Faf du Plessis smashed a third century in four matches as South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 63 runs to set up a final showdown with Australia. Zimbabwe were bowled out for 208 in reply to South Africa’s 271/6 off their 50 overs.
Zimbabwe needed to overhaul South Africa’s total in just 29 overs to reach the final but fell well short despite wicket keeper Brendan Taylor amassing 79 in 96 balls. Du Plessis, promoted up the batting order to three to fill a void for next year’s World Cup, continued to flourish as he scored 121 after smashing five fours and four sixes in his knock.
He and JP Duminy put on a 103-run partnership for the fifth wicket to haul South Africa to a decent tally on a difficult surface with early morning turn for Zimbabwe’s spin attack. Du Plessis, when on 41, offered just one chance for a caught and bowled to John Nyumbu, but the spinner dropped the ball and then saw it spill onto the stumps and run out AB de Villiers at the non-striker’s end.
Nyumbu eventually got Du Plessis’ wicket three overs from the end after the batsman misjudged the ball while attempting a third successive six, allowing Elton Chigumbura to take a catch.
Duminy was caught and bowled by seamer Neville Madziva for a workman like 51. South Africa topped the standings after winning three of their four matches, while Australia made sure their shock three-wicket defeat by hosts Zimbabwe did not cost them dear as they qualified for the final by winning two matches. Zimbabwe’s win over Australia was their solitary success.
Brief scores: South Africa 271 for six wickets in 50 overs (Faf du Plessis 121, JP Duminy 51) v Zimbabwe 208 all out in 47.2 overs (Brendan Taylor 79)