ICC World Cup: South Africa beat Zimbabwe by 62 runs: David Miller and JP Duminy both scored hundreds as South Africa overcame a nervy start to beat Zimbabwe by 62 runs in their World Cup Pool B opener in Hamilton on Sunday.
Wobbling at 83 for four, South Africa were lifted by brilliant hundreds by Miller (138 not out) and Duminy (115 not out), with the pair sharing an unbroken stand of 256 — a new fifth-wicket record for all one-day internationals — as they piled up 339 for four at Seddon Park.
Zimbabwe, as they had with the ball, started well with the bat and were 191 for two in the 33rd over as Hamilton Masakadza (80) and Chamu Chibhabha (64) threatened before they lost eight wickets for 86 runs. Masakadza hit eight fours and two sixes in his 74-ball knock while Chibhabha knocked 10 boundaries off 82 balls but Zimbabwe’s batting wilted after their departure. Brendon Taylor chipped in with 40 and Solomon Mire scored 27.
South Africa’s spearhead Dale Steyn struggled with his line as he conceded 38 runs in his first five overs before finishing with one for 64 in nine. It was leg-spinner Imran Tahir (three for 36) who dismissed both Chibhabha and Masakadza in his first spell while Vernon Philander (two for 30) and Morne Morkel (two for 49) shared the spoils later on.
South Africa, after losing the toss, slumped to 83 for four against Zimbabwe’s unheralded attack with key batsmen Hashim Amla (11) and skipper AB de Villiers (25) both falling cheaply. Miller smashed nine sixes and seven fours off 92 balls to better his previous highest score of 130 not out against the West Indies at Port Elizabeth last month.
Duminy almost matched his fellow left-hander stroke for stroke, smashing three sixes and nine boundaries in his 100-ball knock. Their partnership beat the previous fifth-wicket best of 226 which England’s Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara shared against Ireland in Dublin two years ago.
“I really enjoyed that, it’s been a long time since I last got three figures,” said Duminy whose side had been put into bat. “The pitch was definitely slower than we all predicted initially, but with wickets in hand, we could go after them.”
Duminy praised Miller’s innings by saying: “David was exceptional — he just muscled it about all over the park.”
Miller became the 15th batsmen overall and second South African behind Gary Kirsten (against the United Areab Emirates at Rawalpindi in 1996) to score a hundred on his World Cup debut.
South Africa had also lost Quniton de Kock (seven) and Faf du Plessis (24) by the 17th over and de Villiers (25) also didn’t linger long.
De Villiers hit the first six of the innings, off Tendai Chatara but, trying to play a similar shot off leg-spinner Tafadzwa Kamungozi, he was brilliantly caught on the boundary by Craig Ervine.
Realising he was going over the rope in his attempt to hold onto the catch, Ervine threw the ball back before leaping across the boundary to complete the dismissal on the field.
But Zimbabwe failed to take any more wickets as Miller and Duminy smashed 146 runs in the last 10 overs, taking 30 alone in the 48th over bowled by Mire with three sixes and as many boundaries.