Taibu ton in vain
South Africa see off Zimbabwe by 45 runs
Last Updated: 09/11/09 2:03pm
Taibu: defiant century
First One Day International
South Africa 295-5 (H M Amla 80, A B de Villiers 51, J A Morkel 50 no) v Zimbabwe 250-6 (T Taibu 103 no, S Matsikenyeri 86)
South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 45 runs
Tatenda Taibu's century failed to prevent Zimbabwe slipping to a 45-run loss against South Africa in the first one-day international.
Set a target of 296, Zimbabwe looked to be heading towards an ignominious defeat after the Proteas seam attack reduced them to 48-5 in the 17th over.
But sixth-wicket pair Taibu and Stuart Matsikenyeri combined for a record 188-run partnership either side of a rain delay to save face for the tourists.
The previous best sixth-wicket stand against the Proteas in a one-dayer was the 124 put on by Craig McMillan and Chris Harris for New Zealand in Adelaide in December 1997.
Matsikenyeri contributed 86 off 87 balls before being yorked by South Africa's debutant all-rounder Ryan McLaren (3-51) from the final delivery of the 48th over.
Victory was already out of the equation for Zimbabwe by that stage, Matsikenyeri's dismissal leaving 60 required off the final 12 balls.
But Taibu was at least able to go through to his second one-day hundred, bringing up the landmark with a single off Albie Morkel (0-27) in the final over.
The Harare-born wicketkeeper finished unbeaten on 103 from 112 balls, including six fours and three sixes, as Zimbabwe closed on 250-6.
Price is right
Hashim Amla's 80 had earlier laid the platform for South Africa's total of 295-5 at Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
Amla shared stands of 67 with Graeme Smith (35) and 90 with AB de Villiers (51) for the first and second wickets respectively, before Alviro Petersen (39) and Morkel (50no) added quick late runs to boost the final score.
Zimbabwe's first breakthrough came in the 14th over when Smith's slog-sweep off left-arm spinner Ray Price went straight to Christopher Mpofu on the square-leg boundary.
But De Villiers settled in alongside Amla, who completed a 62-ball half-century with a single off leg-spinner Graeme Cremer in the 22nd over.
De Villiers brought up the 50 partnership with a towering six off Prosper Utseya and plundered successive fours off Chamu Chibhabha, but fell to a good catch by Mark Vermeulen at long-off to give Price his second victim.
Amla wasted the chance of a century by pulling a Cremer (1-47) long hop straight to Vermeulen, who also caught Mark Boucher (18) off the impressive Price (3-44).
But Petersen and Morkel added 86 for the fifth wicket at better than a run a ball to put South Africa firmly in control.
The two-match series concludes at Centurion on Tuesday.