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Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Sunday, 8 November 2009

SA victorious despite Taibu's ton

First one-day international: Benoni:
South Africa 295-5 (50 ovs) beat Zimbabwe 250-6 (50 ovs) by 45 runs
Match scorecard

Ryan McLaren
Ryan McLaren marked his South Africa debut with figures of 3-51

South Africa began their build-up to the forthcoming one-day series against England with a 45-run victory over Zimbabwe in Benoni.

The home side totalled 295-5, thanks to Hashim Amla (80), AB de Villiers (51) and Albie Morkel (50 not out).

Zimbabwe slumped to 48-5 in reply but Tatenda Taibu and Stuart Matsikenyeri shared a stand of 188 either side of a rain interruption

Matsikenyeri went for 86 but Taibu made 103 not out in a brave losing effort.

Taibu's 112-ball innings included three sixes and six fours and he finished only four runs short of his one-day best against the same opponents in August 2007.

It was always going to be a tall order for Zimbabwe after Amla, Graeme Smith (35) and de Villiers had laid the foundation for a big South Africa score.

Left-arm spinner Ray Price bowled well to take 3-44 but Alviro Petersen (39) helped Morkel add 86 in 10 overs as the home side threatened to go beyond 300.


Morkel cleared the ropes three times in a powerful 39-ball cameo, but and debutant Ryan McLaren could only add seven off the final over of their innings after Petersen was caught off Chamu Chibhabha.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn produced a hostile spell at the start of Zimbabwe's reply and was rewarded with the wickets of Hamilton Masakadza and Elton Chigumbua, the latter beaten for pace and dragging the ball onto his stumps.

Debutant McLaren also picked up a couple of wickets but South Africa's attack seemed to lose focus after the weather break.

Taibu and Matsikenyeri produced some excellent strokes in their partnership, the second highest in a one-dayer by two Zimbabwe batsmen - beaten only by Stuart Carlisle and Sean Ervine's 202-run stand against India at Adelaide in 2004.

But they had too much ground to make up and when Matsikenyeri was yorked by McLaren, who took 3-51, to only question remaining was whether Taibu could reach three figures.

He duly did so by tucking a ball from Morkel for a single, having begun the final over by hoisting him for six over square leg, as Zimbabwe ended their innings on 250-6.

Seamer Charl Langeveldt, making his first Proteas appearance since March 2008, must now surrender his Kolpak status and leave English county Derbyshire after returning to international cricket.

"We were fantastic for 80 overs and then the rain delay upset our rhythm. I believe we can take a lot more positives than negatives from the game," Smith said afterwards.

The second and final match of the series takes place at Centurion on Tuesday and South Africa hope to have batsman JP Duminy back in action after a lay-off caused by shin splints.

Paceman Wayne Parnell will remain on the sidelines because he has not yet recovered from an ankle problem.

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see also
Strauss leads England to easy win
08 Nov 09 |  England
S Africa leave out Gibbs & Ntini
23 Oct 09 |  South Africa
McLaren is hoping for Kent future
18 Sep 09 |  Kent

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