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Zimbabwe Tri Series, 3rd Match – Zimbabwe v South Africa, Harare – Preview



Last Updated on 10 years by Charbel Coorey

If the first matches of these two teams in the Tri-series were anything to go by, Zimbabwe are in for another tough outing. A tough time for Zimbabwe up against South Africa and Australia in a triangular series was always going to be on the cards, but it’s important that they show some fight, competitiveness and progress after being thrashed by 198 runs at the hands of Australia in their opening match. South Africa, on the other hand, proved my prediction wrong against Australia and chased 327 with ease. In addition, they are fresh off a 3-0 ODI series sweep against the Zimbabweans.

With conditions difficult for the bowlers, backing South Africa for another good outing with the bat is wise. This is even more appropriate considering Zimbabwe have stood down arguably their most economical seamer Tinashe Panyangara, on disciplinary terms. Therefore, South Africa will be keen to stamp their authority and make life even more difficult for Zimbabwe. This seems likely as South Africa are coming off 5 straight ODI wins. Zimbabwe are coming off 6 straight defeats.

Despite all signs pointing to a one-sided hammering,  my interest in this match relies on how much fight Zimbabwe can show in front of their home fans. At home in recent times, Zimbabwe have been a tougher nut to crack than some people expected. In 2013, they beat (at that time) high flying Bangladesh 2-1 & won the first ODI of the series against Pakistan (and even won a Test against Pakistan on the same tour). Unfortunately for them, they don’t play very often and haven’t been to build on their good wins as a result. However, here’s a chance to lay a platform for their future with a better showing than what they’ve dished up so far in the last few weeks

South Africa’s only main threat in this match is complacency but there are players in this side who’d want to prove their worth:
South African batsman to watch: Quinton De Kock burst onto the scene with plenty of runs against India last year and had a good series against Zimbabwe recently scoring 63, 38 and 84 in the 3 matches. After scoring just 19 against Australia, he’d want to get back into the runs here.
South African bowler to watch: Imran Tahir averages 17.16 in the 50 over format, compared to a Test average of over 47. His consistency has always come under scrutiny but here’s a chance for Imran to back up his excellent showing against Australia and show some consistency in his performances.

Zimbabwe are seeking improvement and would want to push South Africa as much as they possibly can:
Zimbabwean batsmen to watch: I’ve picked two players from the Zimbabwean team who need to perform. Brendan Taylor needs to remind selectors of his class after being dropped for the 3rd ODI against South Africa recently and Hamilton Masakadza will want to build on his impressive effort against the Australians where he scored 70 out of his team’s 152. These two players have played a combined 289 ODIs and need to step up here if they are to have any hope of causing an upset.
Zimbabwean bowler to watch: Prosper Utseya faces testing on his action but he needs to put that behind him for now. 157 ODIs with an economy rate of 4.34 runs per over is impressive and will need to be economical here to restrict the South Africans.

Prediction: I expect Zimbabwe to put on more of a fight in this game, but the gulf in class between the two sides is too great. South Africa to make it 2 out of 2 wins in this triangular series.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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