidi has the chance to increase his reputation as one of SA’s finest young fast bowlers when he returns to Potchefstroom. Ngidi previously played Varsity Cricket for Tuks at Senwes Park and has a good knowledge of the wicket. Ngidi made a bright start to his International T20 career having taken 7 wickets in 5 matches at a miserly economy rate of 5.42.
Expect Ngidi to ruffle Zimbabwean feathers on Friday.
JP Duminy has had a fantastic 2018 after a number of below par performances for the Proteas the previous year. Duminy will be one of the Proteas’ main run accumulators in the middle and end of the innings and will look to play the anchor role to add stability to the lineup. Duminy can also clear the boundary with ease and his big hitting ability cannot be underestimated.
Klaasen has been a revelation for the Proteas and the wicketkeeper batsman is now showing that years of patience for a Proteas call-up has now turned into a fruitful exercise. Klaasen can smash a ball a mile and this exciting right hander will look to continue with the solid form he showed during the ODI series against Zimbabwe.
The Proteas will welcome back David Miller with open arms into the cauldron at Senwes Park where he achieved his record-breaking T20 hundred against Bangladesh a year ago. If Miller is on song, another blazing 50 or destructive 100 could be on the cards. When it is Miller Time, not much can be done to stop this boundary smashing machine.
The highly experienced Zimbabwe captain will have to put in a sterling performance in Potch if his side wants to meet the challenge. Masakadza is the current leading run scorer for Zimbabwe in T20 cricket and this stylish right hander will have to pile on the runs. If he gets going, spectators might expect a few balls to crash into and over the boundary into the grass banks of Senwes Park.
Taylor has just returned to the international scene. Zimbabwe’s stylish batsman has enough experience to take his side to a win. Taylor usually plays the anchor role and a good 60 or 70 will do nicely for the visitors on Friday. Taylor’s wicket will be a big win for the South Africans and his innings will be crucial for the overall outcome of the game.
The mercurial right arm paceman has been one of the standout performers for Zimbabwe since his return from a county stint in England. He will want to take a few important wickets at Senwes Park. Jarvis has a knack for doing magic with the new ball and a few of early strikes could put an inexperienced SA team on the back foot.
The young leg-spinner impressed in South Africa during the ODI series with his control and ability to keep batsmen under pressure.
He is also quite handy at getting a key wicket as he has shown in his time in SA this far. He is definitely one of the bright young prospects for Zimbabwe cricket.