Zimbabwe 228 (Williams 69, Steyn 3-29, Rabada 3-32) v South Africa
Sean Williams achieved his maxim scoring against South Africa when Zimbabwe collected 228 in the third and final international match of a day at Boland Park in Paarl, by a distance its greatest total in the series.
Williams added 73 for the fourth field with Brendan Taylor, the highest score for Zimbabwe with 69, but the ability to beat the players of South Africa's frontline players meant that the visitors struggled to build in that position and they threw three less balls of a full possibility.
Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir shared eight windows, restraining themselves in the top six of Zimbabwe, and their efforts meant that, although Williams and Taylor managed to control Andile Phehlukwayo and Tabraiz Shamsi in their early periods, Zimbabwe never He snatched the general control of his entries.
Once again, the Uble problem started early for Zimbabwe. Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire added 16, the highest opening position for each side of all the series, when Mire played inside a floated leg break from Tahir to be defeated by another single figure score. Surprisingly, Tahir was asked to share the new ball duties with Steyn, and although there were very few changes, his wrist and rhythm variations made the Zimbabwean starters guess, and finally they did so for Mire.
When Craig Ervine had his third ball. from Steyn, to Heinrich Klaasen, and Rabada prepared Masakadza with a three-card trick upside down that was: yorker, yorker, bouncer, Zimbabwe once again, three close to Powerplay. Another low level appeared, but Williams and Taylor took the counterattack in style.
Williams was particularly enterprising, bringing together four Phehlukwayo boundaries on each side of the window, including three in one and one especially attractive. Taylor, too, offered flashes of his best, introducing a trademark uppercut and sweeping the spinners often, both in the air and along the grass. Williams was particularly enterprising, bringing together four Phehlukwayo boundaries on each side of the window, including three in one on one and an especially attractive cover unit. Taylor, too, offered flashes of his best, introducing a trademark uppercut and sweeping the spinners often, both in the air and along the grass. One of those takes, an impassioned action for Tahir, took Taylor to a significant milestone when he became the third Zimbabwean to reach 6,000 races at ODI, after the Flower brothers.
Together, they passed Zimbabwe past the middle of the road at their entrances, but just when it looked like they were out of danger, an outburst from Klaasen broke the stage. He lacked a forward push to Tahir, Taylor briefly raised his foot to steady him, but in the fraction of a second when he got up, Klaasen tore off the bonds to leave him at 40.
The wicket did nothing to stop Wiliams, however, and continued to read the length well to pick up a pair of Shamsi's rear foot limits, and lifted a ball of 60 balls. He had some luck immediately afterwards, by sliding the spinner on his left arm towards Faf du Plessis. The South African captain could not take any chances and fell heavily on his recently injured right shoulder, although it did not cause any apparent discomfort.
Williams swept three more limits from Shamsi, passing his best of the last 55 against. South Africa, but then played too early to be captured and defeated by Rabada by 69. With Peter Moor and Elton Chigumbura falling at a low price, Zimbabwe began to fall to 182 for 7, but Donald Tiripano and 21-year-old rookie kicker Brandon Mavuta turned happily to increase the score beyond 200. They collected two more limits from Shamsi, which ended with 0 for 72, the most expensive figures of a South African against Zimbabwe, in the middle of a day off.
Zimbabwe did not do enough goals in the tank to hit in their innings, Tiripano fell by 29 in the pursuit of fast races with three balls to play, but at least they have offered South Africa a reasonable target to pursue under the lights.