After being sent in to bat at Seddon Park, South Africa wobbled early on as Zimbabwe’s quicks came out firing to restrict the opposition to 83/4 but centuries from David Miller and JP Duminy made life a lot easier.
Having reached 339/4 at their end of their innings the total looked too much for Zimbabwe to handle but they backed themselves in their chase and, as they had done with the ball, built up pressure.
But three wickets from Imran Tahir in a very economical eight over spell that only went for 36 runs and a disciplined 2/30 from Vernon Philander played a big part in the eventual victory.
“Pretty happy with the winning start. It certainly wasn’t easy so credit to Elton and his boys I thought they came out and played really good cricket today and they put us under pressure,” Proteas captain AB de Villiers said afterwards as he applauded the efforts of Elton Chigumbura’s side.
“I always feel the pressure, it’s part of the game. We came out on top and we learned a few lessons and we’ll take it forward to the next game,” he added.
Morne Morkel wrapped up the match in the 49th over with his second wicket while Dale Steyn, who had an off night by his lofty standards, and Duminy picked up a wicket apiece as Zimbabwe were eventually all out for 277.
Duminy was one of the standout performers for the Proteas and his record-breaking partnership with Miller was an entertaining one after a very patient start. The pair added 256 for the fifth wicket for a new one day international record.
Miller was unbeaten on 138 and claimed the Man of the Match award while Duminy was not out on 115.
South Africa’s next game is against India in Melbourne next Sunday.